The great British weather… we all love it and hate it in equal measure. It can spring surprises on us, and occasionally extreme temperatures as well. While silicone rubber wasn’t specifically designed to perform well in Britain in all the wonderful weather conditions we can experience, it does so anyway.
When we talk about the elements, as we did in the title, we are referring to a range of conditions that could impact which type of rubber we use in certain circumstances. Silicone rubber performs far better than standard rubber in many scenarios where the weather and the elements have an impact.
Silicone rubber is a great choice in situations where you know it is going to be exposed to temperatures that fall way below freezing. You may think it won’t therefore perform as well in much higher temperatures, yet that isn’t the case. It does just as well in those situations as well, and indeed in some cases it may become exposed to both extremes.
Since those extremes are not experienced in daily life, we must look to the skies to see how this works. If you walk onto the average plane, you will find many examples of parts made from silicone rubber. Door and window seals are made from silicone rubber as they’ll need to withstand huge differences of temperature while on the ground and while thousands of feet in the air.
Ozone and UV light
No doubt you’ve read about these. UV light can harm living tissue, hence why we should wear sun cream to protect ourselves from the sun. The ozone layer helps prevent lots of UV light reaching us from the sun.
Just as both these elements can cause harm to humans, so too can they damage rubber and other items. The sun can eventually damage many things. You’ve seen how it bleaches out colour and how it may eventually make things brittle. Rubber feet on garden furniture often lose their rubbery feel, eventually splitting or breaking.
This doesn’t happen as often or as readily with silicone rubber. It performs well when exposed to ozone and ultraviolet light, so it is ideal to use in situations where it may be outside for prolonged periods.
Is it worth switching to silicone rubber?
It does last longer than standard rubber, and in some cases, it may be the only practical choice. Take the airplane example – if more people realised the importance of those seals and choosing the right type of rubber, we doubt anyone would accept downgrading them to standard rubber.
Yet even with something far less important, such as the feet on garden furniture, we can still see how superior the rubber feet are when they’re made from silicone. They’ll look far better for far longer, preserving the condition and appearance of the furniture and making sure the feet are always performing as they should.
In many cases, silicone rubber is the only choice to make when you’re faced with the elements.