EPDM vs Silicone? Material Differences

EPDM vs Silicone

EPDM vs Silicone

What is EPDM?

EPDM material is a synthetic rubber, mainly synthesized from three monomers: ethylene, propylene, and diene. This material exhibits excellent chemical stability, resistance to oxidation, UV, and ozone. It is primarily used in sealing systems for automotive, construction, and machinery industries.

What is Silicone Rubber?

Silicon, hydrogen, oxygen, and other elements constitute the main composition of silicone material, which is recommended by the industry for its excellent material properties. Silicone material can still be used normally at a temperature of 230°C, and the material is also food-grade. Therefore, many kitchen supplies, such as silicone baking pans, spoons, kneading mats, cake molds, chocolate molds, etc., choose silicone material. The excellent material properties are widely applied in industries such as kitchens, medical, and children’s products.

 

PERFORMANCE COMPARISON

Temperature Range

EPDM: Typically operates within a range of -50°C to +150°C.

Silicone: The general temperature range is -50℃~ +230℃, and the temperature resistance of the specially improved material can reach 300°C.

PERFORMANCE COMPARISON

Elongation

EPDM:100% to 300% elongation.

Silicone: Compared with EPDM material, silicone material has a higher elongation, ranging from 200% to 700% or higher, and the lower the hardness of silicone material, the higher the elongation rate.

 

Oil Resistance

EPDM: Can resist gasoline, diesel, lubricating oil, vegetable oil, animal oil, fish oil, olive oil, and coconut oil, EPDM oil resistance is better than silicone.

Silicone: Compared with EPDM, it does not have so many advantages in oil resistance, but it has good performance in mineral oil, lubricating grease, synthetic lubricating oil, weak base, and weak acid.

 

Environmental

EPDM vs Silicone: A comparative analysis of environmental resistance under different conditions such as ozone, UV, and oxygen reveals that the performance of these two materials is quite similar, with no significant differences observed in their ability to withstand these three environmental factors.

 

Tear Strength

When it comes to tear resistance, EPDM generally exhibits higher strength compared to silicone. A common example is seen in mainstream windshield wipers, where EPDM is the material of choice. Windshield wipers made from EPDM can last up to 3-6 months, showcasing the superior tear resistance of EPDM.

 

Hardness

EPDM: The commonly used hardness is between 40-70, with occasional products using 80-90. EPDM can have hardness options ranging from 40-90.

Silicone: Silicone has a relatively wide range of hardness options compared to EPDM, commonly ranging from 10 to 70. In special situations, it may go up to 80. Silicone offers hardness options in the range of 10-80.

 

Color

EPDM: When it comes to color options, EPDM has limited choices. The main reason lies in the unique characteristics of the material itself; it doesn’t take color very well. Currently, the commonly used color for EPDM is black.

Silicone: It is very easy to customize colors for silicone, offering flexibility for almost any color ratio. In terms of color freedom, it has a significant advantage over EPDM, showcasing detailed superiority.

 

Food-grade

EPDM: It is not an option for the food industry, primarily used in industrial parts, automotive, construction, and mechanical sealing systems.

Silicone: Food-grade silicone material is highly recognized in the food-grade machinery, water systems, kitchens, baby toys, and medical accessories industries. When compared to EPDM in terms of food safety, silicone has a clear advantage.

 

How Heat Affects Silicone Vs EPDM

In the size stability test at the same high temperature of 150°C, we compared silicone and EPDM. Our engineers cut a sheet 10mm thick X 100mm long X 100mm wide, based on both silicone and EPDM materials. We compared them at three temperature intervals: 100°C, 130°C, and 150°C

How Heat Affects Silicone Vs EPDM

100°C:

In our engineer’s test, the elasticity of your EPDM sheet did not change, but the overall size was reduced to 85mm. The silicone sheet maintained its elasticity and did not undergo any changes in size.

 

130°C:

Our engineers continued to raise the temperature to 130°C. The EPDM board continued to shrink, contracting from the original 85mm to 50mm, with an overall shrinkage ratio of 50%. During the silicone board test, we found that the silicone remained unchanged, demonstrating excellent temperature resistance.

 

150°C:

When we raised the temperature to the EPDM’s limit of 150 degrees, its shrinkage seemed to remain relatively unchanged compared to the 130°C condition. Additionally, we continued to observe the behavior of silicone at 150°C. The silicone board still maintained its original size, showcasing the silicone material’s outstanding temperature resistance and dimensional stability, surpassing the temperature resistance and dimensional stability of EPDM.

 

We employed a relatively straightforward high-temperature testing method to fully illustrate the changes in silicone and EPDM under elevated temperatures.

 

Comparing EPDM VS Silicone: Pros and Cons

 

Both materials fall under the category of soft materials, each playing a unique role with distinct advantages and disadvantages in different industries.

Comparing EPDM VS Silicone Pros and Cons

Silicone boasts exceptional high-temperature properties and can obtain FDA certification. It finds applications in tableware, children’s products, medical devices, kitchen tools, and even in laboratory accessories. The material exhibits stable chemical compatibility. However, the cost of silicone is relatively higher than EPDM, a factor that is acceptable in markets valuing its unique properties and applications.

EPDM’s material characteristics align perfectly with the demands of industrial products. With a maximum temperature resistance of 150°C, it suits various rubber components in machinery, automotive, and equipment. The material is cost-effective, and shows good resistance to oil, but may emit smoke or burn at temperatures exceeding 150°C. Unlike silicone, EPDM cannot achieve food-grade certification, making it unsuitable for the food industry.

Both materials have evident advantages and disadvantages. Silicone is widely utilized in daily necessities, while EPDM is primarily reserved for industrial equipment components.

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