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Elastomers

Silicone elastomers, or rubbers, are made from linear polymers that bear hydroxyl, vinyl or other reactive side chains. They can be crosslinked in various ways to yield highly elastic, more or less open-pored structures.

The constituents of silicone rubbers are long-chain polysiloxanes and various fillers such as pyrogenic (fumed) silica, chalk, quartz, mica and kaolin, which give elastomers good mechanical properties (elasticity, absorption, tear strength).

"The rubbers are rendered flexible by vulcanisation or curing, a process in which the chains are crosslinked."

The different rubbers are classified according to the type of vulcanisation (crosslinking agents, temperature) and base-polymer viscosity employed and are broadly distinguished as room-temperature-vulcanising and high-temperature-vulcanising types.