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Silicone Vs Latex: What’s The Difference And Which Is Better?

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Skye Rhodes

When deciding between durable material, the battle is often between silicone vs latex.

Silicone and latex are the two most utilized chemical substances castoff to make several products used in our daily life.

These products range from daily household items to industrial components.

Silicone and latex have one thing in common this is rubber.

Both silicone and latex are a polymer of rubber used in everyday life products like baby feeder teats, toys, house mats, etc.

Silicone is a little expensive in comparison to latex.

Latex often causes allergies.

Silicone

Since latex is allergenic with many side effects besides being allergic, silicone has taken command over latex.

Silicone is more preferred over latex since it is safer to use and has no side effects.

The following is a clear difference between silicone vs latex in the upcoming context.

Silicone is a polymer made of siloxane, a subtype of organic substances called hexane.

This primary organic substance is sand, and other than sand, there are many more products used in its composition.

Silicone goes through quite a complicated manufacturing process, which makes it easier for us to clean.

This complicated type of process makes it last longer than other comparable materials in the rubber family.

Talking about the substance features, it is usually in the form of rubber-like material.

Many products like utensils, some lubricants, making of adhesives, and used for insulation purposes are made of silicone.

According to modern chemistry, the word ‘silicone’ is not used, and other words called siloxanes have been adopted officially in the chemical terms.

Let’s use ‘silicone’ here in our context instead of using its chemical name.

Most of the time, the silicone word is rendered the same as ‘silicon.’

Silicone and silicon are two different substances.

Silicon is a metalloid chemical element, having dark-grey color.

Silicon is used to make electrical components.

It is a chemical compound that comprises oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and many more.

Silicone has a rubber-like texture.

Properties of Silicone

Like all other substances in the world, silicone also exhibits some beneficial properties. Those properties are listed below:

Silicone has a low thermal conductivity, which means that silicone’s ability to conduct heat is meager.

Silicone doesn’t usually react in chemical terms; thus, it is a low chemical reactivity material.

Silicone is not toxic since it is rare to see how some living organisms are affected by silicon.

Silicone is a thermally stable substance.

A thermally stable substance means that it can withstand high temperatures and have no change in its compositions.

Furthermore, silicone repels water and makes the seals of waterlines.

Silicone is not sticky, but it can adhere to glass-like materials.

No form of microbiological growth is present on the surface of the silicone.

Silicone is electrically insulated.

It doesn’t conduct electricity, and thus it is rendered as a safe product for human use.

Silicone is a hygienic product.

Since silicon is a hygienic product, it aids most food and beverage packaging-related requirements.

Furthermore, silicone is considered safe and used as an orthodontic.

Silicone products come in so many varieties that make it easier to choose between them.

Furthermore, colored silicone products do not get decolorized easily.

Uses of Silicone

Silicone has such vast uses in our life. From our household products to industrial stuff, it has equal importance.

A detailed list of its benefits and advantages is listed below:

Medical field

Silicone has so many applications in the medical industry.

One most common form is silicone is its gel form, used in medical applications of bandages.

Some implants are made of silicone.

The types of silicone implants are breast implants, pectoral implants, and testicle implants.

Silicones are applicable to make micro fluids used in injecting medicines.

Another use of silicone in the medical industry is in scar treatment because of its biocompatibility feature.

Cosmetics applications

Silicones are used in cosmetic applications and self-use daily routine products.

One of the essential uses of silicone is in the baby feeder nipples.

Since silicone is not toxic, and no form of microbiological growth is found on its surface, it is used to make baby products like nipples and teats.

Silicone is a clear substance.

Because of its cleanliness properties, it is used in cosmetic bottle applications.

Cosmetics bottles are mostly made of silicone in their hard form.

Some skin care products also include silicone in their forms, like face marks and hair gels.

Utensils

Since silicone is a non-toxic substance and thermal resistant, it is widely used to make utensils and kitchen wares.

Silicone is used in the making of potholders.

These potholders are heat resistant.

That is why it is very efficient to use silicones in their formation.

Some chocolate freezing molds are also made of silicones.

Baby feeders and teats are some of the purest applications of silicones.

Some re-usable non-stick kitchenware is also made of silicones.

Electronics appliances

Some electronic appliances are also made up of silicone.

Silicones are preferred where high-performance electronic equipment is required.

Since silicones are advantageous in heat, it is the preferred material when electronic appliances are constructed.

Some electrical components are cased inside silicone coating to prevent the current leakages and increase components’ stability.

Silicone molds

Silicone is used in the making of many molds like cooking molds, petroleum jelly molds, etc.

Rubber mold of silicone serves the purpose of making molds.

These molds do not stick to the materials inside them.

In some cases, if the silicone starts to stick, then vegetable oils or petroleum jellies can be used as anti-sticking agents.

