Silicones are used in a variety of sectors, including shipping, building, and health-care. They are used in the manufacture of vehicle parts and coatings for airbags, and in marine vessel adhesives and sealants. Silicones are used in construction and construction due to their durability and resistance to weather conditions, moisture, and sunlight. Silicones are also used in the prevention of water leakage in floor joints, toilets, tubs, and showers. Silicones offer a range of advantages, including improved stability and resistance to moisture, heat, cold and ultraviolet radiation, to the products in which they are used. Silicones can be handled in many ways, including solids, liquids, semi-viscous pastes, greases, oils, and rubber.
Silicone sealants can have a strong odor and some require a substantial period of time to recover fully, but one of their advantages is that they can be used structurally in glass assemblies. Pure sealants made of silicone are not paintable. A wide temperature ranges, they remain versatile, are fully waterproof, bind well to most surfaces, and will not support mildew growth with unique bacteria resistance characteristics, such as Dowsil 785+.
In general use in the industry, silicone forms include:
- Acetoxy cure
- Low modulus
- Neutral cure
- High Modulus
The concept of high and low modulus can be easily explained: once cured, a low module will require a lower force to stretch it and will have more elasticity and motion, once cured, a high module is more rigid. In determining which modulus is best for a given application, then ideal movement characteristics are the key thing to take into consideration.
If you seal around a bath, for example, you’d need a high silicone module. The explanation for this is because of the weight, it will lower slightly when you fill the bath with water, it will tug on the sealant. If you use a low silicone modulus, as the bath moves and the bath leaks, the silicone will break. When the bath travels, a high modulus sealant can stretch and flex-back as the weight in the bath is raised. If there is a significant amount of motion in your application, then a low modulus sealant might be better.
The cost-effective “all-rounders” are Low Modulus Acetoxy (LMA) sealants, which are ideal for a wide range of general building, interior, and exterior glazing applications and conform to many traditional building materials.
For the sealing of UPVC windows or door frames (exterior), Low Modulus Neutral (LMN) sealants are the best choice. They provide better adhesion, accommodate more movement, and are more resilient than LMA’s generally.
Silicone for general purposes and builders: This is the essential silicone sealant for general purposes. It adheres well to most construction materials and provides strong elasticity and toughness, but does not normally contain any fungicides.
For kitchen and sanitary uses, High Modulus Acetoxy (HMA) sealants are most widely used (ensuring that the sealant contains a fungicide).
Sanitary Silicone: A silicone-containing fungicide that decreases the creation of a silicone mold that is often exposed to moisture. It is necessary to get the surface of the silicone joint as smooth as possible in order to minimize the risk of mold formation. This makes it easier to clean up, too. Improving ventilation in rooms with constant high levels of humidity can also help minimize the development of mold.
Hopefully, some of the jargon associated with sealants has been demystified in this article and made it clearer which sealant you need. The application, which you actually need the sealant to do, is one of the most critical variables in selecting a silicone sealant. You will narrow down your quest once you remember this.