Industrial sealants are used to close off any gaps and joints in order to prevent the unwanted seepage of water, air, dirt or any other unwanted substance. However, they shouldn’t be used as an alternative to adhesives. Although some sealants have strong bonding powers, many of them are flexible and cannot permanently lock two pieces together. So obviously, using the wrong type of sealant can affect the structure and performance of the object. With that being said, here are the most common types of industrial sealants and the applications they’re most suitable for.
Silicone is the most popular industrial sealant which can also be used for domestic applications. It’s easy to use, room temperature vulcanisable (RTV) and has a life expectancy of 10-20 years after application. It’s especially popular for its weatherproofing properties, and because of this quality industrial silicone is frequently used in the sealing of high-rise building and bridge joints. What’s more, due to being water-resistant, silicone is also used extensively in the sealing of sanitary joints, electric sockets, wires, and fire-rated joints. It’s compatible with a number of materials such as ceramics, concrete, metal, textile, and porous surfaces.
Epoxy is another great industrial sealant. It’s known for its exceptional strength, high cure toughness, and resistance against environmental and chemical damage. In some situations, epoxy can also be used as an adhesive due to its strong bonding properties. As it provides a great protective layer, epoxy is the sealant of choice for the paint industry, as well as the automotive, aviation, and boat industries. It’s also important to mention that epoxy has a non-conductive and quick drying nature, which makes it useful in the electrical and electronic industries.
Phenolic sealants are composed of phenol and formaldehyde chemicals. It’s essentially a type of resin which provides great adhesion and shows great resistance against high temperatures. It’s currently the only sealant available in powder, film, and liquid form. Phenolic sealants are used for bonding and sealing plywood, some appliances, and in the construction of buildings.
This type of sealants is made from acrylic acid, hence its name, using a catalytic reaction. Acrylic sealants are very resistant to damage from the environment, however, they are susceptible to chemical damage. It can be cured in many ways, but when using the thermal method, the curing time takes a lot less. Because its odourless and can be easily painted over, this type of sealant is used in sealing doors, window frames, and other household joints.
There are several types of polymer sealants, including polyamide, polysulfide, polyester, and vinyl. In order to cure, these types of sealants simply use the moisture in the air which makes them very convenient to use. They are also flexible which makes them ideal to use on joints that are subjected to repetitive movements.