These molds can both be either cooking or induction molding in the industries.

Silicone toys

Silicone is mixed with some chemical materials like dimethylsiloxane, polydimethylsiloxane, and others to make an active type of material that does not break upon bouncing them.

Such bouncy stuff is used in children’s toys and play toys.

Silicone toys do not break easily, but if a strong hit or bounce is given, then it may break.

Another silicone toy is a rubber band.

These rubber bands can be used as bracelets for hand and hair wearing.

Also, more extensive types of these bands are used to tie stuff in the industries.

Silicone is also used as adhesion in the joining of glass for aquariums and swimming pools.

The silicone used for adhesion purposes is 100% original.

Thus, we can say that glues made up of silicones are the purest applications of silicones.

Silicone lubricants

There are many greases and lubricants which are made up of silicone.

These lubricants are used in bicycle chains, aeronautical gun parts, and many other mechanisms.

Silicone lubricants are very efficient to use since silicone does not decay with time.

One of the most appealing properties of silicone lubricants is that they do not attract dirt and moisture from the environment.

This is the reason why silicone lubricants are preferred over oil and other grease lubricants.

Fire-stoppers

Since silicone does not support fire, it is used in a wide variety of anti-fire agents.

One of the most common forms is silicone foam.

This silicone foam is used to stop the fire from spreading and make a cooling effect of reducing the heat.

But one of its disadvantages is that it causes colossal smoke development.

Latex

Latex is a naturally occurring substance that can also be prepared with the help of isoprene.

Latex is a polymer of microparticles present in plants, obtained from the bark of trees.

Latex is a kind of milky fluid obtained from flowering plants.

It comprises proteins, sugars, starches, resins, and gums, making it an adhesive type fluid.

This latex is then used to make rubbers, which is made after refining for commercial purposes.

Latex has also named an elastomer.

Two significant countries producing latex are Indonesia and Thailand.

For obtaining latex from plants, collection cups are attached with plants in which latex keeps on collecting.

This milky liquid is then collected, and further processing is done to transform it into rigid forms for sale purposes.

There are applications where latex is used with a combination of other components.

Latex can be used alone.

Latex has the properties of resilience and an increased stretched ratio.

Latex products come in different styles, many ranges, and colors.

Latex comes from the trees of Southeast Asian countries and their plantations.

Many trees produce latex all over the world, but South Africa is thought to be the best supplier of latex.

Properties of Latex

Latex exhibits both physical and chemical properties.

Latex is often referred to as hyper-elastic since it exhibits Payne and Mullin’s effect.

Latex is a plastic substance used in plastic utensils and some other applications that include plastics.

Latex has tensile abilities and resilience and is known for its tear resistance.

Latex can withstand lower temperatures, but not high temperatures.

Latex begins to corrode above 82-85 degrees.

Overall, latex is a rubber material having quite appreciable tensile properties.

Latex is a sticky material, and it sticks itself to all types of materials.

The sticky property of latex makes it easier for us to fabricate it.

Latex offers high resistance when cutting, tearing, or chipping its rigid forms.

Because of its high tensile strengths, latex is used in the making of rubber tires.

Latex has a drawback since it offers low resistance to natural phenomena like ozone, high heat, and lightning.

Latex is a water repellent, and it avoids contact with water.

It doesn’t dissolve in water upon mixing, so it is beneficial in making water-resistant applications.

Uses of Latex

Latex has so many great uses in our daily life routine. Some of the most appealing benefits of latex are listed below:

Home and gardening stuff

Latex is used around all household stuff in our daily life.

It is used in the production of clothes.

Latex is also used in day-to-day accessories like hairpins, catchers, ties, and combs.

Furthermore, latex is also used in the welcome mats and carpets of homes.

Also, some of the industries use latex in the production of raincoats and boots.

Some factories related to toy making also use latex in the making of baby toys.

Moreover, latex is being utilized in the manufacture of dishwashing gloves and hair dye gloves.

Medical uses

Although latex is allergic, it still has a wide variety of uses in medical fields.

Many medical workers and co-workers use surgical tools made of latex.

The medicated gloves worn by the medical staff are also synthesized with the help of latex.

The medical industry also requires some corks used for laboratory purposes.

These corks used in medical testing laboratories are made up of latex and other synthetic fibers.

All birth control devices use latex in their formations.

The medical brands, named Nitrile and Neoprene use synthetic latex to replace other synthetic fibers.

Some chemical resistance mats used in hospital wards are also being synthesized with the help of latex.

Some prosthetic equipment is also made with the help of latex and many other substances required for its complete production.

School and office supplies

The rubbers and pencil erasers widely used by school staff and office staff are made of latex.

The name ‘rubber’ was given to rubbers because latex and elastic substances rub the pencil writings and marks.

