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Old 05-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
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Silicone is Silicone?


This may be a stupid question but here goes.

They sell "Silicone Caulk" and "Silicone Sealant". What is the difference? Is it the same thing?

They also sell "Kitchen and Bath Silicone Sealant" and "Doors and Windows Silicone Sealant". Again what is the difference?

Are all these products truly different or the same thing?

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Silicone is Silicone?


Silicone is a chemical family, not a specific chemical. The following is a pretty good definition:

"Any of a group of semi-inorganic polymers based on the structural unit R2SiO, where R is an organic group, characterized by wide-range thermal stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence, and physiological inertness and used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings, paints, electrical insulation, synthetic rubber, and prosthetic replacements for body parts."

As you can tell, there are potentially thousands of different formulations that could be called silicone, so the probability that any two products on the shelf that call themselves "silicone" are the same is close to zero. Manufacturers spend a lot of time creating custom silicone formulations with specific properties they are looking for, whether it be color, toughness, drying time, plasticity etc. They typically do not publish the exact chemical makeup of their product (trade secret) on the tube, so you are unfortunately left to decipher which product you want based on manufacturer claims, which are difficult to verify.

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Old 05-08-2013, 05:45 PM   #3
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Silicone is Silicone?


Thank you "Daniel Holzman"!

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Old 05-08-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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Silicone is Silicone?


I happen to think most silicone products for home use, at least in the context of sealants and caulks, are evil. I have spent too much time carving them out of the way when other products would have accomplished the same thing.

A caulk with a minor amount of silicone you can still paint over might be acceptable but pure silicone sealants, used so flamboyantly are not paintable and once their seal on the substrates you thought they were attached to fails? You have to carve them out and deal with the damage that found its way past them. And you never get it all with common solvent or even heat.

Silicon in pure form is a major part of this machine. Sand at most beaches has a high amount of it in it. Some women, not comfortable with who they are wear silicone upstairs, if you know what I mean. Lots of those implants are now being carved out too. Silicon=natural and good. Silicone=evil.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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Silicone is Silicone?


Kitchen and Bath Silicone will have a fungicide mixed in to discourage the growth of mold.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:46 PM   #6
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Silicone is Silicone?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Kitchen and Bath Silicone will have a fungicide mixed in to discourage the growth of mold.
And it works to a point, until the bond to the surfaces breaks and moisture gets around it. Then, all the midicide properties in the World will not help. In fact they grow faster behind the partial silicone seal. How could such a strong seal ever fail? Try leaning on a front kitchen counter edge for 15 seconds.

Carve the stuff out and look behind it.

Silicone is a sealant but sold as a caulk. Never use it for the latter purpose. Anywhere in your home.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:37 AM   #7
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Silicone is Silicone?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Manufacturers spend a lot of time creating custom silicone formulations with specific properties they are looking for, whether it be color, toughness, drying time, plasticity etc. They typically do not publish the exact chemical makeup of their product (trade secret) on the tube, so you are unfortunately left to decipher which product you want based on manufacturer claims, which are difficult to verify.
Every product will have an MSDS, which are freely available online. They would allow someone to compare products, up to point. Probably not the exact formula, but it will tell you what's in each one.

I used to be a maintenance supervisor at a commercial nuclear power plant. We had to have an MSDS on file for every single chemical used on site. Certain colors of magic markers were allowed and others were not because they contained something different. And believe it or not, there is an MSDS for every color of magic marker, ball-point pen, and just about anything else you can think of.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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Silicone is Silicone?


That's true, but manufacturers can find dozens of ways to conceal their exact formulations within the text of an MSDS. Easy.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #9
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Silicone is Silicone?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
And it works to a point, until the bond to the surfaces breaks and moisture gets around it. Then, all the midicide properties in the World will not help. In fact they grow faster behind the partial silicone seal. How could such a strong seal ever fail? Try leaning on a front kitchen counter edge for 15 seconds.

Carve the stuff out and look behind it.

Silicone is a sealant but sold as a caulk. Never use it for the latter purpose. Anywhere in your home.
Yep! correct 100% there are better things out there then Silicone. But we will leave that one for another post and debate at a later time.

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