Planning on using silicone in your construction endeavors? It’s important to make sure that you’re clued up about the safety of this type of plastic, regardless of whether you’re planning to use it for furniture or even as caulk.
In this article, we’re going to be talking you through whether silicone is flammable, as well as how strong its fire-resistant properties are so that you can come to a more well-informed decision as to whether or not it is the right material choice for your needs.
What Is Silicone?
Silicone, which is often referred to as elastomers, is a type of plastic that can come in a variety of different types.
Due to this, unlike other types of plastic, silicone can appear in a variety of different forms including oil/lubricant, silicone that appears to be rubber, as well as silicone that comes in a traditional plastic texture ideal for furniture and more.
Is Silicone Flammable?
Despite the variety of different types of silicones available on the market, silicone comes with the added benefit of being extremely stable and able to withstand high temperatures.
Thanks to this, it means that silicone will be able to retain the same properties across a vast range of temperatures from around -148 Fahrenheit, all the way up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit.
For this reason alone, it means that silicone is not considered to be flammable. In addition to all of this, due to the fact that silicone is typically deemed to be a thermal insulator, it means that it is naturally unable to conduct heat to a degree high enough to cause the silicone to ignite or burn.
Due to this, even though silicone can be used for a wide range of applications, it should be noted that silicone is exceptionally good for use as an electrical insulator due to the fact that it has a far less likely chance of causing an electrical fire. Impressive or what?
To help summarise everything that we have said above, we’re going to break down why silicone is one of the most commonly used elastomer materials below. Check the benefits below:
- Fire retardant properties: First things first, one of the largest benefits of using silicone is that it is able to withstand extremely high temperatures without igniting. Due to its unique physical properties and hardy durability, silicone is not only able to withstand very high temperatures without melting or burning but is also able to retain its shape for upwards of 20 years if not exposed to frequently high or low temperatures. In addition to this, in the unlikely event that silicone did catch fire, it would not give off any toxic fumes – which makes it a great choice for home construction.
- Extremely durable: While this point ties in closely with the one raised above, it is still worth mentioning. Silicone by nature is designed to be extremely durable and long-lasting, which means that besides being very difficult to ignite, it is also able to resist corrosion, staining, and other visible signs of deterioration.
- Able to withstand high temperatures: Besides being unlikely to burn, silicone is also extremely resistant to high temperatures. Thanks to this, it means that whenever silicone is exposed to high temperatures, rather than melting, it will instead be strong and resilient, and can even be made to be stretchable during the construction process if so desired.
So, Even Though Silicone Plastic Isn’t Flammable, Can It Still Catch Fire?
Yes, silicone plastic can still catch fire despite the fact that it is officially recognized as being a non-flammable material – and this is something that is very important to remember if you are planning on using it.
Theoretically speaking, just about everything will catch on fire if it is exposed to temperatures that are high enough for a long enough amount of time.
However, despite the fact that silicone plastic can catch on fire in theory, realistically it is very hard to do so due to the fact that it is specifically designed to be able to withstand heat and resist compromising when exposed to very high temperatures.
Nevertheless, with all of that being said, silicone has a melting point of around 482 degrees Fahrenheit, so if it is exposed to anything higher than that for a prolonged period of time, it’s highly likely that it will begin to melt/burn.
From a realistic point of view, exposure to this type of temperature is highly unlikely to occur, particularly if you’re planning on keeping your silicone in a home environment or similar setting.
However, it should be noted that temperatures upwards of 400 degrees Fahrenheit can sometimes occur in the kitchen while cooking, so this is something to keep in mind.
Important Silicone Safety Precautions:
No matter how you plan on using your silicone plastic, we strongly recommend that you make sure to follow all of the recommended safety instructions provided to you by your silicone supplier/manufacturer.
Upon purchase of your silicone plastic furniture or appliance, you should have received an additional owner’s manual guide that will be full of important information that will ensure you are able to safely use your silicone, while also guaranteeing the longest service life possible.
However, if you didn’t receive an owner’s manual or you’ve misplaced it, you could alternatively reach out to your manufacturer’s customer service team, who will be able to assist you further.
In addition to making sure that you’re following all of the safety advice specific to your silicone product, we also recommend that you avoid exposing your silicone to temperatures that peak around 400 degrees Fahrenheit and upwards.