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Understanding the effects of in-service temperature and functional fluid on the ageing of silicone rubber

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journal contribution
posted on 26.02.2019, 00:00 authored by Sima KashiSima Kashi, Mandy De Souza, Salwan Al-Assafi, Russell VarleyRussell Varley
With an organic/inorganic hybrid nature, silicone elastomers are amongst the most versatile engineering materials, exploited in a wide range of applications either as end-products or in manufacturing processes. In many industrial machines, silicone components are exposed to in-service conditions, such as high or low temperatures, contact with functional fluids, mechanical loading, and deformations, which can adversely affect these components and reduce their lifespan, leading to machine failure in turn. The present study investigates the behaviour of a silicone component of a manufacturing equipment and the variations in the part's properties due to in-service conditions (temperature, exposure to heat transfer fluid, and mechanical deformation) to develop a monitoring tool. An experimental design was employed to study the main and the interaction effects of temperature (22 °C, 180 °C), medium (air, synthetic heat transfer fluid), and strain (0%, 200%) on the silicone component's properties. Results showed that while the chemistry of the component remains intact, its thermal and in particular mechanical properties are largely influenced by the in-service conditions. Consequently, leading to a physical rather than a chemical failure of the component and limiting its service life. Statistical analysis revealed that high temperature and the exposure to the heat transfer fluid have the most sever effects. Moreover, these two manufacturing parameters were found to have a significant interaction with one another, whose effect cannot not be neglected.









MDPI Publishing


Basel, Switzerland





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2019, The Authors