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What is Silicone Tape?

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  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Silicone tape is a remarkable feat of chemical engineering that has resulted in a long lasting and highly durable protective tape. Made from cured silicone rubber, silicone tape typically contains a thin layer of silicone gel to make the product self fusing, which forms a permanent bond around whatever it is applied to. This quality has led to a number of alternate names for silicone tape, including self amalgamating tape, self vulcanizing tape, and silicone gel tape. The tape forms the bond when stretched and wrapped around an object and, depending on the specific brand and how it is used, will self fuse within minutes or a few hours.

Another feature of silicone tape is the inclusion of polydimethylsiloxane in the gel, which contains zinc oxide. This material is added to act as a UV inhibitor. This means that the tape is resistant to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight, which often contributes to the degradation of ordinary tape. It is also resistant to other environmental factors, including the effects of ozone. In addition, silicone tape is designed to withstand moisture, as well as contact with solvents, fuels, acids, and even splashing from soldering.

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This tape remains flexible in cold temperatures too. More importantly, some kinds of silicone tape are heat resistant and flame retardant. This is achieved by formulating the composition of the tape to allow it to evenly conduct and disperse heat, yet remain non-combustible. This is obviously very desirable when using silicone tape under conditions where it may come into contact with excessive heat or open flame.

As might be expected, there is an abundance of applications for the use of this tape. For instance, adaptations of silicone tape are used in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields where it performs a variety of functions. In clinical settings, it is used to adhere medical equipment to the body, such as catheters and prosthetic devices. In addition, since this tape is not affected by moisture and will adhere to many different surfaces, it can be reapplied. In some cases, it can even be cleaned and reused when appropriate.

Silicone tape is extensively used in the aviation industry and by the military, as well as in boat rigging. It is extremely valuable as an electrical tape to bundle cable, as well as to weatherproof, insulate, and seal all types of electrical connections. This tape is also ideal to have on hand for emergency repairs, including using it to stop leaking pipes, repair a car radiator, O-ring seals, or even serve as a temporary fan belt. For that matter, silicone tape makes an excellent addition to a medical emergency supply kit where it can be used to make a splint or to secure dressing to a wound.

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Discuss this Article

anon355232
Post 9

I have tried both the ER tape and Versimold after seeing them on TV and then again at a NSRA car show. The tape is amazing. I had tried the other silicone tapes out on the market, but the ER tape sticks to itself immediately. The versimold is pretty unique, and there are a lot of things you can make with it, plus it's easy to use. They told me they were making it in all different colors, so I'm thinking it would be good for craft projects.

anon353646
Post 8

I had seen some silicone rubber tape featured on Stacey David Gearz show called ER tape and purchased some. It was the quickest self fusing tape I have ever seen and wrapped really nice. I used it on tool handles, grips for bats and even repaired a vacuum hose with it. They sell it online. They also have this stuff called Versimold that can be molded and cured by a heat gun to make o-rings, gaskets, etc.

anon266998
Post 6

I use and love this er tape stuff. I'm a musician and it's perfect for repairing spliced cables damaged on tour. The best part is that it doesn't leave a sticky residue all over everything it touches because it's self fusing (no sticky adhesive).

anon228845
Post 5

This is a great solutions for many problems. Its very universal. everyone should have a roll. I use Leak Terminator tape silicone emergency tape.

anon171097
Post 4

Self fusing silicone like Pocket Rubber which is manufactured by Champion Tape is a safe option. Obviously, it should not be ingested, nor should your spatula. Once fused and cured, the rubber is no more toxic than any other rubber or chalking type material used in your home, except it is less likely to flake or peel. All products are not the same, and we found this brand to be the best.

anon101815
Post 3

Would anyone know if this material is child-safe? I have a spatula in my kitchen which is apparently made of silicone, so i assume that it is available in food grade. but i can't be absolutely sure if that really is silicone or some other gel plastic.

anon91582
Post 2

Great write-up! I'm not sure about all of the chemical properties, but we do know that it works for a lot of great stuff. We personally use Rescue Tape at our house, ever since we saw a great demo about it. We tried some other stuff that didn't work as well, but this stuff is fantastic!

anon52131
Post 1

Self fusing silicone is the material that it sounds like we're describing and it fastens, seals and repairs just like the claims. Important, that all silicone is not made equal and as a rigger, we need the best. We use Pocket Rubber.

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