What is Silicone?
A silicone rubber or silicone hydrogel is a synthetic polymer composed of a siloxane and polysiloxane. They are usually colorless, clear, plastics or clear rubber-like materials. Silicone is used in thermosetting fluids, sealants, lubricants, cosmetics, food service, construction, automotive sealants and industrial lubricants. It is used in the Silicone Moulding process where large numbers of items can be produced from one mould, as provided by companies like Meadex.
Silicone rubbers are formed into sheets with the addition of an impurity like silicone, glass or tin. When curing is desired, these sheets are woven together with a rotary cutting wheel and are then heated to produce silicone rubber. Silicone rubbers cured on dip foam method are usually shaped, polished and cured using ultrasound curing machines. The thickness, tensile strength and mechanical properties vary with different types of silicone rubber.
Silicone hydrogels are formed from silicone rubbers through the simple chemical process. The resulting product is a high-quality rubber, thermoplastic or plastic elastomeric that exhibits wear resistance, tear strength, electrical and physical resistance to a variety of stresses, including tension, thermal expansion, impact, heat, abrasion, creep, stress-relief and chemical corrosion. Silicone hydrogel sheets have excellent electrical, mechanical and physical characteristics. Some common materials for use as silicone rubber include: polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PA), polyisoprene (PI), polythiophene (PVP), polystyrene (PS), nylon, polycarbonate (PC), phenolic compounds, polyimide binder resins, and other thermosetting fluids.
Silicone has replaced a lot of traditional latex products in the medical and beauty industries as it is just as durable and it doesn’t carry the same allergy risk that is present with latex. Which means that it is a much better option for those with a latex allergy and those with sensitive skin.