How to strengthen silicone rubber

MaxSMaxS UK
Hi,

I am trying to prevent the silicone rubber to break after being nipped. I know that using power mesh gives nice results but sometimes it is difficult to secure it inside a tool. I wonder if there are some alternative methods. I thought about a silicone rubber and polyurethane fibre mix - maybe something like that could be brushed on cured silicone in critical places to make it stronger?

Best Answer

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Accepted Answer
    I'm not sure how much the fiber would help.  Part of why power mesh works is because it is a singular mesh, which allows the silicone to encapsulate the entire thing so no one area can slip.   Because silicone does not bond well with other materials loose fibers may not provide much resistance under stress.  I'd be interested to see that tested to see what impact (positive or negative) it has though!   The same idea could be done with power mesh, or any other mesh fabric that fits your needs, to patch and strengthen a specific area.

    One thing that helps on all rubbers is not having your cut end in a single point, as this is where a tear will propagate.  If you end the cut at a punched or drilled hole it will be less likely to spread.  You can make a silicone drill pretty easily out of a piece of brass tubing.  Just chuck the tube into your drill and file/sand the exposed edges nice and sharp, using the drill almost like a lathe.  Once it's sharp you can use it for cutting holes in foams/rubbers.

    /Chris

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