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What are the Different Types of Silicone Adhesive?

By Donn Saylor
Updated May 17, 2024
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Silicone adhesive is an adaptable form of heavy-duty glue that comes in several different varieties, including traditional silicone bond, high temperature silicone glue, Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) adhesive, and silicone rubber sealant. Even after it has cured, silicone adhesive is malleable without losing its strength or holding power. This flexibility has made it a popular choice in many diverse industries, including construction, manufacturing, automotive, and the visual arts.

Standard silicone adhesive is available in one of two varieties. One entails a two-part process which requires the user to mix both parts of the glue—the adhesive and the curing agent—together. This type of glue generally dries quickly and is quite thick, making it a challenge to work with. There is also a variety of silicone adhesive available in one container, with both the glue and the curing agent already combined. The curing material begins to dry when it comes into contact with the moisture in the air, so this variety of adhesive typically takes slightly longer to dry but is easier to apply.

A high temperature silicone adhesive is a popular choice for those seeking a sturdy epoxy to use in an exceptionally hot environment. This form of silicone glue is widely used in bonding automobile gaskets, weatherproofing high voltage electrical equipment, and sealing heating and ventilation systems, including chimneys and ducts. High temperature silicone adhesive is manufactured with insulating properties and is able to withstand temperature spikes and extreme weather conditions.

RTV silicone adhesive starts drying as soon as it makes contact with the air. It sets quickly at room temperature and can be used for a variety of purposes. It is a popular choice for use as a household glue and caulk, sealing up holes or cracks in glass, metal, fabric, weather stripping, and vinyl.

Boat builders find silicone rubber sealant to be an effective way to waterproof a boat. The silicone rubber adhesive withstands temperature changes and offers a watertight seal. It is commonly manufactured for both indoor and outdoor use, providing resistance to the elements and durability in the face of cracking and deterioration.

All silicone adhesives should be stored at proper room temperature according to the manufacturer's specifications. The glue is most effective if used by the expiration date printed on the label, though, stored properly, it could last well beyond its shelf life. If unsure of the effectiveness of an outdated product, be sure to test a small sample to confirm its flexibility and holding power. If it takes an inordinate amount of time to cure, the product should not be used.

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