Discovered in the 1800s, solid silicone rubber is a highly versatile material for use in a wide variety of different applications. Its resilience and durability make it an ideal material choice for a number of industrial sectors and it can be provided as sheet material, moulded, extruded, or cut to into gaskets or solid silicone rubber strip to suit a particular purpose.
There are few different reasons why solid silicone rubber is so commonly used, for example:
It’s highly resistant to weathering
Silicone rubber is well suited to outdoor applications due to its superior resistance to even the most extreme environments. Ozone, UV and wind driven rain have no effect on certain grades of silicone rubber, so it performs extremely well in outdoor environments. Even when used in sub-zero temperatures, or on the hottest days of summer, weathering shows no effect on the material.
It has a very wide temperature resistance
Many grades of are able to withstand extreme temperatures, both low and high. For example, MF775 can resist temperatures of between -55°C and 250°C. When designing any product, it’s always vital to think about how temperature would affect the product; whether it will continue to serve its function and whether it will continue to be safe.
Silicone rubber is fire safe
MF775 solid silicone rubber and other silicone materials are fire safety compliant to BS6853, EN45545 and NFF16-101. They do not degrade when they come into contact with fire – even when coming into contact with extremely hot items, the material keeps its shape. This means that silicone rubbers provide an ideal insulation material to prevent the spread of fire. MF775 is widely used in the rail industry, often as a gap filler and insulation material.
In many cases, smoke that is created as a result of a fire is just as dangerous to people, if not more. Some insulation materials can produce toxic gas when exposed to fire, however, this is not the case with silicone rubber. Low smoke toxicity is a key element of fire safety compliance and silicone rubber materials help to prevent the spread of smoke without creating any other dangerous chemicals when exposed to fire.
It has great versatility of shape
Silicone rubber can be formed into practically any shape to suit its intended purpose. As well as being supplied in rolls or sheets, it can be cut to solid silicone rubber strip, backed with adhesive to form tape, cut to gaskets, extruded or even moulded to produce highly complex shapes for any industry.
MF775 is used for a number of purposes within the rail industry as a result of this versatility. For example, as well as being utilised for gap fillers, MF775 is also commonly used in LCD displays, lighting enclosures and floor packers, amongst other purposes.
For more information on silicone rubber, or for assistance in choosing the right material to meet your required specifications, call our experienced team today on +44 (0)121 773 8494, or leave us a message via our website.