Difference Between Silicone and Rubber

Silica gel is a polymer that contains silicon, hydrogen and oxygen in its structure.

Silicone products are products processed from silica gel as the main raw material. Silica gel is a porous material with different particle sizes that is properly dehydrated from silicic acid gel. It has an open porous structure and can adsorb a variety of substances. It is a good desiccant, adsorbent and catalyst carrier. From a chemical point of view, silicone products are one-component room temperature vulcanized liquid rubber products, which are elastomer products made of silicone materials. Silicone rubber product is a kind of silicone rubber, which is a one-component room temperature vulcanized liquid rubber product. Once exposed to the air, the silane monomer in it will condense to form a network structure, the system is cross-linked, cannot be melted and dissolved, is elastic, becomes a state of rubber products, and is bonded to objects at the same time. Its thermal conductivity is slightly higher than that of ordinary rubber products. Once cured, it is difficult to separate objects that are stuck together. 

However, the high-energy silicon-oxygen bonds make silicone more heat-resistant than other elastic materials such as rubber. At high temperature, the properties of silica gel have little change, and silica gel will show excellent tensile and tear properties.

Rubber products refer to products that use natural rubber and synthetic rubber as raw materials to produce various rubber products, including rubber products regenerated from waste rubber. The output of synthetic rubber greatly exceeds that of natural rubber, among which styrene butadiene rubber is the largest. Rubber products can be divided into synthetic rubber and natural rubber. The structure of natural rubber is a high polymer of isoprene. It is produced by processing latex obtained from rubber factories, while synthetic rubber products are produced by polymerization or polycondensation of a single rubber. Synthetic rubber deforms under the action of external force and can quickly return to its original shape. Due to their good physical properties, rubber products on the market include automotive tires, hoses, seals, tapes, insulating materials and other products, which are generally synthetic rubber products.

Both rubber and silicone are elastic polymer materials, but silicone has more special properties than ordinary rubber. One can usually distinguish silicone from rubber by atomic structure, and the key difference between rubber and silicone is that most rubbers contain carbon-carbon double bonds in their structural units. Compared with silicone products, rubber products are superior to silicone products in terms of toughness, wear resistance, dielectric properties, and corrosion resistance. Therefore, rubber products are often used in large machinery, industrial equipment and automobile transportation equipment. Compared with rubber products, silicone products are non-toxic, tasteless, soft and environmentally friendly. Therefore, many rubber products in life are gradually replaced by silicone products, which involves people's necessities of life.

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Silicone is a type of synthetic rubber. This material structure is composed of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms. Both natural rubber and silicone work at temperatures as low as -50°C.

Natural rubber starts to deteriorate at 80°C and melts at 120°C. Silicone can work up to 230°C. Therefore, compared to natural rubber, silicone has better flame retardancy, and silicone can work well at much higher temperatures than natural rubber. For industries with high temperature applications, silica gel would be a better choice.

At the same time, the silicon-oxygen bonds in the silicone construction are more stable than the carbon-carbon double bonds of other rubber or elastic materials. The damage of rubber will increase with the change of external pressure and temperature and the exposure of ultraviolet rays. For example: UV exposure can affect properties such as density, color, hardness and texture of rubber, which may eventually cause the rubber to tear.

Silicone performance is not affected by UV light or extreme temperatures. Compared to rubber, silicone is not only more resistant to ozone, weathering, and UV environments, but it is also highly resistant to fungi, has broader chemical resistance to chemicals, and is often used in outdoor applications such as door and window sealing . In contrast, natural rubber weathers quickly and is not suitable for outdoor applications.

At room temperature, the tensile strength and tear strength of silicone are slightly inferior to rubber, and natural rubber has higher tensile strength, tear strength and wear resistance than silicone. Rubber is often used in high-wear industrial applications such as tire treads and conveyor belts. For wear-prone industries, natural rubber would be a better choice.

Silicone and rubber are widely used and can be found in a wide variety of products including automotive applications, cooking and baking appliances, apparel and footwear, electronics and medical equipment, home repair and hardware industries. Silicone seals and other products. Due to its elasticity, water resistance, and insulating properties, rubber is commonly used in applications such as cooking utensils, electronic products, automotive seals, and insulating gloves.

For many industries, the choice of products such as rubber and silicone is primarily a matter of budget and hygiene and safety. Rubber requires the addition of toxic additives to achieve stable properties. Unlike rubber, high-quality silicone does not require the addition of toxic stabilizers during the production process.

Silicone has a longer service life than rubber, can withstand constant external force and pressure for much longer than rubber, does not corrode or crack in the process, and is more resistant to temperature than rubber. These unique properties make silicone an ideal material and choice for chemical sealing, medical applications, and the food processing industry.

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