That is the reason that latex material used for erasing the pencil marks and stuff is called rubbers.

Also, the stuff related to rubber-like wheelchairs, mouse, and laptop pads is made of latex.

Some adhesive sticks used for adhesion purposes are also made of latex, widely used by students, offices, and staff community.

Some other rubber items like carpets, mats, headphone pads, and signature rubber stamps are also widely used by the school and staff members, made of latex.

Fun and gaming stuff

Some swimming pools and the related rafts used by a significant number of people in summer are also made with latex.

Some stuff like basketballs, volleyballs, tossing games, tennis balls, shutter locks, and flip-flops used in summer gatherings and parties are among the significant applications of latex-made materials.

More items like camping beds, parachutes, scuba gears, tiles in playgrounds are also made of latex.

Pet items

When you have pets, you will realize the value of unbreakable pet straps and related stuff.

Those unbreakable strips used for pet play and tying purposes are made of latex.

Pets love to play with chew toys, since these chewing toys are elastic and can be easily molded with little effort, so one thing which is sure about them is that it is made up of latex.

Moreover, the stuff of your pet home to make them feel comfortable is made up of latex.

Keep in mind that latex is toxic, so if your pet is harmful to latex, we do not recommend using it unless asked by a veterinary doctor and consultant.

Sports items

Many sports items are made with the help of latex.

These items include tennis shoes, tennis balls, volleyballs, bat covers, cricket gloves, and many more.

Latex is utilized to make these products since all these products are rigid and hard.

So, a rigid and hard feature appeals to be made of latex.

Difference Between Silicone vs Latex

Many people get confused between silicone and latex, so a clear difference between these two is necessary to demonstrate which is a better option.

Silicone is completely synthetic, which means that human hands only synthesize it while latex is synthetic and natural.

Silicone is generally more durable than latex because silicone has gone under much testing to ensure its rubber nature, while latex is not much rubbery in its structure.

Silicone vs latex products can retain a perfect shape in comparison to latex products.

Silicone isn’t considered toxic since all its poisonous properties are eliminated while in its production.

Simultaneously, latex is often reported to be a poisonous material that may cause allergy to its users.

Silicone is a colorless plastic and rubber-type substance, while latex has a beige shade.

Latex is softer than silicone; thus, it is easily distortable and breakable, while silicone is a little stiff and has more strength than latex.

Furthermore, silicon doesn’t decay with time, whereas latex decays with age.

This decaying property of latex is due to its natural composition, but silicone is a human-made product, so it doesn’t decay.

Also, silicone isn’t allergic; meanwhile, latex consumers have reported it to be allergy-causing.

This allergic property of latex makes it less common to use while people prefer using silicone.

Allergic reactions of latex may include itching on the contact area, skin-redness within the 28-32mins of contact with a latex product.

When choosing a sealant, silicone is preferred more in comparison to latex.

People prefer to choose silicone because it has a higher resistance to the heating phenomenon.

Both the latex and silicon do not encompass BPAs.

Which One to Prefer Between Silicone and Latex?

In our opinion, silicone is preferable to latex since latex is known to contain allergy-causing agents.

Although latex is more eco and environmentally friendly since it is derived from natural resources while silicone is entirely human-made, silicone still got superiority over latex. 

Latex is cheaper, and it is available easily, but latex has so many side effects.

These side effects include allergic reactions, easily breakable, and not so tangible, while silicone is ahead of these side effects. 

Furthermore, latex quickly gets cracked since it is not so much elastic.

These cracked places offer germs and bacteria to come and live in these cracks.

So, each time you get a crack on your latex-based product, you’ll have to either clean it or completely replace it.

Although latex is economical to buy, these replacements due to cracks and dirt make it equal to buy latex and silicone regarding price.

Silicone is much more durable in comparison to latex.

Although one purchase of silicone might be a little expensive, the effect is overall the same.

The main reason behind the same overall rate for silicone and latex is that latex decomposes after a sudden and certain amount of time while silicone lasts longer.

That’s why it is rendered more durable.

We know that everything in the world got both of its advantages and disadvantages at the same time.

That’s why silicone and latex are essential at their places, but still, one of them is superior.

And in our thoughts, silicone is a better choice while choosing the same product for two different materials.

Final Thoughts

The main reasons why silicone should be preferred in the battle between silicone vs latex had already been discussed in the above article, but there is still a need to summarize this brief context.

Silicone-based products are medically recommended since they do not create any medical sufferings.

Latex contains a minor number of cancer-causing agents known as carcinogens, but these minor amounts can be more vulnerable to a sensitive or already cancer-diagnosed body.

So, in such sensitive cases, silicone is preferred over latex.

Silicone doesn’t contain any such harmful agents.

Silicone is entirely free to use and easy to handle at the same time.

Latex is cheap, but it has got another side effect to be allergic.

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