1. Key Considerations in FDA Silicone Materials

    Safety should always be the highest priority for food manufacturers. A single error in handling and packaging could result in a negative brand image and the consumers losing their trust in the brand. Over the years, different materials — like glass, metal, wood, plastic, rubber, and silicone — have been used to seal, store, hold, pack, and transport food items domestically and internationally. However, a particular material stands out above the rest.

    FDA-approved silicone materials are widely used around the globe due to the numerous benefits they offer to their users. In addition, companies and food manufacturers often choose this type of silicone for their business operations because of its versatility and high-performing features.

    FDA silicone materials are multifaceted and robust synthetic polymers. These products have low volatility, and no odor or taste, making them ideal for direct and repetitive food contact. Still, manufacturers must adhere to specific FDA standards for safety and handling to achieve the FDA food-grade label.

    This article discusses why manufacturers should consider switching to FDA silicone materials for food packaging and sealing needs.

    Benefits of FDA Silicone Materials

    FDA-grade silicone materials are durable and adaptable, enabling manufacturers to utilize them in multiple applications. One of its best qualities is resistance to external elements like extreme heat and stressful environments. Because of this, it is widely used in producing gaskets and seals for food packaging. Below are the many other advantages of using FDA-approved silicone products.

    Resistance to Extreme Temperature

    Silicone is known for its heat endurance qualities. It can withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures, ranging from -80 °F to 550 °F, without yielding its durability and shape. Silicone developed its low thermal conductivity due to its highly stable chemical structure.

    Resistance to Liquid and Chemicals

    Silicone is not only heat resistant but also watertight. It also can resist food oils and most chemical types. Thus, food containers sealed using FDA silicone materials prevent leakage and food contamination.

    Resistance to Environmental and External Elements

    Because of their durability, FDA silicone materials can repel environmental and external elements like aging, ozonation, and weathering. This specific silicone feature helps foods sealed in silicone gaskets prolong their shelf life.

    Free of Harmful Fillers

    Some food containers and sealers contain toxic organic compounds like Bisphenol S and A (BPS, BPA) that could lead to increased blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and other hormonal and obesogenic effects. Fortunately, silicones are non-toxic materials safe for food sealing and packing purposes.

    Prevents Unwanted Physical Changes

    Due to its food-grade status, silicone materials are less vulnerable to discoloration, deformation, odor, and other unwanted changes that could result in food contamination, making them unsuitable for consumption. Subsequently, they have antifungal and nonstick properties that help prevent mold or fungal decay.

    Flexibility

    Silicone’s flexible nature allows manufacturers to transform and mold it into custom sealing profiles, extending its usability to a broader spectrum of food applications.

    FDA Silicone Food Applications

    FDA-grade silicone materials have extensive functions and can be applied to several food-related purposes:

    • Gaskets for food processing machinery
    • Food transfer tubing
    • Dairy tubing and fluid handling
    • Vending tubing
    • Brewery tubing and seals
    • Antimicrobial belting
    • Commercial oven seals
    • Coffee machine tubing
    • Food-grade beverage gaskets
    • O-rings
    • Vibration pads
    • Electrical insulators

    Get Exceptional FDA Silicone Materials From ElastaPro

    Food safety doesn’t stop with food processing. Manufacturers should also consider using food-grade materials to keep their products fresh and free from harmful substances.

    ElastaPro offers durable FDA-approved silicone sheeting ideal for making trustworthy silicone rubber gaskets and seals for safe and secured food packaging. Our products come in two varieties — FDA Grade (Translucent) Silicone Solid Sheet and GDA Grade (Pigmented) Silicone Sheet — and are compliant with CFR 177.2600, a section of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with components for rubber articles intended for replicated use in contact with food.

    Do you need a reliable FDA silicone materials supplier for your business? Partner with us today! ElastaPro has been around in the industry for decades, making us one of the silicone sheeting, compounding, and technology experts.

    Contact us and get your high-quality FDA silicone from us!

  2. Where To Find High Temperature Silicone

    Since silicone can endure up to approximately 300 °F, this material is the preferred rubber for applications requiring tolerance to extreme temperatures. Although commercial silicones are generally heat-resistant, there are silicone products that are specifically formulated to resist temperatures of 500-572 °F without sustaining deformation or other damages.

    Silicone’s highly stable chemical structure makes it thermal resistant while offering a kaleidoscope of advantageous properties, including high flexibility, water resistance, electrical insulation properties, and compounds to resist mold and fungus growth. In this article, we will go over the different types of silicone rubber and the industries and applications where they are commonly used.

    Types of Silicone Rubber

    Silicone rubber’s flexibility is thanks to groups of organic molecules formed on a base of silicon and oxygen. It is available in various forms, each with distinctive attributes suitable for a range of applications.

    Methyl Groups (MQ)

    This group is known as dimethyl silicone rubber or methyl silicone rubber. Methyl groups can be substituted with other groups — including ethyl, phenyl, and vinyl — to enhance and modify their mechanical, chemical, and thermodynamic properties for different applications.

