A simple comparison between silicone and natural rubber. We get quite a few questions about Rubber and Silicone watch straps. Which is better Rubber Straps or Silicone Straps?
To get a glimpse of why silicone doesn't measure up to natural rubber's properties and benefits we should take a step back in time from the annals and look at the history of the first silicone elastomers that were developed in the search for a better insulating material for electric motors and generators. Resin impregnated glass fibers were the state materials at the time.
The glass was very heat resistant, however the phenolic resins would not withstand the higher temps that were being encountered in newer smaller electric motors. Chemists at Corning glass and General Electric were investigating heat resistant materials for use as resinous binders when they synthesized the first silicone polymers which was the route to producing polydimethylsiloxane commercially.
Obviously, at the time rubber or silicone was not commonly used for watch bands or straps. Fact is, that's how Dow Corning came to be- from the forming of a joint venture of Corning Glass, Dow Chemical. Dow Corning started producing this new class of materials in 1943. As the unique properties of the new silicone products were studied in more detail, GE saw a broader application of usages and also produced silicones starting in 1947.
The truth is silicone rubber offers good resistance to extreme temperatures. However, compared to organic rubbers, silicone rubber has a very low tensile strength. For this reason, care is needed in designing products to withstand even low imposed loads. The material is also very sensitive to fatigue from cyclic loading.
Silicone rubber is a highly inert material and does not react with most chemicals. Do to it's inertness it is used in many medical applications, such as medical implants. Which typically adds to ascetics of the upper torso of the female.
Rubber is a name given to a lot of different polymers that are all elastomers. The first rubber was the natural kind from the sap of heave trees in Central America. We still use it today, but there are now several other kinds of rubber that people invented. They were "inspired" by natural rubber.
Rubber actually got its name when people in Britain figured out that it could be used to erase or "rub out" mistakes made with a pencil. These little blobs of bouncy stretchy stuff used to rub out errors were called "rubbers." The British still call them that. So rubber was named after something that people made out of it.
Natural Rubber, One of the most well known natural polymers is polyisoprene, or natural rubber. Ancient Mayans and Aztecs, in what is now Central America, harvested it from the heave tree and used it to make waterproof boots and the balls that they used to play a game similar to basketball.
So to answer your question? Which is better Rubber watch straps or Silicone? It all depends on what you think. With Silicone being such a refined material and natural rubber being perfected with additional additives it all comes down to feel. We prefer Rubber and not silicone, but we offer countless options of both for you to enjoy and meet your budget!