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In contrast to other elastomers, the gas permeability of Silicones is very high. In fact, permeability is 30 times than that of natural rubber and 400 times than that of Butyl rubber.

Although disadvantaged in seals for gas containers, Silicones find plenty of uses where gas permeability is an advantage i.e. contact lenses, fabric coatings and breathable medical applications.

Whilst all Silicones are permeable to gasses, the phenyl grades (PVMQ) exhibit slightly lower gas permeability than standard VMQ grades.

See chart below:-

Gas Permeability – ASTM D1418

Silastic Air Nitgrogen Oxygen Hydrogen Carbon Dioxide Helium
VQM 0.382 0.307 0.660 0.729 3.87 0.436
PVMQ 0.272 0.231 0.492 0.551 2.59 -------

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