The Ultimate List of Silicone Sealant Alternatives to Help You Navigate the Worldwide Price Increase

November 29, 2021

Silicone sealants are utilised as a sealing or bonding material in a range of building applications, including residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure.

 

UV stability, high movement and elongation, tenacious adhesion, and remarkable weatherability are all characteristics of silicone sealants. Expansion and control joints, perimeter caulking, structural glazing, and Insulated Glass (IG) units are all common uses for silicone sealants. Silicone sealants have qualities that allow them to be used both indoors and out, and they stick well to a wide range of substrates, including aluminium, glass, steel, painted metal, plastic, stone, concrete, and brick.

 

The raw material needed to make silicone sealants is in short supply as a result of recent global supply chain disruptions. As a result, a growing number of building suppliers are providing alternate types of sealants to industry professionals in order to keep their businesses running without sacrificing quality.

 

Why are Silicone Sealants becoming more expensive?

 

In 2021, a massive worldwide supply chain disruption resulted in significant raw material shortages and a 300 percent price increase in less than two months. This disruption in supply is expected to extend through the first half of 2022.

 

There are several factors that have contributed to the global silicone shortage:

•  In 2020 and 2021, there will be prolonged outages at major silicone plants.

•  Rationing orders in China have had a significant influence on silicon metal production, which is an energy-intensive process (China produces 70 percent of silicon metal globally).

•  Outside of China, there have been few substantial investments in silicone manufacture, resulting in restricted global raw material production and supply.

•  Tightened border controls in response to the COVID-19 epidemic have resulted in labour shortages due to the limited intake of migrant workers, directly driving up manpower        costs.

•  Extended transit times, insufficient transportation capacity (lack of drivers, ships, containers, etc.) and manufacturing lockdowns have caused manufacturers and suppliers to raise product pricing to mitigate these risks.

 

The combined effect of these issues has resulted in a significant reduction in the availability of silicone raw materials and a rise in manufacturing costs. As a result, providers are advocating the use of silicone substitutes in various building applications whenever viable or possible to ensure construction continuity.

 

What should I look for in a silicone sealant substitute?

 

Before selecting to use a silicone sealant instead, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it going to be used for structural glazing?
  2. Will the alternative sealant have to be exposed to the elements or UV light?
  3. What is the anticipated movement capacity?
  4. Is the finishing going to be covered?

 

Without silicone, how can I fix a failing silicone sealant joint?

 

With polyurethane technology, there are a few options for repairing a failed silicone sealant junction. However, because polyurethanes do not adhere to cured silicones, the present silicone sealer would have to be removed completely. If the junction is in a porous substrate, mechanical abrasion will most likely be required to remove as much of the current sealant as feasible. 


If the sealant joint is in a non-porous substrate, it should be cut out as near to the bond line as practicable. If any silicone remains in the joint, sanding with fine grit sandpaper may be required.   It is recommended that the polyurethane extend 7-8mm onto the substrate on either side of the junction while applying the new polyurethane sealant joint. This ensures that the material adheres to the new substrate.

 

Is it possible to utilise polyurethane (PU) sealants?

 

For both new and renovation projects, polyurethane sealants are a popular choice. Polyurethane sealants come in single and multi-component formulations and are typically used in horizontal joints or non-sagging vertical applications. When considering using a PU sealant as a Silicone alternative, it's critical to speak with a professional who can guide you through the process.

 

What are Hybrid Sealants and How Do They Work? Is it possible to use these in place of regular silicone sealants?

 

High-performance polyurethane and silicone chemistry are combined in hybrid sealants. These technologies come together to form a hybrid sealant that combines the weathering and UV resistance of a silicone sealant with the durability and paintability of a polyurethane sealer. When looking for an alternative to regular silicone sealants, hybrid sealants are a great choice.



Tremco CPG Australia suggests the following silicone sealant options:

Substrate/Application

Silicone Typically Used

Alternative Sealant

Additional Remarks

Concrete

Tremco SG300
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
Tremflex 50
illmod 600
Willseal
  • Hybrids and PU exhibit excellent unprimed adhesion to concrete, and both are paintable.

  • Illmod 600 can provide superior movement accommodation with zero mess or cure time.

  • Willseal can also accommodate very large joint widths.

Natural Stone

Tremco SG300
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
Tremflex 50
illmod 600
  • Hybrids and PU exhibit excellent unprimed adhesion to stone with no risk of staining and both are paintable.

  • Illmod 600 can provide superior movement accommodation with zero waste or mess

Stucco / Render

Tremglaze 50Dymonic FC
Tremflex 50
illmod 600
  • Hybrids and PU exhibit excellent unprimed adhesion to stucco with no risk of staining and both are paintable.

  • Illmod 600 can provide superior movement accommodation with zero waste or mess
Window and Door Perimeters Tremco SG300
Dymonic FC
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
Tremflex 50
illmod 600
  • Hybrids will generally provide better adhesion to dissimilar substrate than silicone with the added benefit of being paintable.

  • Illmod 600 seals instantly with no mess or waste and can cope with wide joints. 
FlashingsTremco SG300
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
Tremflex 50
  • Hybrids will generally provide better adhesion to dissimilar substrate than silicone with the added benefit of being paintable.
Internal Joints (Dry)Tremglaze 50Dymonic FC
  • Hybrids will have similar appearance and performance to silicone with the added benefit of being paintable. Crystal clear hybrids are also available.
Curtain Wall Sealing and BeddingTremglaze 50440 Tape
  • Butyl has superior sealing qualities.

Glass

Spectrem 1
Tremco SG300
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
  • Hybrids exhibit excellent adhesion to glass.
Vinyl and PlasticTremco SG300
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
  • Hybrids offer excellent stain resistant bonding to plastics and can also act as an adhesive.
WoodTremco SG300
Dymonic FC
Tremglaze 50
Dymonic FC
illmod 600
  • Hybrids offer excellent stain resistant bonding to wood and are paintable.

  • Illmod 600 offers superior movement accommodation, non-staining and zero mess or wastage.
*Please note there are no alternatives for Structural Glazing.
For product recommendations outside of Australia, please contact your local office to discuss with one of our specialists.

 

Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a guide for appropriate non-silicone alternative selection for typical applications. While this paper is intended to serve as a guide, the installer should always follow the product manufacturer's instructions, as well as carefully reviewing the products' published application instructions and datasheets.

 

Do you need assistance selecting the best silicone sealant alternative?

Our team is available to assist you with any inquiries, specifications, or projects you may have.  Contact us today.