How to choose the right silicone sealant for your application?

Silicone sealant serves a very important role in home design and building construction. Preventing moisture and air penetration, it is necessary the right sealant is chosen for the application. However, there are many sealants available on the market offering different physical and chemical properties, keeping track of them can be a difficult process.

Silicone sealant is a liquid form of adhesive and it has a different chemical makeup from other organic polymer based adhesives. Unlike other sealants, silicone sealant keeps its stability and elasticity in both low and high temperatures.

How to select the right silicone sealant?

In fact, there is no only one type of silicone sealant that should be used for all purposes. There are many different types of silicone sealant that all have durability, flexibility, and resistance. How do you know you are using the right silicone sealant for the right job? Some of the common uses of silicone sealant are given below:

  1. Fixing mirrors and tiles.
  2. Sealing downpipes and gutters.
  3. Sealing gaps around windows, worktops, showers, and baths.
  4. Used for making reusable flexible moulds.
  5. Repairing rubber trims on cars.
  6. For gluing fish tanks.

Apart from these above-mentioned applications, silicone sealant also used in a wide variety of building applications because of its strong performance characteristics. Some of the uses include:

  1. Temperature resistance
  2. Ultraviolet resistance.
  3. It has the highest movement capability.
  4. Longer lifetime.
  5. Continued flexibility over time.

Characteristics of silicone sealant

  • It has a strong odor and it takes some considerable time to fully cure, but one of the benefits is they can be used structurally in glass assemblies. Pure silicone sealants are not paintable and it can stay flexible at a wide temperature range. Silicone sealant is waterproof and bond well to most of the surfaces having bacteria resistance characteristics.
  • Silicon sealant in the common use in industries includes high modulus, low modulus, acetoxy cure, and neutral cure. Low modulus has better elasticity and movement whereas high modulus is much more rigid.

Types of silicone sealant

Silicone sealant is the best option for sealing glass wall assemblies, curtain walling, perimeter sealing, perimeter sealing of polyester powder coated frames, glazing of windows, swimming pool buildings, etc. silicone sealants offer better adhesion and it can accommodate more movement. The silicone sealant lasts for a long time.

Types of silicone sealant are given below:

  1. Acetoxy silicone sealant: it releases acetic acid as they fully cure and it is the most commonly used silicone sealant in almost any of the applications. It is rigid and full cure is quick. It has poor adhesion and leaves much to be desired in how well it sticks to PVC-U, most other glass, aluminum, plastics, and polycarbonate.
  2. Neutral silicone sealant: it releases alcohol as they fully cure, has no smell and better adhesive properties for a greater number of materials including PVC-U, most other glass, lead, stone, masonry, polycarbonate, and plastics. It is more expensive and it is a slower process to cure depends on the temperature, thickness and humidity conditions.

Bottom line

As you can see from the above information knowing the application you want to use the silicone sealant for is one of the best ways to figure out which sealant is right for you.