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What is Silicone Sealant?

By Katharine Swan
Updated May 16, 2024
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Silicone sealant or adhesive is a powerful, flexible product that can be used in many different applications. Although it is not as strong as some other sealants or adhesives, silicone remains very flexible, even once it has fully dried or cured. This type of sealant can also withstand very high temperatures, making it ideal for applications that suffer high heat exposure, such as on engine gaskets. It also comes in a variety of forms.

One way to buy silicone sealant is in a two-component addition; this type of product requires the user to mix two compounds to make the sealant. The mixture must be made immediately before using it, which makes it rather tricky to use. It's also available as a single product, with no mixing required. One type is called Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV), which starts to cure as soon as it is exposed to the air — or, more precisely, the moisture in the air. Because of this, it must be used quickly.

There are a variety of other, more technologically advanced forms of silicone sealant as well. One type, called pressure sensitive sealant, has a permanent tackiness and adheres with deliberate pressure. In other words, although it will always be “sticky,” it won’t stick if something simply brushes or rests up against it. Another type is called UV or radiation cured sealant, and it requires ultraviolet light to cure it. Thermoset silicone sealant requires exposure to heat in order to cure.

There are a variety of applications for silicone sealant. This type of sealant is frequently used in automotive and related applications, such as an aid for sealing an engine, with or without gaskets. Because of its superior flexibility, it is also a good choice for many hobbies or crafts.

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Discussion Comments
By anon994863 — On Mar 14, 2016

How is silicone sealant made?

By anon923960 — On Jan 01, 2014

A couple of answers to all the questions here:

@KipMom: Silicone isn't good for a mug. It's better to find glues suited to ceramic and glass repair and then ideally don't use the mug (I wouldn't trust glues with hot liquids in them anyway). Same would be suggested for coffee filter guy: there are different kinds of plastics and your basket is more likely a plastic not a silicone (ABS - plumbing style plastic - has glues but your filter is likely not ABS...)

Sunroof/windows: Yes, this is what silicone is commonly used for, google for how to repair leaking windows.

Aquarium: Google for fish aquarium forums as there is discussion there on what is compatible.

Silicone adheres only to silicone but use the same type. In your household repair sections there is a type 1 silicone (you'll smell more vinegar, and can peel off the paint if it is not securely installed). There is also a type 2 silicone (still vinegary smelling but less likely to peel off paint, not a problem if you're applying to metal/glass, etc.). Mixed types: these mix latex into the silicone. Often used for bathroom sealing and are paintable, too. If adhering silicone to silicone try to stick with the same type (I, II or mix).

Silicone is not conductive, so using it on wire should be fine.

Silicone ingestion effects would suggest you have a specific silicone in mind so google for a MSDS sheet, maybe go to Dow's site.

By anon337987 — On Jun 09, 2013

Can I use an aquarium sealant for replacing the caulk between the bathtub and tile, bath and floor tile, seal between top of sink and wall. I want something as non-toxic as possible. Thanks!

By anon311417 — On Jan 01, 2013

Can silicone withstand high air pressures such as 60-120 psi?

By anon278978 — On Jul 10, 2012

You can use acetone.

By anon268917 — On May 16, 2012

What is the pH (acidity) for the silicone glass sealant? Is it corrosive to the metal?

By savinbnt — On Feb 18, 2011

What are all the areas where this RTV silicone sealant is used?

By savinbnt — On Feb 18, 2011

I am interested in buying silicoen sealent in bulk and market in my own name? Is it possible to do so? what are all the formalities should I undergo? or tell me steps to do so.

By dindeng — On Oct 28, 2010

can a silicone sealant resist petrol?

By anon91432 — On Jun 21, 2010

Where do we buy the sealex's silicone sealant? Is Sx-2000 using for?

By anon84186 — On May 14, 2010

we have leakages through the rubber beading of aluminum windows where the glass and rubber beading joins. please give a solution.

By anon76582 — On Apr 11, 2010

how can i produce silicone sealant?

By anon74657 — On Apr 03, 2010

which sealant do you recommend to joint silicone rubber to silicone rubber?

By anon73224 — On Mar 26, 2010

How can I remove silicon sealant in between clear glass?

By anon71120 — On Mar 17, 2010

Can I use silicone sealant on a freshwater aquarium?

By anon68605 — On Mar 03, 2010

Can I use silicone sealant to seal up a head on a tecumseh minibike engine? Thanks.

By anon60084 — On Jan 11, 2010

I have a leak in the sunroof and would this do the job to stop the water that leaks in?

By anon57139 — On Dec 20, 2009

can i use silicone sealant to clad bath room walls in glass. what will be the life of it?

By hienandboys — On Sep 29, 2009

Can I use acid cure silicone on a freshwater aquarium?

By anon46345 — On Sep 24, 2009

Can I use silicone sealant to install the waste in an acrylic shower base and if so what procedure should I follow such as bead thickness.

By anon44859 — On Sep 11, 2009

How long before RTV silicone sealant will start to break down when used outdoors?

By anon41961 — On Aug 18, 2009

Can silicone sealant be used on electrical wires (bare or sheathed)?

By anon41003 — On Aug 12, 2009

can i use a silicone sealant to fill a crack in my toilet cistern?

By anon36985 — On Jul 16, 2009

Could you please give the presentation of Silicone sealant products which are used for building construction like glass & aluminum. industries. (What are the materials used? how many types of sealant etc..etc...)

By anon35349 — On Jul 04, 2009

how can i produce silicon sealant?

By anon35340 — On Jul 04, 2009

Can it be used to seal wood shingles?

Is there a liqude form that I can spray on?

By bobstan — On Mar 12, 2009

Please tell me what is the difference between neutral cure and acetic cure silicone?

By anon20676 — On Nov 04, 2008

is it dangerous to ingest? if so what reactions could occur?

P.S don't worry no one here has ingested this product im just doing a project;-P

By anon19296 — On Oct 09, 2008

Can this sealant be used to seal a crack in the basket that holds the coffee grounds of my coffee maker?

By anon11140 — On Apr 09, 2008

Does RTV 382 have any reaction with diesel fuel?

If not what other sealant can be used?

By KipMom — On Nov 25, 2007

Would silicone glue allow me to repair a mug, broken in many pieces, so that it could be used again? My daughter's precious (sentiment) mug broke, and she wants to try and fix it. Would it be safe to use? Any special care once fixed? There will be cracks to fill as well as surfaces to join.

thanks

By anon1231 — On May 21, 2007

How can I safely remove Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) Silicone Sealant deployed by an ignorant customer to the Parallel Port of an Intel Motherboard supposedly to block the port?

What material can I use safely to clean the interior of the port from this sealant?

Thanks

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