100% silicone???

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Ed from chicago, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Can you tell me if there is any difference in 100% silicone: window & door, kitchen and bath, aquarium sealant, or any other 100% silicone caulks? Why so many if they are all 100% silicone?

  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Different compostions. Aquarium silicone, for example, does not have the vinegar that you smell with other silicones, because that would be deadly to the fish.
  3. molo

    molo Member

    cold new york
    Wouldn't the vinegar make it less than 100% silicone?

    Just curious.....

  4. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    So,these g.e products can be used interchangably? 100% Silicone Rubber Caulk, G.E. Silicone II Household Glue & Seal , G.E. Silicone II Aluminum & Metal Sealant
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Interesting question. You can call GE, but I have done that, and had no success talking to anyone who really had any answers.

    The acetic acid smell is the curing agent.

    The tub/tile or K/B types have a mildew retardant.
  6. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    I've re-sealed lots of aquariums with g.e. silicone from walmart paint department. I always let them sit dry for 3 days before putting water or fish in them. Regular pH testing was part of my normal routine and these repaired tanks never gave me any trouble. So, for the most part I'd bet that these 100% silicones can be used interchangeably on indoor and most outdoor projects. I'd only worry about the u.v. causing problems.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    I saved this from a post somewhere else - I think it was on the John Bridge forum...

    The most commonly used silicone sealants in the construction trade fall into 2 groups with regard to their chemistry and cure method. If it says on the label that it is "acid curing" or "liberates acetic acid" it is known as an acetoxy silicone. We've all used them, they have that pungent, distinct vinegar odor. If you read the tube and/or the data sheet, they are generally not recommended for use on masonry or cement based surfaces. The acid that is liberated during the cure can attack the cement, or in some cases the stone, potentially causing bond and seal failure. As a tub cauk, it works great because it bonds extremely well to the more-often-than-not glazed surface of the tile. As it relates to shelf life, when it gets old, it hardens in the tube, so there is no question as to whether it is bad or not.
    Neutral cure silicones used in construction often use an alkoxy cure method. They are used often in the glazing and curtainwall trades. Since they don't liberate acid when they cure, they work great on masonry, stone, brick, and other acid sensitive materials like anodized aluminum, galvanived surfaces, copper, etc. Urethanes are often used with metals, but for glass and structural glazing, neutral cure is the best. Unfortunately, neutral cure silicones have a short shelf life, unless refrigerated. 6 months is the usual. However, unlike the acetoxy that gets hard in the tube, neutral cure will gun out of the tube like a dream, it will just never cure. What's worse than removing caulk? Removing caulk that didn't cure.
    Most of the limitations regarding acetoxy silicones aren't a huge concern to the average tub surround job. But when you're essentially gluing in 500# panes of glass a couple of hundred feet or more up the side of a building, you tend to get a little picky about such things.
    Neutral cure is a good choice for the tile trades, but it is more expensive. Buy it from a caulking/waterproofing wholesaler that sells a lot of it, that way you'll know that you're getting fresh material.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2007
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