Can silicone elastomer (silicone rubber) be recycled?

After vulcanization, it is difficult to reverse the process or separate the material back into its original components.

The recycling of silicone rubber products mainly includes:

1. Defective Product Recycling: Recycling companies purchase obsolete or defective silicone products at a price significantly lower than the market price. And resell them. This method does not change the product itself, but only brings it back into the market cycle.

2. Mechanical recycling: Made waste silicone into particles or powder for reuse; silicone rubber is chemically inert. This method is mainly used as modified fillers for rubber and plastics. For example, in the process of making new products, particles of different colors are added to achieve a beautiful effect. In China, we call it “彩带(Coloured ribbon)”.

3. Chemical recovery: By adding the appropriate catalyst (acid, alkali, salt, etc.) to crack the siloxane chain, the waste silicone rubber can be decomposed into DMC and small molecular chain polysiloxane, which can be reused to prepare raw silicone rubber. Chemical cracking methods mainly include alkali catalysis, acid catalysis and ultrasonic cracking.

Thus realizing the green and sustainable development of the silicone industry.

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