Silicone sponge is used by the food processing, medical and pharmaceutical industries for sealing purposes. Combining the lightness of foam with heavier sponge rubber’s enhanced sealing properties, silicone sponge is a highly versatile material.
Silicone itself is extremely temperature resistant, being able to withstand both high temperatures and those that are well below freezing. Silicone sponge has a compact cell structure which provides extensive protection from water and particles. In addition, the silicone sponge has superb vibration isolation qualities as well as being able to reduce the effects of shocks to the item it is protecting.
On the negative side, Silicone has a low tear factor, which means that it can rip easily. This renders it unsuitable for dynamic applications. Silicone sponge is also highly inert and should not be used with chemicals, particularly oil.
Silicon sponge is often used outdoors for sealing off and protecting lighting, communications and electronics equipment from the outside elements. This is due to its ability to stop wind-driven rain and fine particles from getting through and damaging the equipment.
Thanks to the metal detectable silicone used in its manufacture, silicone sponges are often used as seals on the production line where contamination must be avoided. This is because a small amount of particles from degrading silicone seals that enter the production process can contaminate the products being made on the production line. This can result in thousands of pounds being lost due to stopping production and contaminated products being returned.
Particles from the silicone sponge can be detected by sensors on the production line, allowing for a quick stoppage and repairs to be made in a short space of time. This rapidly cuts down the amount of time and money lost while the machinery is out of action.