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How to choose between Silicone Valve and TPE Valve?

Views: 14     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-12-15      Origin: Site

Elastomer Valve is also knowns as Non-return Valve, One Way ValveBack Pressure Flexible Check Valve, Air Flow Valve etc, which regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid. Our elastomer valves can be universally applied in many different applications, such as the health care, automotive, food and packaging industries. Elastomer valves include umbrella valves, duckbill valves, membrane valves and dispense valves etc. Elastomer Valve is mainly made of silicone, fluorosilicone & FVMQ, EPDM, Buna N & Nitrile Rubber and so on. Here we focus on silicone valve and TPE valve.

liquid silicone valve


What is the material of silicone valve and TPE valve?

As for the difference between these two, materials are the primary consideration. Silicone valve is made of silicone(thermoset elastomer), which is a synthetic resin where polymers join together by a chemical bond. Heating the mixture causes polymer cross-linking which results in a chemical bond giving the substance permanent strength and shape after the curing process. Silicone is also a kind of highly active adsorption material and has its chemical inertness, resistance to water and oxidation and stability at both high and low temperatures.

TPE valve is made of thermoplastic elastomer, which also known as thermoplastic rubber. The thermoplastic elastomer with both plastic and rubber characteristics is a blend or compound of polymers that melt and form into plastic when heated. It hardens when cooled, but its chemistry doesn’t change from one form to the next. It shows the high elasticity of rubber at room temperature and can be plasticized at high temperature of polymer materials (without vulcanization).

LSR air flow valve raw materialTPE valve raw material

What are the differences between silicone valve and TPE valve?

Key factors include:

· Material resistances

· Cycle time

· Temperature requirements

· Physical durability and material feel

· Cost

· Sustainability

Material resistances

When it comes to raw material resistance, both silicone and TPE materials enjoy excellent resistance to aging and weather. However, TPE does outperform silicone when it comes to abrasion, tearing and solvent resistance. Meanwhile, silicone offers more the ability to insulate electricity and repel water than TPE.

Cycle time

“Cycle time” is the time it takes for the molding machine to complete one cycle of valves production from disposing raw materials to cooling them as a solid part. Actual cycle time will depend on size, material and complexity of each part, but in general the process of TPE valve is simpler(which ranges within the lower tens of seconds per cycle) than silicone valve(which ranges within minutes per cycle). TPE valve has rapid cooling times and does not require secondary operations or curing agents. Due to the different chemical reactions of silicone valve that take place, there are additional steps, so it takes longer than TPE valve. For example, the first cooling process of silicone valve, which is made by injection molding LSR, is to mix two materials for the catalyst to cure the material. This is a more complex chemical reaction than the first heating process for TPE valve, which is simply melting pellets.

silicone one way valve process

Temperature requirements

One of the most significant factors is the temperature requirements of the manufacturing process and end product use. Silicone valve has the obvious advantages over TPE valve based on its ability to perform in extreme temperatures. For instance, TPE valve temperature: ranging from -30°F to 250°F. Outside of this range, TPE valve will begin to deteriorate and crack.

Silicone valve temperature ranges are much broader, with low-temperature use ranging between -60°F to -150°F and high-temperature use reaching up to 480°F. In temperatures kept constantly as high as around 480°F, there is not significantly changing its elasticity and sealing properties.

Physical durability and material feel

TPE valve has soft touch and material feel. Although not as flexible and soft as TPE, Silicone valve is highly durable and has good adhesion to metals and general resilience. Another difference between the two valves is that silicone valve has a better compression set than TPE valve. Silicone valve has a tendency to return to its original form even after long exposure to pressure, making it almost free from compression set. However, TPE valve could reduce its sealing function when exposure to pressure under certain temperatures for a long period.

Cost

Production cost: The materials of TPE valve have lower density / specific gravity per cm3 than slicone valve, so producing more parts per same amount of material compared to silicone. Such elements make TPE valve’s production costs generally lower than silicone valve. Due to silicone valve complicate manufacturing process, there is more cost than TPE valve, such as labor cost, manufacturing time and so on.

Tooling cost: Molds needed for silicone valve require more precision and tooling expertise than those used to manufacture TPE valve, so silicone valve tooling cost is more expensive than TPE valve.

Sustainability

TPE valve is more sustainable than silicone valve as its material can be easily recycled. The controlling factor here is solid TPE can be returned to liquid form after heating. But for silicone valve, once it set into a solid mold, cannot be melted back down to be recycled.

The advantages of silicone valve and TPE valve

Silicone valve advantages

◆Silicone valve is resistant to extreme heat and constant pressure. It can perform at continuous temperatures in excess of 200°C, so it is often used in the medical industry as a part of any devices that are exposed to repeated high-temperature sterilization. 

◆Silicone valve can last for a relatively long amount of time, so it can be replaced less frequently.

◆Silicone valve made by LSR is generally capable of reflecting a nuanced mold texture because LSR exhibits a low viscosity that allows it to flow more easily across the entire mold and into complex geometries.


TPE valve advantages

●TPE valve has a simpler and more-robust manufacturing process when compared to silicone valve. It brings long-term benefits such as fast, cost-effective production and stronger seals when overmolded.

●TPE valve doesn’t need to be replaced as often as part made of metal due to the level of resistance of the material. 

●TPE valve also meets many medical heat and pressure requirements. Certain medical-grade TPE valve withstand temperatures higher than 90°C for PCR or 130°C for autoclave.

●TPE valve offers excellent barrier properties against both air and moisture. These properties make TPE valve useful in medical applications such as disposable gloves that serve as a guard against biohazards and pathogens without concern for latex allergies.

TPE valve has a better sheen and appear colorful, making them more aesthetically pleasing than their metallic alternative.

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Our company Xiamen Better Silicone is a factory that specializes in the production of silicone rubber products.We offer one-stop service for your products. If you have any need, please feel free to contact us.

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