Silicone rubber is a synthetic material that is derived from silica, which is a combination of silicon and oxygen atoms. It was first developed in the early 1900s, and it has become increasingly popular in industrial, automotive, and medical applications due to its superior properties.
Silicone rubber is composed of a variety of organic and inorganic compounds. These compounds include silicones, oils, resins, and catalysts. The silicones used in the production of silicone rubber are created by reacting silicon-based molecules with oxygen and other elements. These molecules are then combined with oils and resins to create the desired rubber product. The most common resins used in the production of silicone rubber are polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polymethylphenylsiloxane (PMPS). These resins provide the rubber with its chemical resistance, flexibility, and resistance to heat and chemicals.
The catalysts used in the production of silicone rubber are typically metal oxides such as zinc oxide, tin oxide, and titanium dioxide. These catalysts help to speed up the reaction between the silicones and the resins, which helps to create the desired rubber product. The catalysts also help to modify the properties of the rubber, such as its hardness and flexibility.
Silicone rubber is most commonly used in industrial, automotive, and medical applications. In industrial applications, silicone rubber is used for gaskets, seals, and insulation. In automotive applications, it is used for hoses, gaskets, and seals. In medical applications, silicone rubber is used for implants, catheters, and prosthetics.
Silicone rubber is valued for its superior properties, such as resistance to heat and chemicals, flexibility, and low flammability. It also has excellent electrical insulation properties and can be used in a variety of environments, including high temperatures, extreme pressures, and corrosive environments. Silicone rubber is also relatively inexpensive and easy to produce, which makes it an attractive material for a variety of applications.