Synthetic rubber is no longer what it was. Silicon rubber, used more frequently in industrial products, is found in some avatar everywhere around us. The reason for its popularity is its ease of manufacturing and customization as per the product by rubber parts manufacturers. It can be moulded, cured and treated with catalysts to achieve the results we want.
Consequently, it is available in different hardness, colors and forms. The unique physical properties of silicon rubber is another reason for its wide usage today. It is a highly durable material that does not react to chemicals or normal weather conditions. When used in consumer goods like sandals, silicon is preferred for its flexible shape and its durability.
Silicon has wide applications across a number of industries. In fact, in three critical industries — electronics, consumer goods and automotive — silicon rubber changed the way we built and used the products. In the process it has completely changed these industries. These are:
Aviation and aerospace
Silicon rubber is used as a component in aircraft assembly and its maintenance. Silicon rubber is preferred because of its ability to absorb stress and withstand temperature extremes. Silicon rubber is the preferred sealant for doors, windows, overhead bins, fuel tanks, vent ducts, electrical wires, engine gaskets, black box and hydraulic switches.
Rubber parts manufacturers have been an integral part and a huge contributor to the spread of electronic around us, including the spread of telecommunication and computer technology. It is also an integral part of power distribution networks and the various electrical implements we see around us. Silicon rubber is the main jacketing material used to seal off, encapsulate or bond electrical cables and circuitry.
Silicon protects the underlying sensitive electrical devise from heat, moisture, corrosion, contamination and salt. It can also cushion the electrical implements from jarring motions when used in a moving device like cars. Silicon rubber is also used for keypads and rollers — a harder version that can both be protective and functional.
Many medical implements and tools are today made with silicon rubber because it is resistant to bacteria. Along with its other resistance to most chemicals, it becomes easy to sterilise. Silicon is an inert material and does not react with other materials. One of the challenges in picking material for medical tools is to ensure that it does not irritate the body.
Silicon, whether it is used externally or intravenously, is unlikely to trigger any allergy, cause infections or produce unwanted side-effects. Silicon rubber is used as tubing in pace makers and drug delivery systems — two critical medical procedures. It is used for syringe pistons, in dispensing systems, gaskets, respiratory masks, and in IV implantable chambers)
Silicon rubber is odorless with high resistance to weather conditions. Although it is colourless, it can be customized to carry uniform, brilliant colours. This makes it ideal for a range of wearables, especially when we want water-resistant, rainproof gear.
All kind of waterproof gear is today made with silicon rubber, from shoes, caps, goggles, to clothes. Silicon’s rubber is also very light and durable. Even when wet, it will not become too heavy. Rubber parts manufacturers are also major suppliers to sports wear and shoes. Most sports shoes today are made of rubber. The brilliant colours, light weight and water repelling properties are ideal for sports gear.
Personal care products
While silicon itself is a common ingredient in many personal care products — making them longer lasting, less irritating for the skin and easy to apply, the silicon rubber also have many uses in the application of such products.
It is used in lipstick moulds, make-up packaging and applicators. Another area where silicon rubber has revolutionized the product is contact lenses. From free form lenses, circular lenses, Fresnel lenses and collimators — everything is made with silicon rubber.
One cannot imagine the automative industry today without the involvement of rubber parts manufacturers. For instance, a number of car parts are made with rubber that include both the parts and sealants.
It is used to make parts like airbags, headlamps, ignition cables, engine gaskets, shock absorbers, hydraulic bearings, ventilation flaps, radiator seals, hoses, and spark plug boots. Silicon rubber is used as sealant, shock absorber, cushioning and as in load bearing applications.