Differences between Platinum-Cured and Peroxide-Cured Silicone
Himsan Polymer provides silicone gaskets in various styles to meet many requirements. These are for use in specialty applications such as in Pharmaceutical or other sanitary applications. The curing processes differ in that they produce gaskets with different physical characteristics.
Unlike the traditional Peroxide-Cured Silicone, Platinum-Cured Silicone does not produce peroxides or ketones as part of the catalyzing process which can affect taste tests. As a result, Platinum-Cured Silicone is becoming a more popular choice in medical, food, drink, and dairy applications.
Platinum-Cured Silicone also offers improved clarity, particularly important in translucent products, where it is possible to tint with a specified color to achieve a unique look. A smoother surface finish can also be achieved, which again is important in certain industries. Platinum-Cured Silicone is superior in physical properties over Peroxide-Cured Silicone. In some cases, increases in tensile strength, elongation, and tear strength can be experienced.
Silicone Tubing is one of the most widely used materials in the high purity process industry. As the industry shifts away from exclusively stainless fluid paths and introduces more and more single use options, silicone tubing shines for a couple of major reasons. First, and foremost, is safety. Silicone tubing does not contain plasticizers or other additives that can leach into product and cause toxicological issues. Second, silicone tubing is highly flexible, resistant to kinking and tearing, and a good choice for use with peristaltic pumps.
Other key tubing performance characteristics, such as tensile strength, elongation, and tear strength are slightly better with platinum cured products, but not overwhelmingly so. Peristaltic pump life is typically longer for peroxide cured tubing product than with platinum cured products of similar formulation, however special long pump life platinum cured silicone products are available.
The chief advantage to platinum cured silicone products are the extremely low levels of extractables and leachables. While post-cure methods are effective in reducing levels of siloxanes present in peroxide-cured methods, some organic acids remain. Because of ability to control platinum cured products, by-products are not an issue. This gives platinum cured products the reputation for being the highest purity products. All good silicone tubing products should have full characterization and validation profiles, including total organic carbon profiles and relative levels of extractables and leachables, to help aide in selection of tubing.
To conclude, there are two major types of silicone tubing available for use in the high purity process world. Both free radical (peroxide) and addition (platinum) cured mechanisms offer safe, durable, and effective means for fluid transport and handling. The two cure systems do, however, produce materials with different characteristics whose impact should be considered before tubing selection. Peroxide cured silicones, while less translucent, tend to have lower spallation tendencies and better pump life. Platinum cured products offer ultra-high purity characteristics with extremely low extractables and leachables.
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