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What is the difference between RTV silicone and 100% silicone?

25 May 2020

 room temperature vulcanization

The word “silicone" is actually a misnomer, since this group of materials are based on polymers, or chain-like molecules, with a “spine" made up of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms, giving the group of materials the scientific name of siloxane. Each oxygen atom in the chain uses its 2 bonds to connect with the silicon atom on each side. The silicon atoms, which have 4 bonds, use 2 of its bonds to connect with the 2 adjacent oxygen atoms, leaving 2 bonds free to connect other “functional groups" to the extra bonds on the silicon atom. This allows a large diversity in the characteristics and properties of the materials. Any material, whether it is silicone oil, grease, adhesive, rubber, resin, foams, etc., that is made of siloxane chains with functional and non-functional groups, and nothing else, is 100% silicone. RTV stands for room temperature vulcanization and “RTV" silicones are 1 or 2 part silicones that cure or “vulcanize” at room temperature. There are literally thousands of materials made out of RTV silicone, and many thousands of silicone materials available.

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