What is Silicone Elastomer Used For?

Silicone elastomers are versatile synthetic rubbers valued for their stability, flexibility, and inertness. Their unique properties make them well-suited for a diverse array of applications, but especially vital for electronic devices. Silicone provides the protection, insulation, and reliability needed to ensure electronics perform safely and effectively.

silicone elastomers

Key Properties of Silicone Elastomers

Silicone elastomers possess a combination of properties that enable their broad use in electronics:

Temperature Resistance

With a working range spanning -100 to 300°C, silicone maintains flexibility and resilience from subzero cold to extreme heat. This allows maintaining form and function in electronics exposed to temperature swings.


The polymer backbone structure of silicone enables it to repeatedly stretch and compress without fatigue. This elasticity allows absorbing stresses, vibrations, and deformations in electronic devices.

Low Compression Set

After prolonged compression, silicone regains its original shape without permanent deformation. This “memory” ensures consistent recovery of silicone components like seals and gaskets.


Silicone strongly resists degradation from environmental exposure like sunlight, ozone, and moisture. Electronics encased in silicone avoid weather-related damage.

Dielectric Strength

With excellent insulating properties, silicone provides leakage current protection and dielectric insulation for electronics. It prevents voltage arcing and short circuiting.

Flame Resistance

Silicone resists ignition and burning without producing toxic fumes. This helps meet flammability standards for electronics like UL 94 V-0.

Biological Inertness

With no reactive sites, silicone does not interact with biological tissues or fluids. This biocompatibility allows safe interfacing between electronics and the human body.

Key Applications of Silicone Elastomers in Electronics

Cable and Wire Insulation

Silicone jacketing protects cables and wires from moisture, ozone, and UV degradation. The flexibility accommodates repetitive bending without cracking or compromising insulation strength. Silicone jacketing withstands high intermittent temperatures while remaining flexible in low temperatures.

Lighting and LED Encapsulation

Optically clear silicone encapsulants protect LED systems from shock, vibration, dust and moisture ingress. Silicone’s stability across a wide temperature range maintains luminosity and prevents yellowing. The excellent dielectric properties prevent current leakage that can cause LEDs to fail.

Keyboards and Keypads

Silicone rubber sheets provide the right balance of tactile feedback, flexibility, and durability desired in keyboards and keypads. Silicone maintains the required tactile properties after millions of cycles without degrading or hardening. Translucent silicone allows keyboard illumination while blocking dirt and liquids.

Automotive Electronics

In vehicles, silicone protects electronics from underhood heat, chemicals, and moisture. As a gasket or sealant, it prevents water from reaching engine control units. Silicone insulates spark plug boots and harnesses in high temperature environments. Vibration dampening silicone bushings protect cabling.

Mobile Devices

Silicone cases and gaskets safeguard phones, tablets, and laptops from dust and splashing water while allowing heat dissipation. Silicone skins provide gripping friction and shock absorption if devices are dropped. The UV resistance prevents yellowing and degradation of cases.

Medical Electronics

For electronics embedded in medical devices, silicone ensures biocompatibility and sterility. It insulates electrical components from bodily fluids and tissue contact. Translucent silicone enables wireless data transmission for implanted devices.


Silicone seals protect sensitive sensors from particulate contamination and moisture ingress. Compliant silicone allows small mechanical movements and deformations required by sensors. It provides insulation for temperature and pressure sensors.

Printed Circuit Boards

As an electronic potting compound, silicone encapsulates PCBs to prevent electrical shorts and corrosion. The flexibility relieves stresses from differential thermal expansion and board flexing. Flame retardant silicone potting also improves safety.

Connectors and Cables

Silicone rubber grommets allow wires and cables to pass through metal housings while sealing the interface. Silicone o-rings provide sealing between mating connector housings. The elasticity accommodates vibrations and displacements, maintaining a tight interface seal.

Choosing the Right Silicone Elastomer

With many variations of silicone available, consider factors like:

  • Temperature requirements and thermal cycling range
  • Hardness and compression force deflection
  • Transparency for optical clarity and light transmission
  • Dielectric strength for insulation ratings
  • Flammability rating based on product safety standards
  • Skin contact approval for biocompatibility, if required

The wide formulation range of silicone elastomers provides the flexibility to select the optimal grade for the given electronic application. Partnering with an experienced silicone manufacturer ensures you find the right silicone material for your specific needs.


Silicone elastomers have become essential materials in electronics due to their unique set of properties. From flexible insulation to robust sealing, silicone enables electronics to perform reliably in demanding conditions. As electronic devices and components continue evolving, innovative silicone formulations will rise to meet emerging needs for protection, reliability, and efficiency. The design possibilities are nearly endless with this versatile, high-performance polymer.