Engineering / Materials / Silicone


Silicone (MQ, VMQ, PVMQ)


Physically, silicones are based on silicon, an element derived from quartz. To create this class of synthetic elastomers, pendant organic groups such as methyl, phenyl, and vinyl are attached to silicon atoms. The addition of side chains can achieve significant variations in properties.

Silicones have:

  • Excellent heat and ozone resistance

  • High dielectric stability

  • Resistance to many oils, chemicals, and solvents

Of all elastomers, silicones possess the best property of flexibility at low temperatures. However, silicones also have some weaknesses like low tensile strength, and poor tear and wear resistance.

Common Uses:

Silicone is found:

  • In contact with food or beverages as elastomers that pass the 21.CFR 177.2600 specification

  • In medical systems which require compliance to USP CLASS VI

  • Automotive systems like boots and oil filter valves


Standard Compound: -50°C (-58°F) to 225°C (437°F)

Special Compound: -100°C (-150°F) to 300°C (572°F)

Hardness: 25 to 90 Shore A

ASTM D1418 Designation: Q, MQ, VMQ, PVMQ

ASTM D2000 Designation: FC, FE, GE

Standard Colors: Rust

Optional Colors:


Standard silicone compounds are usually peroxide-cured. Platinum-cured compounds offer better flexibility and very low volatile matter, and are usually applied in medical systems or other areas that require low volatile matter. However, they need to be produced in a clean room with the more expensive platinum catalyzer, so they are more expensive than those cured with peroxide.


Silicones perform well in engine and transmission oil (mineral oil), diluted salt solutions, moderate temperature water, dry heat, ozone environments, and are weather resistant.


Silicones do not work well in concentrated acids and alkalis, petroleum oils/fuels, ketones, and in steam environments over 120­­ °C.

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