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Sealants and Adhesives

The primary function of a sealant is to fill a space and create a barrier between two or more objects.

The primary function of an adhesive is to bond two or more substrates together.

Some stronger sealants may qualify as adhesives but most sealants demonstrate weaker attachment and are not suitable for bonding or attachment purposes. Similarly, there are some adhesives called adhesive sealants that can fulfill both adhering and to some degree a sealing function..

Types of Sealants

The most common sealant types and the applications for which they are best suited.

  1. Low Modulus Acetoxy (LMA) Silicone Sealants are the cost-effective “all-rounders”, they are suitable for a wide variety of general building, sanitary (when they contain a fungicide), glazing interior and exterior applications and adhere to many common building materials.
  2. Low Modulus Neutral (LMN) Silicone Sealants are the best option for the sealing of UPVC Window or Door Frames (exterior). Offers better adhesion, accommodates more movement, and is generally longer lasting than LMA’s.
  3. High Modulus Acetoxy (HMA) Silicone Sealants are most commonly used for kitchen and sanitary applications (ensure the sealant contains a fungicide).
  4. Food Grade Silicone Sealants are designed for use in areas where food contact may occur including contact with raw meat. Ensure the sealant has a European Food Grade Certificate or is FDA Certified.
  5. Oil Based Mastic is a very traditional product used in the industry for decades. It is an economical, general-purpose sealant for applications that have low level movement. It is important to note after a certain period of time they will dry out and crack.
  6. Butyl Rubber Sealants are non-setting sealants and remain a chewing gum-like consistency during their lifetime. They are commonly used on caravans, cars and in general construction where a semi-permanent seal is required.
  7. Acrylic Caulks are the economical, paintable alternative to silicones. However the external application of this form of sealant is very much ruled by the weather, conditions must be dry and preferably warm when applying otherwise the sealant will be washed out of the joint. They also do not offer the same flexibility as a silicone or lifespan.
  8. Intumescent Sealants are designed for joints where a fire retardant seal is required to prevent the passage of smoke and vapours. For exterior use, use a Fire Retardant Silicone.
  9. MS Polymer Sealants are an “all in one” sealant suitable for virtually any application where a sealant or adhesive is required. The sealing and adhesive properties make them perfect for surfaces that experience frequent vibration or strain. They are also ideal for gluing panels, skirting boards, windows, mirrors and insulation materials.
  10. Polyurethane Sealants are most commonly used for boat, car, caravan and mobile home applications. However, they are also suitable for expansion and floor joints.