Silicone Rubber - Different Faces and Usage

Silicone rubber is a versatile material that is used for different purposes in both the art and manufacturing world. It displays many useful properties and comes in a few different types too.

Silicone rubber is a popular compound that enjoys widespread patronage across industries and applications. It is commonly used for bonding, sealing, potting, encapsulation, coating, mold making and casting works.

The main benefit is that silicone rubber molds that can be used for manufacturing different types of technical and mechanical parts for industry and medical devices. Apart from molds, silicone rubber is also used as a release agent, adhesive or the base material for the cast. It also functions well in the potting of electronic components in high-tech industrial and scientific equipment.

Artists normally use the rubber to make molds for toys, candles, soaps, food and baking containers apart from special effects. There is a special variety of silicone rubber that is safe for the skin and is used to make body molds.

The same rubber can be used to make casts too and is the material of choice for mask making and doll reborning.

Getting to know Silicone Rubber

RTV silicone rubber is commonly used for molding and casting projects. It delivers various useful properties like ease of use, flexible, tough, durable and tear resistant. This versatile material can reproduce almost anything without damaging the surface of the model. What’s more, the excellent mechanical properties and low surface tension enable it to replicate the mold without losing any of intricacies of the original - the minutest of details will be captured in the mold even down to the skin pores and fingerprints. It can even be cast in abrasive materials.

Silicone rubber formulas are remarkably stable in a wide temperature range and prove to be non-flammable and non-combustible. There is a good level of thermal conductivity too.

The room temperature vulcanizing rubber comes as a 2-part formula – one is the liquid base and the other is the catalyst. They have to be mixed in the specified proportion which can vary from formula to formula. The catalyst will react with the base to deliver the intended properties. It can even be customized to produce the required degree of viscosity and adherence along with varying mechanical, chemical or temperature resistance characteristics.

The rubber comes in two different types – addition cure and condensation cure. The primary difference is in the catalyst - Addition cure silicones use a platinum-based catalyst (usually 10%) while condensation cure silicones need a tin-based catalyst (usually 5%). They have different characteristics and usage and most importantly, are not compatible with each other.

EnvironMolds offers a broad range of materials, supplies, tools and equipment that include both silicone mold and casting rubbers. There are different formulae options to suit varying needs and preferences, like MoldRite 25 Silicone - Classic Mold Making Silicone, BluMold RTV Silicone, 5-Minute Mold Putty for Faster Mold Making, Food Safe Silicone -- BakeSil FDA Approved, LifeRite Skin Safe Silicone for Life Casting and SkinRite 10 Translucent Special F/X Silicone.

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