Silica gel alias is silicic acid gel, is a high activity adsorption material, is an amorphous material. Silica gel is mainly composed of silica, which is chemically stable and does not burn.
TPE is also known as thermoplastic elastomer. It is a polymer or polymer alloy material with the structure of rubber soft segment (or rubber phase) and plastic hard segment (or continuous plastic phase). The most common TPE refers to the polymer alloy material which is composed of SEBS and SBS as the base material.
TPE and silica gel have many similar characteristics, such as soft touch, rubber elasticity, environmental protection and non-toxic. Silica gel is a traditional material, TPE nearly 20 years in the rubber and plastic industry to emerge. TPE and silica gel have similar characteristics, but also have their own advantages and disadvantages. In recent years, TPE has replaced silica gel in many fields by virtue of its advantages, which makes silica gel go nowhere.
In short, silica gel has excellent resilience and small permanent deformation, compared with TPE. TPE costs relatively low, more convenient processing, materials can be used repeatedly, silica gel than.
In addition, for environmental characteristics, although TPE and silica gel are environmentally friendly and non-toxic, the test of food contact materials, silica gel in line with fda21cfr177.2600, and European Union LFGB olive oil test standards, and TPE basically cannot pass the two test standards. Some TPE manufacturers on the market claim that the material can pass 21cf177.2600 (n-exane residue dissolution test) and LFGB(olive oil test), I have reservations.
Regarding heat resistance, TPE is generally able to withstand the temperature of 70~90, while special TPE can withstand the temperature of 100~130. Silica gel can withstand temperature 200~250 without deformation. In terms of chemical resistance, silica gel is generally better than TPE.
In a word, TPE and silica gel have their own advantages and disadvantages. The selection of silicone or TPE materials for new products should be based on the corresponding requirements and comprehensive evaluation.