    Methyl and Vinyl Groups (VMQ)

    This group, known as methyl vinyl silicone rubber, is the most commonly used type. It features good compressive strength, which helps with the vulcanization industry. This type also has excellent low-temperature flexibility, high heat, and oxidative stability and is resistant to chemicals, corrosion, ozone, and sunlight.

    Methyl and Phenyl Groups (PMQ)

    This silicone rubber group, known as methyl-phenyl silicone rubber or phenyl silicone rubber, has an excellent low-temperature performance. The presence of phenyl enhances different properties, including high corrosion resistance, thermal stability, shear resistance, and optical conciseness. This group is used for connectors in the cable industry and sealing for automotive and aerospace applications.

    Methyl, Phenyl, and Vinyl Groups (PVMQ)

    The methyl groups in this compound are substituted with phenyl groups, which effectively enhances the material’s low operating temperatures. As a result, they are particularly suited to hygienic applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

    Fluoro, Vinyl, and Methyl Groups (FVMQ)

    This group is also known as fluorinated rubber or fluorosilicone rubber. They are highly chemically resistant to fuel, oil, and solvent substances. They are also typically used in sealing applications in the aerospace industry that require resistance to hot fuels, oils, and diester-based lubricants.

    Uses and Applications of High Temperature Silicone Rubber

    Because high temperature silicone rubber is so robust and offers the best performance of any elastomer across the extreme temperatures, , it is used in many critical applications.. Here are some of its uses and applications:

    Hot Stamping

    Silicone rubber sheets are extensively used in consumer product decoration, particularly hot stamps, heat seals, or heat transfer. For example, sheets are used in hot stamp decoration for full coverage and tipping applications. An example of tipping is when the foil is used to raise lettering on credit cards. Meanwhile, standard silicone sheets enable contact for applying the full image on a heat transfer mark to a part in heat transfer decoration.

    Electronic Equipment

    Silicone rubber is used to manufacture electrical insulating tapes, adhesives, sealants, circuit board surface coatings, varnishes, lubricants, optical fiber coatings, and other silicon-grade and silicon-source chemicals. It is also used in making keyboards, telephones, hard-coating computer housings, and other electronic equipment.

    Automotive Industry

    Silicone rubber sheets — resistant to heat, oil, and fuel — are molded into various durable parts for the automotive industry. These include sealants and adhesives, specialty lubricants, vibration components, and automotive polishes.

    Aerospace Equipment

    Silicone rubber is applied in many aspects of aircraft assembly and maintenance. Mainly, it is used in manufacturing ablatives, window seals, boots, hoses, seals and gaskets, and adhesives.

    Construction Industry

    Silicone rubber is used in many applications in constrcution from sealing, to protecting. Due to silicone’s excellent ability to resit the elements its the premier material for construstion sealing.

    Choose ElastaPro for Your Silicone Needs!

    ElastaPro was founded by industry veterans with decades of knowledge and expertise in silicone sheeting, compounding, and technology. We are fueled by our desire and deep expertise in effectively utilizing exceptional and proprietary manufacturing techniques to meet our customers’ requirements.

    Contact us today to learn more about our silicone products and services!

  3. High-Temperature Solid Silicone Sheeting

    July 2022 was the third-hottest July on record in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Here in Southern California where ElastaPro is located, inland regions have seen temperatures exceed 100°F this August.

    Maybe it doesn’t get that hot in your backyard, but there are plenty of places indoors that do – and handling the heat isn’t just a summertime challenge. For example, the gaskets and seals on engines, pumps, compressors, and appliances all need high-temperature resistance.

    Standard silicone elastomers are a great choice for temperatures up to 500°F, but what if you need solid sheeting for extreme heat? From automobiles to aerospace and aviation, there are plenty of applications for higher-temperature materials.

    Extreme high-temperature grade silicone sheeting from ElastaPro uses high-quality heat stabilizers, including our own ESSHTA technology, which is rated up to 600°F/300°C. These Made in USA materials are great for die cutting and are available in:

    • 55 or 60 durometer
    • thicknesses from 0.10″ to .500″
    • widths up to 60″
    • various color and catalyst options

    Download the datasheet to learn more, or contact us with questions.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer – and stay cool in the heat.

  4. Our Most Valuable Material Isn’t a Precious Metal

    Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. From jewelry to electronics, these precious metals are rare and have great economic value. Silicon metal isn’t precious, and its ingredients are commonly found in Earth’s crust. Yet, silicon metal is incredibly valuable because it’s a major ingredient in silicone rubber, solar panels, electric vehicles, semiconductor chips, aluminum, defense technologies – and much more.

    Today, China refines 70% of the world’s silicon metal. The United States refines only 5%. Although the U.S. government is recognizing the importance of increasing our refining capacity, it takes years to build silicon metal refineries – and the refining process requires a great deal of energy. Meanwhile, demand for silicon metal is expected to grow 50% over the next 5 to 10 years.  

    Do we want to depend on China for our supply of silicon metal? For that matter, do we want to depend on overseas suppliers for PDMS, an important member of the silicone family? Most PDMS production has left North America for Asia, but demand for silicone keeps growing. That’s why members of the silicone industry, myself included, are asking the U.S. government to take bold action.

