Silicone is a very versatile material with many uses due to its flexibility, noise reduction and electrical insulation properties. It is used in industries including engineering and food production. However, despite its versatility, silicone does have its downsides, and, in this article, we’ll look at how you can prevent or work around them.
Check the Technical Data Sheet
The data sheet is your friend, so use it. If your silicone is still tacky after curing, it may be that it hasn’t had enough time to cure. Consult your technical data sheet as it will have the curing times on it. The sheet will also have useful information on what can inhibit the silicone from curing properly.
Check the chemical compatibility
One of silicones biggest disadvantages is that it can react poorly to certain environments and is not suitable for certain applications. For example, when curing silicone, it should not come into contact with latex or sulphur. It should also not be placed in gasoline and or alcohol.
Don’t use too much catalyst
If the silicone has cured and it’s brittle, then you have probably used too much catalyst during the curing process. You should also make sure that before measuring and mixing, the catalyst has been shook for 60-90 seconds.
If the silicone has not been mixed correctly, you’ll find several soft/partially cured spots on its surface. Allow it to cure for an extra few days and the spots should disappear. In future, check the instructions for the correct mix amounts and follow them.
Check the room temperature
If the room is too cold or too dry, the curing process will take longer. Again, don’t be afraid to get out the instructions and technical data sheet for more information.