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Fascinating Silicone™ Chemistry Corner – One-Part vs. Two-Part Cure

One-part vs. two-part silicone cure systems

One-part silicone cure

Typical RTV moisture cure sealant

One-part materials contain all the ingredients needed to produce a cured material. They use external factors – such as moisture in the air, heat, or the presence of ultraviolet light – to initiate, speed, or complete the curing process.

  • Typical uses – building sealants, high-consistency rubber (HCR) compounds, coatings for electronics, medical bonding adhesives
  • Advantages – easy to use; low- or room-temperature cure (although, in some cases, cure can be accelerated by heat)
  • Disadvantages – moisture-curing materials may take 24 hours or more to fully cure; precautions must be taken to protect the material from the cure initiator prior to application

Two-part silicone cure

Two-part systems segregate the reactive ingredients to prevent premature initiation of the cure process. They often use the addition of heat to facilitate or speed cure.

Two-part products segregate the reactive ingredients until time of use
  • Typical uses – high-speed, high-volume operations, such as the application of silicone release coatings or pressure sensitive adhesives, injection molding of liquid silicone rubber (LSR), soft skin adhesives (SSAs) for healthcare applications
  • Advantages – longer shelf life, high-speed cure (some materials cure within seconds), and the ability to carefully control bath life and cure time by manipulating the formulation
  • Disadvantages – mixing required; often requires more sophisticated processes and formulating/application expertise
Did you know ... many silicone cure chemistries can be engineered as either one-part or two-part systems!

Expand your understanding

Learn about:
Peroxide cure
Condensation heat cure
RTV moisture cure
Temperature-activated addition cure
Photo-initiated addition cure

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