As noted above, one of the most common silicone sealant uses is for creating a waterproof, airtight join between two surfaces or angles. More often than not, this will be in a well-used location that requires the creation of a durable yet somewhat elastic seal in order to keep out unwanted air or moisture.
Silicone sealants are often chosen over other kinds of sealants, adhesives and caulks because of their improved flexibility and durability. Once cured, they create a tough yet slightly elastic bond that holds its shape extremely well over time and remains relatively inert at both higher and lower extremes of temperature.
These qualities tend to make silicone the ideal material choice for creating hardwearing, long-lasting seals and joins in frequently used or particularly harshly exposed areas and environments. The rubbery nature of dried silicone seals makes them especially good at providing cushioning between surfaces liable to move, either because of mechanical forces or through expansion or contraction caused by moisture and temperature variations.
In general, uses of silicone sealants tend to fall into one of four main categories. These are home repairs and maintenance, construction sealing and adhesion, glass and plastic bonding in craft or pet projects (including terrarium and aquarium seals), and manufacturing or production uses across a wide range of products, including electronics, appliances and automobiles.
Typical examples of locations where sealing with silicone glues is especially commonplace might include:
- Window seals
- Door seals
- Shower or bath sealing and edging
- Cooker seals
- Fridge seals
- Plumbing joints
- Electrical repair
- Wire entry seals
- Junction protection
Besides its physical material properties, there are many other good reasons why professionals and DIY hobbyists alike often choose silicone sealants over the many other types of adhesives and mastics on offer (such as polyurethane sealants and acrylic adhesives).
For one thing, the reliability and stability of a silicone seal once cured is particularly impressive. They’re also very easy to use, enabling the user to create a waterproof join with minimal effort thanks to their quick and simple application. The curing process is fuss-free, requiring little further input from the user except to wait for the liquid gel to set itself in place.
Silicone sealants are often weather-proof, and different sorts of products can withstand a wide range of demanding conditions, both indoors and outdoors. They’re chemically unreactive, do not promote mould growth, and they bond effortlessly to many other different surfaces and other materials thanks to the inclusion of specially formulated adhesive compounds.
All of this means that you can typically expect to achieve a robust, reliable and long-lasting silicone seal that should require very little maintenance in order to stay in great condition for a prolonged period of time.