Three Types of Silicone Materials for Manufacturing

Silicone is a product manufactured from silicon, an element found in sand. It has both rubber- and plastic-like properties and can be shaped or formed, softened or hardened into basically anything. Extruded silicone products are extruded in a range of shapes and are used to provide vibration dampening, noise reduction, thermal shielding and insulation, and sealing flexibility for various industry applications.

Silicone has many benefits including tolerance to low and high temperatures, thermal stability, excellent insulation properties, and resistance to water. It also carries flame-retardant properties and is less prone to deterioration than other materials. Silicone rubber extrusions are used by several industries including commercial, medical, food production, construction, consumables, and many others.

While there are various types of silicone materials, there are three that we commonly use: fluorosilicone, phenyl silicone, and general-purpose silicone extrusions.

Fluorosilicone (FVMQ) is a type of silicone that, due to its molecular structure, provides greater resistance to chemicals, fuels, and oils. Benefits include excellent temperature, compression, and chemical resistance, as well as low odor and taste. It can withstand temperatures from -75°F to 450°F. Drawbacks include poor abrasion resistance, high friction, and high cost. Because of these characteristics, fluorosilicone is typically used in automotive, aerospace, medical, and electrical applications.

General-purpose silicone (MQ and VMQ) performs well from -75°F to 450°F and maintains its color in outdoor applications. It has excellent temperature and compression resistance, low odor and taste, and low-temperature flexibility. However, it has poor resistance to abrasion, solvent, oil, acid, and sodium hydroxide. It also has high friction properties and poor compression set at harder durometers. Due to these properties, general-purpose silicone is commonly used in automotive, aerospace, medical, electrical, and FDA food and beverage applications.

Phenyl silicone, or methyl phenyl silicone, is resistant to oxidation, extreme temperatures, and shearing. It has excellent thermal stability and optical clarity. It is primarily used in applications requiring resistance to extremely low temperatures, as low as -130° F, such as automotive and aerospace.

From simple designs to complex products, for short runs or high-quantity production, Northwest Rubber Extruders provides top quality silicone rubber extrusions. Request a quote today on silicone extrusions for your application, or contact Northwest Rubber Extruders for additional information.

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