Before we answer that question, we ought to clarify exactly what a silicone rubber extrusion is. This is a process whereby the silicone rubber is pushed through a die or mould. That mould determines the final shape of the silicone rubber once it cools and cures.
Since silicone rubber is a versatile type of rubber, capable of being formed in many shapes and sizes, it’s all down to the die to determine how complex the finished product might be. There are all kinds of standard extrusions available, many of them named according to their profile. For example, a P section looks like a P when you view it from the end. There are also T sections, D sections, and triangle seals. Those are self explanatory.
Created to many different tolerances
While there are standard extrusions available, it is possible to create specific silicone rubber extrusions designed to work with a specific project. In all cases, though, CAD and CAM technology comes into play. The process allows for the finest of tolerances to be used for each project and extrusion. After all, it won’t be good enough for just a handful of items from each production run to be suitable. They must all be exact in size and shape, and many have only the finest tolerances involved.
Grading is another important area of interest
There could be many different scenarios and reasons for using silicone rubber extrusions. Some grades of silicone are intended for general purpose and can therefore be used in a range of scenarios. Others are suited to performing well in high temperatures. Some are intended for food use.
In other cases, it is important that the silicone rubber springs back to its original form in certain situations. A low compression set makes this possible. Think of a seal on a door or window, for example. It is important that this cushions against draughts but spring back when the door or window is open.
It’s possible to join two separate items to create a more complex shape
In some cases, it may not be possible to create the desired extrusion unless two items are joined together. In this case, the silicone rubber used to join the two forms must be identical to the type used for those pieces. This would ensure the best quality throughout the piece, with no weaknesses along the joins.
While many extruded items do come in one piece, there are various techniques that allow for more complex shapes to be made. Joining methods ensure that no matter how complex your project is and whatever you need by way of extrusions, you can achieve the outcome you desire. The versatile nature of silicone rubber also means that it is best used for various applications. Door seals need to withstand whatever the weather can offer. Autoclave seals must withstand steam and high temperatures. And those are just two examples.
It is reassuring to know that silicone rubber extrusions are ideal for many different scenarios and projects.