17 Silicone Elastomer Applications for Electronic Devices in Modern Industry

Silicone elastomer is a variation of synthesized rubber that is made up of silicon, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

This material has a unique chemical structure which allows it to not only be elastic but incredibly durable as well. It has a very high tolerance for extreme temperatures and environmental conditions which makes it a versatile material that you can apply to a wide range of applications

Practical Silicone Elastomer uses in Electronic Devices

Silicone elastomer has very good electrical properties that enables you to utilize it for electrical applications. It has elevated electrical insulation and can be modified by adding conductors to make it electrically conductive. Some of the electrical applications in which you can use silicone elastomer include;

1. Electrical Insulation

Silicone Elastomer has very many superior properties that make it a great electrical insulator. The material displays elevated dielectric strength that allows you to incorporate it into electrical systems as well as components as an insulator.

It also exhibits an elevated resistance to harsh environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation, ozone, moisture, and extreme temperature making it ideal for outdoor applications.

Silicone Insulator
Silicone Insulator

2. LED Lamps and Luminaries

Advances in the technology used to develop LED lamps and luminaries have created room for the utilization of silicone elastomer. These electronic light fixtures tend to produce a lot of heat during their use.

Generally, silicone has a high melting point. The material’s ability to withstand up to 230 degrees Celsius makes it very compatible with this type of appliance as it can tolerate elevated thermal loads.

Flexible LED made From Silicone
Flexible LED made From Silicone

3. Cable Terminations and Insulators

High voltage underground connectors as well as cable end terminations typically malfunction as a result of trapped air and reacting with the insulating material.

Silicone elastomer is chemically inert and resistant to chemicals which erases the possibility of chemical bonding. This versatile material also excludes trapped air making it ideal for this application.

Silicone Cable Insulator
Silicone Cable Insulator

4. Seals

This elastic material can be designed into a sponge that is used to seal off electrical systems. These systems are sealed to protect them from adverse and potentially damaging factors such as dust, air, and moisture and minimize the risk of accidental damage.  These seals are compatible with a wide range of electrical systems and are therefore widely utilized.

5. Gaskets

LCDs are one of the common components incorporated into many electrical systems and devices. This material can also be designed into thin LCD gaskets that are designed to protect the LCD. The elevated and versatile properties of the silicone allows you to use it in designing gaskets that are in a broad range of electrical systems.

Grommets for Electrical Systems
Grommets for Electrical Systems

6. Thermal Management

Silicone high temperature ranges from two hundred degrees Celsius to two hundred and thirty degrees Celsius.

At that temperature, it only begins to harden and lose some of its physical properties which makes it highly tolerant to high temperature. Its enhanced resistance to elevated temperatures makes it ideal for you to utilize it as a thermal insulator for electrical systems as it limits the transfer of heat from one component to the next.

7. Vibration Management

Silicone elastomers can be used to design a foam that is incorporated into electronic devices to manage vibrations. It functions by deflecting the vibrations produced by the electronic equipment hence isolating the vibration from specific components. It is multifunctional as it not only dampens the vibrations produced but also absorbs impact.

8. Display Protection

When designed as a foam you can use this material to protect the displays of electronic devices as well as their back pads. The foam helps minimize detrimental factors such as impact, shock, and vibrations. It is also effective in protecting sensitive displays from temperature fluctuations that can be seriously damaging to the display.

9. EMI Shielding

Silicone elastomers can be modified and formulated to have advantageous electrical properties such as electrical conductivity. This is typically achieved by infusing the material with other conductive materials such as carbon black making it functionally conductive.

Its other superior features allow the modified elastomer to be used in EMI shielding that is utilized in various electronic devices.

Silicone Sponge for EMI Shielding
Silicone Sponge for EMI Shielding

10. Lighting Applications

This material is very commonly used for various lighting applications thanks to its elevated stability when faced with fluctuations in temperature as well as its superior aging ability. You can utilize it for various fixtures such as flood lights, reflectors, illumination, diffusers, and lens molds.

11. Consumer Electronics

There are a multitude of different categories of consumer electronics that utilize this material for various functions. Components such as seals, gaskets as well as connectors are designed with this elastomer variation thanks to its enhanced resistance to adverse environmental factors, durability, and also flexibility.

12. Medical Devices

This material has enhanced biocompatibility and it does not react to the sterilizing fluids. The material does not provide a conducive environment for bacterial growth which makes it ideal for utilization in surgical equipment. In the medical industry, it is used to make equipment such as tubing, seals, catheters, and gaskets.

13. Automotive Electronics

In the automotive sector, you can use this elastic material for a wide range of applications including designing gaskets, wire and cable, hoses, spark plug boots, seals, dampers, connectors, rain and distance sensors, protection caps, headlamp and sun-roof gaskets, turbo-compressor valves among others.

This is in large part due to excellent chemical resistance, heat resistance, and electrical insulative properties.

14. Aerospace Electronics

Their ability to withstand extreme conditions, flexibility, and durability make this material very compatible with aerospace electronics. In this sector, you can use it in a wide range of applications including greases, coatings, electronic encapsulants, gels, adhesives, sealants, and thermal interface components. This industry also utilizes modified variations that have conductive properties.

Silicone Light Encapsulator
Silicone Light Encapsulator

15. Semiconductor Industry

The material has numerous features that make it applicable to semiconductor-related uses. Their stability and elevated resistance make them compatible with several electrical systems and components including; encapsulation, sealing, and safeguarding sensitive electronic components.

16. Industrial Electronics

There is a broad range of industrial electrical applications of the material. The elastomer can be modified by incorporating different materials to elevate certain properties that are useful to specific applications. Its superior properties make the material highly sought after for electronics designed for industrial applications.

17. Heat Sink Attachment

Silicone in Electrical System
Silicone in Electrical System

Its impressive resistance to extremely elevated temperatures makes this elastomer ideal for designing heat sink attachments. The material not only provides thermal insulation thereby protecting various components in an electrical system it is multifunctional. It is highly durable and therefore can be used in large-scale systems.

Conclusion

Silicone elastomer is an incredibly versatile material with numerous excellent properties that make it ideal for a broad range of applications. Numerous industrial applications utilize the different variations of the material for multiple functions. Some applications may require modified variation and it is therefore important that you consider your intended application when selecting the material.

 

More resources:

Is Silicone a Rubber, Elastomer, or Polymer?  – Source: Legenday

 

Update cookies preferences
Scroll to Top