The key difference between RTV and silicone is that RTV is a general term for room temperature vulcanizing silicone, whereas silicone is a polymer material having repeating units of siloxane.
RTV stands for room temperature vulcanizing. More precisely, RTV is a general term we use to refer to “RTV silicone” which is a type of silicone rubber which dries at room temperature.
What is RTV?
The term RTV stands for room temperature vulcanizing. Mainly, the term is used along with silicone as “room temperature vulcanizing silicone” because RTV silicone is a rubber polymer that dries at room temperature.
Moreover, the RTV silicone is made from a two-component system, which has a base and a curative. Also, this rubber material is available in a range of hardness, which varies from soft to medium. Besides, the silicone rubber is first mixed with a curing agent or a vulcanizing agent to produce this material. As the catalyst, manufacturers commonly use either platinum or tin containing compounds such as dibutyltin dilaurate.
When considering the applications of RTV silicone, it is a common building sealer, specifically for kitchen and bathrooms. It is mainly because of its water repellent characteristics and adhesiveness. However, RTV is not a strong adhesive; but, it has a combination of adhesive properties and rubber properties. Another importance is that this material is useful for low-temperature over-moulding.
What is Silicone?
Silicone is a polymer material having repeating units of siloxane. Another common name of this material is polysiloxane. It is a synthetic compound. Also, it contains repeating units of siloxane. Typically, this material is either a liquid or a rubber-like material and is mainly used as a sealant.
When considering the chemical structure, polysiloxane contains a backbone, having silicon and oxygen atoms in an alternating pattern. There are organic side groups attached to this backbone. We can make a wide variety of silicone materials by changing the chain lengths of polymer chains, by crosslinking, etc.
The useful properties of silicone include low thermal conductivity, low toxicity, low chemical reactivity, ability to repel water, and, electrical insulation. The applications of this material include sealants, adhesives, lubricants, medicine, cooking utensils, and thermal and electrical insulation.
What is the Difference Between RTV and Silicone?
The key difference between RTV and silicone is that RTV is a general term for room temperature vulcanizing silicone, whereas silicone is a polymer material having repeating units of siloxane. When considering the chemical structure, RTV silicone has crosslinks while normal silicone may or may not have cross-links. So, this is a structural difference between RTV and silicone.
Moreover, the difference between RTV and silicone in terms of cost and usage is that the RTV silicone is more expensive; thus, its usage is limited. However, normal silicone is a low-cost product, so many people use silicone over RTV.
Summary – RTV vs Silicone
RTV silicone and normal silicone are two major types of silicone. The key difference between RTV and silicone is that RTV is a general term for room temperature vulcanizing silicone, whereas silicone is a sulfur-containing polymer material.
1. “Uses of RTV Silicone.” Hunker, Available here.