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Silicone Sealant Handbook

Silicone Sealant Handbook

Those of you who work in an industrial setting or who do a lot of do-it-yourself repairs at home, are familiar with using silicone adhesive sealant. It’s a strong sealant that is very versatile in how and to what it can be applied. However, if you haven’t had the need to use silicone sealants before and want to learn more about how useful it is, you’ll find this guide full of great information.

What Is Silicone Sealant?

Silicone sealant is a liquid form of adhesive. Typically, it looks, feels, and acts like a gel. It has a different chemical make-up from other organic polymer-based adhesives. Unlike other adhesives, silicone keeps its elasticity and stability in both high and low temperatures. Furthermore, silicone sealant is resistant to other chemicals, moisture, and weathering. This makes it less likely to fail when building and repairing objects.

Unlike some adhesives, silicone sealants must cure. Curing silicone basically means letting it dry. Curing silicone isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require patience. The temperature needs to be between 40°F and 100°F, and there needs to be between 5% and 95% humidity for silicone to cure. It can take as little as 24 hours to cure, or it can take up to several days if the sealant is especially thick.  

Man applying silicone glue to kitchen cabinet

Who Uses Silicone Sealant?

More than likely you’ve used silicone sealant, seen someone use silicone sealant, or at least walked by it if you have ventured into a hardware store. Since silicone creates strong adhesive bonds and is resistant to chemicals, moisture, and weathering, there are many uses for it.

One of the most common uses for silicone adhesives is for basic repairs around the house. For example, silicone sealants can be used for caulking cracks. Sometimes individuals may use it to try and level surfaces in their home. Water-resistant silicone sealants are ideal for repairing areas around sinks and other areas where water is frequently found.

Even though silicone isn’t a good substance to use for weight-bearing seals, there is still a need for its powerful adhesive properties in many construction jobs. Silicone sealants are commonly used to bind surfaces such as plastic, metal, and glass together. For example, aquariums are often sealed with silicone. Windows are often sealed to frames with silicone adhesive since it is weather resistant.

Since silicone can keep its adhesive properties when temperatures are high, it is commonly used in automobiles, electronic devices, and appliances. Often silicone adhesives will be used as a bonding agent for parts in car engines, such as a car gasket. In appliances and electronic devices, silicone is used to seal cables and sensors into place.

Types of Silicone Sealants

If you’ve never used a silicone sealant, you might feel overwhelmed with choices. While all silicone sealants have the same basic adhesive properties, some sealants are designed for specific applications. Therefore, knowing what you will be using silicone sealant for will make it easier to determine if you need a specialized sealant.

High Temperature Sealant

Individuals who are working with objects that get extremely hot should consider purchasing a high temperature silicone sealant. An excellent high-temperature silicone sealant can withstand temperatures as high as 600°F. It is also resistant to aging, vibration, and shock.

Therefore, this type of sealant is perfect for binding objects, such as valve covers, thermostat housings, and fuel pumps in automobiles. It can also be used for some industrial purposes, such as sealing various gaskets, cable insulation, and ductwork.

Electric Grade Self-Leveling

Electrical Grade Self-Leveling silicone is another great silicone sealant. It does not contain acetic acid or any other corrosive chemicals. Furthermore, it is highly resistant to weathering, moisture, the sun, and extreme temperatures. Therefore, it is an excellent adhesive to use on materials that are constantly exposed to the elements. For example, this sealant can be used to bind metal, glass, wood, ceramic, or plastic together.

Silicone sealant gun being used on windows

Multi-Purpose

If you’re looking for an adhesive that can do it all, then you should choose a multi purpose commercial silicone sealant. A multi-purpose sealant should still be resistant to weathering, extreme temperatures, moisture, and vibrations. Furthermore, it can be used on several surfaces, including aluminum, ceramic, glass, metal, wood, plastic, granite, and more. Multi-purpose sealants are also good to have around when home repairs are needed.

Build with Confidence

Silicone sealants are strong and have many purposes. They are also easy to apply. Silicone’s unique properties make it resistant to heat, moisture, and weathering so it can be applied to a variety of materials across a broad range of industries. Silicone sealants allow you to complete projects in the workplace and at home with total confidence.