In one of our recent articles we talked about glass glazing and its importance in the manufacture of any structure that requires the union of glass panels with metal profiles of any kind. Within this task of glazing, there is a product known as structural silicone, which is very important in the process of sealing unwanted spaces that compromise the hermeticity of a glass-profile assembly.
This time, we are going to focus on this product. Read on and learn everything you need to know about structural silicone, technical information, main benefits and common uses. Without further ado, let’s start at the base, the definition of silicone:
Within the world of materials there are polymers, which have been a fundamental part of our history and are found in a variety of products. Since ancient times, the use of natural polymers such as silk, wool or rubber have given way to durable products with countless applications in all kinds of tasks. Closer to the 20th and 21st centuries, the appearance of synthetic polymers further expanded the range of varieties available to us. Silicone is part of these synthetic materials and is currently very important, being on a par with demanded polymers such as neoprene or polyvinyl butyral. Now, what makes silicone important?
This inorganic polymer-based material is largely made up of oxygen and silicon. This combination results in a material with interesting properties, such as resistance to high temperatures without deforming to the breaking point. Additionally, it is resistant to the environmental conditions offered by the weather, humidity and the influence of solar radiation. It has mechanical, electrical and chemical properties that make it a good electrical insulator, resistant to elongation and tolerant to certain acids or chemical oxidants.
Due to the great variety of combinations that the generation of synthetic materials allows, silicones exist in several presentations and with properties that vary depending on the molecular structure that forms them. The most common that exist at a commercial level are:
Breaking down the types of silicones that exist is an arduous task since their classification is made based on various factors. Depending on the composition at the molecular level, the form or physical state or the use, the classification varies. We will address the types of silicones according to use, since it is the filter that best suits structural silicone:
These types of silicones are the most common, since they cover a wide variety of construction branches. They are generally sealants for cracks, joints between precast walls, window frames with the opening, among others. They are used indoors and outdoors and are resistant to changes in temperature and weather in general.
Used both in construction and in any light activity such as handicrafts and the manufacture of decorative elements, this type of silicone adapts to any task thanks to its high elasticity. They are useful with various materials, among which glass, wood and polymers used in pipes such as PVC stand out.
This last type of silicones are the most important for us. They are used for sealing work between glasses in any type of structure that requires the assembly of glass panels in frames or profiles. The properties of silicone and, above all, its resistance to all kinds of weather conditions, make it the ideal polymer for sealing and insulating glass. Of these, the one that stands out above the rest is structural silicone.
It is an ideal type of silicone for glazing glass when there is a space between them that requires a uniform and resistant seal. On a commercial level, it is used throughout the world thanks to its general resistance to environmental temperatures and its durability, which, depending on the brand, offers an average life that ranges between 25-30 years. Here we break down the main advantages:
Being an inorganic polymer, the following properties make it special:
– It has a high resistance to UV rays. This consolidates it as the ideal sealant for exteriors in areas where the sun is present for most of the year. This resistance is generally maintained throughout its useful life, which, as mentioned above, oscillates between 25-30 years.
– Continuing with the climate theme, it is resistant to rain, ozone, acid rain and sudden changes in temperature that can occur on a daily basis. This does not affect its adhesive property and also does not affect the structure of the silicone.
– Finally, it is important to highlight that it is easy to apply and does not require maintenance or special cleaning. It is a product designed to last and as long as it is applied evenly, the waterproofing of joints is guaranteed.
The main use of this silicone is in the installation of curtain wall type façades and glass roofs. Its exterior sealing properties and durability are ideal for this type of project that generally requires a high level of insulation and waterproofing. Below you have our products available, so you can learn more about them and take them into account if you want to remodel:
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