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Silicone VMQ - Types & Uses

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Silicone is a versatile material that has many applications across a wide range of industries. In this blog, we will explore what silicone is, its properties, and its uses in various applications.


What is Silicone?

Custom Silicone gasket USP Class VI


Silicone is a synthetic polymer that is made up of repeating units of silicon and oxygen, along with carbon and hydrogen. It is an elastomeric material that is flexible, durable, and resistant to high temperatures, chemicals, and weathering.


Properties of Silicone


Silicone has a number of unique properties that make it useful in a variety of applications. Some of these properties include:


  • Wide range of temperature resistances: Standard silicone can withstand temperatures as low as -75°F (-60°C), with some specialty formulations capable of -112°F (-80°C). Standard silicone can also handle temperatures as high as 400°F (205°C) without breaking down or losing its flexibility. Some specialty formulations can handle temperatures as high as 600°F (315°C).

  • Chemical resistance: Silicone is resistant to a wide range of chemicals, including oils, acids, and solvents.

  • Weathering resistance: Silicone is resistant to UV radiation and ozone, making it suitable for outdoor applications.

  • Electrical insulation: Silicone is an excellent insulator, making it useful in electrical applications.

  • Non-toxic: Silicone is non-toxic and does not release harmful substances when heated, making it suitable for use in medical and food-grade applications.

Uses of Silicone


Silicone has many uses across a wide range of industries. Some of the most common uses of silicone include:


  • Sealing and gasketing: Silicone is often used as a sealant or gasket material in industrial and automotive applications. It can be used to make virtually any geometry: standard AS568 O-rings, custom O-rings, custom molded gaskets, injection molded parts, etc.

  • Electrical insulation: Silicone is an excellent electrical insulator and is used in a variety of electrical applications, such as wire and cable coatings and connectors.

  • Medical and healthcare: Silicone is non-toxic and biocompatible, making it suitable for use in medical and healthcare applications, such as prosthetics, implants, and medical tubing. There are many formulations that are USP class VI, FDA compliant, NSF 51 and NSF 61.

  • Food and beverage: Silicone is used in food and beverage applications, such as baking mats, oven mitts, and bottle nipples, due to its non-toxicity and resistance to high temperatures.

  • Personal care products: Silicone is used in a variety of personal care products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetics, due to its water resistance and emollient properties.


Common Types of Silicone


Silicone rubbers are silicon and oxygen (siloxane) based synthetic polymers. They are typically weather resistant and have versatile temperature ranges, but are limited by low abrasion resistance and tensile strength.


  • MQ Silicone: Methyl Silicone (MQ) is a relatively simple form of silicone rubber. MQ is not frequently used to manufacture O-rings and custom rubber parts due to it's lacking mechanical properties, however it can be processed to improve its characteristics.


  • VMQ Silicone: Vinyl Methyl Silicone (VMQ) is the most common form of silicone rubber. It has a versatile functional temperature range (typically around -60°C to 200°C) and good compression set, but still has mechanical limitations like poor abrasion resistance and relatively low tensile strength.


  • FVMQ Silicone: Fluorosilicone (FVMQ) is as it sounds: A fluorinated silicone polymer. As with other fluorinated polymers, FVMQ's molecular structure has improved stability, lending the material improved chemical resistance over standard VMQ. Unfortunately, FVMQ also has a slightly reduced temperature range (typically around -60°C to 175°C).


  • PVMQ Silicone: Phenyl Methyl Silicone (PVMQ) is a formulation of silicone that greatly improves the materials low temperature capabilities (typically around -80°C to 200°C).


Conclusion


Silicone is a versatile material with a wide range of properties that make it useful in a variety of applications. Its high temperature resistance, chemical resistance, and electrical insulation properties make it a popular choice for industrial and electrical applications, while its non-toxicity and biocompatibility make it suitable for medical and healthcare applications. Additionally, its water resistance and emollient properties make it useful in personal care products. With its many advantages, it's no wonder why silicone has become such a popular material across a wide range of industries. If you would like to learn more about Canyon silicone materials, check out our silicone page.


Where can I get Silicone parts?


With the request a quote page, you can get directly in contact with our team of specialists who will help get you the parts you need.





Sources:


[1] Admin. (2023, October 29). Silicone elastomers: Types, Properties and Uses Demystified. Jiaze Silicone Tech - China LSR Injection Molding & Liquid Silicone Rubber Manufacturer. https://www.yhlsr-silicone.com/blog/silicone-elastomers-types-properties-and-uses-demystified/


[2] What is a Silicone Elastomer? | Elkem.com. (n.d.). Elkem.com. https://www.elkem.com/products/silicones/elastomers/


[3] Silicone rubber: Types, structure & Properties. (n.d.). https://omnexus.specialchem.com/selection-guide/silicone-rubber-elastomer

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