Is Silicone Heat Resistant?
Apr 17, 2019
All types of silicone are polymers and are made up of siloxane. Silioxane is a chain of alternating silicone atoms and oxygen atoms, often combined with carbon or hydrogen. Found in sand, Silicone is a naturally occurring element but the majority that you’ll come across day to day are synthetic products which have been manufactured from silica.
Silicone rubbers are elastomers, meaning they can stretch and return to their true form many times over. They are non-reactive, stable and resistant to extreme environments including extreme temperatures. This makes them a popular choice for products used in vehicles, aircraft, pharmaceutical production and much, much more.
What temperatures can silicone tolerate?
Silicone is incredibly popular due to its tolerance for extremes of temperature. Most silicones have an operating temperature from -60°C up to +230°C. However, the amount of time it spends exposed to such temperatures will define its ability to maintain integrity within application.
There are specialist types of silicone which can endure an even greater range of temperatures. High temperature silicone rubber can be exposed to temperatures as high as +300°C.
Why is silicone so heat resistant?
Silicone has a low thermal conductivity. This means it transfers heat at a much slower rate than some other materials, leading to excellent heat resistance. It can also be described as having good ‘thermal stability’ meaning it retains its structure and properties over a wide temperature range.
Its heat resistance is largely down to the highly stable chemical structure of the material. The backbone of siloxane is a stable formation which doesn’t allow the material to degrade in the presence of heat. With such outstanding characteristics, it’s no wonder that silicone has such a wide range of applications and uses.