    What can you do as a silicone buyer? Whenever possible, please choose products and materials that are Made in USA. Your buying decisions will help spur investments in domestic capacity, and you’ll get quality silicones with ingredients you can trust.

  5. Silicone Supply

    Everybody’s talking about silicone supply, but elastomers that don’t meet specifications aren’t the right way to meet demand. Don’t let them put your projects at risk.

    ElastaPro tests the physical properties for each and every lot of all of our sheet materials. Our in-house testing laboratory can provide you with test results for specifications such as:

    • durometer
    • tensile strength
    • tear strength
    • percent elongation
    • fluid & heat aging and much more.

    Recently, our in-house lab added a third Tensometer and a more sophisticated Shore A Durometer instrument for the most accurate results. ElastaPro also sends samples to third-party accredited laboratories to confirm the results of our own testing.

    The benefits don’t end there. All of our silicones are Made in the USA. We also have a large selection of stocked items and can take you from lab batch to large-scale production.

    Are you concerned about your silicone supply? Let us know what you need.

    Contact us for more information, or to place an order. Follow us on LinkedIn, too.

  6. Silicone Supply Chain Insights

    Have you ever heard the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees”? It happens when the details of a problem are so intense that it’s hard to look at the situation as a whole. By changing your focus, however, you can see things in a new way.


    The silicone shortage is no exception. Buyers are worried about supplies and engineers are excited about new applications. So when I participated in a Silicone 2021 Livestream for Rubber and Plastics News (RPN), both topics (and others) were on the agenda.


    RPN has made this on-line event available but you’ll need to complete a short form.Listen to the Recording

  7. Medical Grade Silicone Sheeting

    Medical grade silicone sheeting is used in personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical devices and equipment. During COVID-19, ElastaPro is working hard to support our first responders and companies that are making PPE. Our safe, clean materials meet rigorous requirements yet are easy to convert and die cut for medical seals and gaskets. Moreover, they are produced from 100% U.S. Sourced silicone rubber.

    ElastaPro makes medical grade silicone sheeting in thicknesses from .010″ to .500″ and in widths up to 60″. Choose from USP Class VI silicones in 40, 50, 60, 70, or 80 durometer. We are capable of producing medical grade silicone sheets in  various forms and can package them in various formats.

    Contact us for more information, or to place an order. Follow us on LinkedIn, too.

  8. Metal Detectable Silicone Rubber Sheets

    Metal detectable silicone rubber sheets make it easier for food processors to spot contamination caused by silicone seals. Because they are metal-impregnated, these elastomers let manufacturers use in-line metal detection systems to get fast, accurate alerts about the presence of silicone seal fragments in food products.

    ElastaPro’s metal detectable silicone rubber sheets meet FDA CFR 21 177.2600 requirements for repeated food contact. These gasket materials come in various colors and are supplied as cured sheeting and uncured compound. Gasket fabrication methods for solid silicone sheeting include die cutting and water jet cutting.

    This tasteless, odorless, and FDA compliant silicone is proudly Made in the USA and fabricated with high-quality and certified raw materials. In addition to food processing, applications, metal detectable silicone sheets from ElastaPro can be used in beverage, dairy, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

    Contact us to learn more, or to place an order. Follow us on LinkedIn, too.

  9. General Purpose Silicone Sheets

    General purpose silicone sheets from ElastaPro have well-known silicone rubber characteristics and come in durometers from 30 to 80 (Shore A). This solid silicone sheeting from ElastaPro can be used in silicone rubber gaskets, rubber silicone rings, or custom silicone parts. Gasket fabrication methods include die cutting and water jet cutting.

    General purpose solid silicone sheets from Elasta Pro meet AA-59588 Class 2A/2B, ASTM D2000, and AMS33XX specifications for aerospace and industrial applications. At a time when silicones are in short supply, we invite you to learn more about these materials and how ElastaPro builds long-term business relationships.

    Contact us for more information, or to place an order. Follow us on LinkedIn, too.

  10. Flame Retardant Silicone Sheets

    Flame retardant silicone sheets from ElastaPro resist the spread of flame and fire. They are used in applications that require a UL 94 V0 solid silicone sheeting. Because these elastomers produce low smoke density, they are used for sealing and insulation in in rail cars, airplane interiors, and with marine transport applications.

    Flame retardant silicone sheeting can be fabricated into rubber gaskets through die cutting or water jet cutting. This solid silicone sheeting comes in thicknesses from .010” to .500” and are available in widths up to 60”.  ElastaPro’s flame retardant silicone sheets have different hardnesses and come in 60 durometer and 65 durometer (Shore A).

    Importantly, this specifications grade material from ElatsaPro has a UL 94 V0 Yellow Card on file with Underwriters Laboratories (UL). It also meets FAR 25.853 flammability requirements for aircraft compartment interiors. FAR 25.853 is a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test to determine the flammability of materials used in airplane interiors, including both cabin and cargo compartments.

    Contact us for more information, or to place an order. Follow us on LinkedIn, too.