What are Silicone Sealants?

Silicone sealants are synthetic polymer based on siloxane, commonly used to seal and waterproof joints between different surfaces.

Silicone sealants are generally available in two formats – neutral-cure silicone and acetic-cure silicone. 

Neutral cure systems use alkoxy or oxime curing systems. They have a wide adhesion range, are non-corrosive, and do not release a strong odour while curing.

In contrast, acetic cure systems use an acetoxy curing system, releasing acetic acid during curing which carries a strong odour. Acetic cure silicones are faster curing than neutral cure silicones, have higher adhesion properties on some specific materials, and generally have a longer shelf-life.

Advantages of Silicone Sealants

SIlicone sealants have a wide range of advantages for different users. Below are just a few of the common advantages of silicone sealants:

  • Good adhesion range to low and high-energy surfaces: silicone sealants bond to a very wide range of materials enabling them to be used with most construction materials. 
  • Heat resistance and wide service temperature range: silicone sealants are somewhat unique through their ability withstand high temperatures without deformation, and can be used in a wide service temperature range 
  • Flexibility: silicone sealants perform very well in applications with high thermal expansion and contraction because of their inherent flexibility
  • Excellent chemical resistance: silicone sealants are resistant to a wide range of chemicals
  • Low viscosity – easy to apply and tool up

Silicone Sealant Applications

Silicone sealants have been used for years in both construction and industrial applications. Some of the typical applications for silicone sealants include: 

 

  • Structural glazing: one-part and two-part silicone sealants are used in structural glazing for glass facades and curtain walls used in high-rise buildings 
  • Facades, cladding, and windows: silicone sealants are used to create flexible waterproof joints around windows, doors, facades and cladding
  • Bathrooms and sanitary applications: sanitary grade silicone sealants containing fungicides and other mould-resistant additives are used for sealing in bathrooms, kitchens, washrooms, toilets, and other wet areas.
  • Roofing: silicone sealants are used to seal metal and tile roofing, around metal lap-joints, fasteners, vents, downpipes, guttering, ducting, flashings, skylights, and much more, to prevent water intrusion.
  • Coolstores: anti-fungal and mould-resistant silicone sealants are used to seal joints between insulated panels used to create refrigerated cool stories for food processing areas. 
  • Caravans and motorhomes: silicone sealants are used externally to waterproof fittings and connections to prevent water ingress, as well as internally to seal around bathrooms and showers.