When English chemist F.S Kipping introduced the word silicone in 1940, the
synthetic product appeared to be of no commercial use, and the world
continued with natural rubbers, resins and wax. But from simple commercial
beginnings in the 50’s to widespread use in the 80’s, silicone has become a
very valuable and versatile adhesive or sealant, and numerous versions have
been developed. You can now easily obtain a silicone sealant or adhesive
adapted to stick, seal or cement for virtually any application.
After the abundance of silicone adhesive sealants and polyurethane glues and sealants, Hybrid Sealant Adhesives emerged, combining the positive performance attributes of many types, to produce a high-strength, durable sealant and adhesive. These new products have a number of advantages, and generally do not contain silicone, solvents or isocyanates, scoring well on the environmental front. This lack of solvent also means they do not shrink or crack through curing, making them very valuable for caulking and gap-filling, as they retain their stretch or elasticity. A major weakness with regular silicone sealants is that they usually require a dry surface to bond to – in real life this can be difficult to achieve. The next generation, sometimes called Hybrid Polymer Sealant Adhesive, can even cure under water.
The answer to this will of course depend on your task, but unless you do exactly the same task all the time, or are only expecting to do one task, a product that performs excellently in as many situations as possible makes an obvious choice. Well known names such as CT1 or Dura+ offer very good bonding strength, at the same time as excellent indoor or outdoor durability and flexibility. The qualities for adhesives you would look for are high initial grab strength and temperature stability. For sealants, it would be ability to seal in damp conditions, long-term flexibility, resistance to shrinking, cracking and discolouration and mould or mildew protection. Of course you often need a waterproof product, and if used outdoors it should have UV resistance.
A basic tube of economy sealant or adhesive may only cost £2 to £4 each. Combined (Hybrid) alternatives would probably start around £9 to £10 for small quantities, which would appear to be expensive at first glance. However, for a proper comparison, you need to consider two other factors. Firstly, will you need several tubes of sealant and adhesive to cover each different situation you work with? Secondly, with a variety of different tubes open or on the shelf, you are more likely to find they have dried out or past their best by the time you need them. Silicone sealants in particular are time-sensitive and you must carefully check the date on the tube. Of course, if you factor in the time or cost of re-doing a job because the sealant or adhesive did not suit the particular situation, your supposed cost saving with a cheap silicone disappears.
Yes, it can be confusing and you may have many questions that are not answered here. But, that’s ok, we are only a phone call away or can be contacted via email to answer these remaining questions.
At Maxam, we have built a reputation for personalised, friendly service that puts the customer first. We have been manufacturing high quality and innovative products for the construction and property repair trades since 1971. We would be glad to answer any questions or concerns about your sealant or adhesive needs.
If you would like to discuss your sealant or adhesive needs or find out more about our full range of products, call our friendly, knowledgeable team on 0800 0922 923, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us an enquiry. Or if you’d rather, browse our complete product range and call us when you’re ready to talk – we’re here to help!