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31, May 2022

Difference Between Silicone Sealants & Silicone Adhesives

Difference Between Silicone Sealants & Silicone Adhesives

Do you at times use the terms Silicone Sealant & Silicone Adhesive interchangeably? Then you are using it wrong. The following blog will clear your confusion & help you understand the difference between these two almost similar solutions.

The underlying reason for this confusion between Silicone Sealant & Silicone Adhesive are materials used in their formation. Sealant & Adhesive are formulated using the same compounds & materials but in varying proportions.

Even though they consist of almost similar substances, sealant & adhesive are used for very different construction & hardware purposes.

If you are new to the world of hardware, construction, adhesive & sealants then this confusion between sealant & adhesive is obvious. But by the time you finish this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of when to use sealant & when to choose adhesive.

Key points of difference between silicone sealant & adhesive

Strength & Form

Even though Adhesive & Sealant are formed using almost the same components, their form varies a lot. Adhesive is a broad category & hence includes adhesives of many forms such as glue, cement, mucilage, etc. These adhesives are chosen based on their application.

On the other hand, sealant is made of elastomer, that gives it a paste-like consistency. Sealant comes in one form but is formulated for different purposes by Silicone Sealant Manufacturers.

Like General purposes, Heavy- Construction purposes, weather-resistant silicone sealant, etc. You can read more about the types of silicone sealant here.

If we compare the strength of adhesives to that of Silicone Sealant, adhesives offer rigidity & durability. While sealant offers flexibility & has high-shrinkage properties. It is due to these differences that adhesive & sealant are used for different purposes.

Adhesive - Rigid, Durable & comes in many forms
Sealant - Flexible, high-shrinkage & comes in the form of a paste


Adhesives are formulated primarily through polymers or resins, these two components resonate with plastic. Other components are also added to its mixture. The combination of it gives adhesive a lasting strength.

Silicone Sealant Manufacturers formulate sealants using silica & polymer. Along with these two, components such as chalk, cellulose, silica, pigment, etc are added.

The primary reason for adding such components to the sealant is for reducing its adhesiveness & making sealant viscoelastic.

Adhesive - Formed using polymer & resin. Has lasting strength.
Silicone Sealant - Formed using Silica, Polymer & adding other components such as Chalk, Cellulose, Silica, etc. Viscoelastic in nature.


Now coming to the most important point of difference - the purpose that adhesive & sealant serve. As mentioned above Adhesives are, rigid, strong, and durable.

This is why adhesives are used for bonding various substrates to each other. It is used in assembling parts of machinery, laying tiles, packaging & much more.

Silicone Sealant fills spaces between two substrates seamlessly, making the space between them, air-tight & watertight. It is applied to fill gaps between tiles, fittings, glazing windows, etc.

Basically, adhesives are used as the primary product for bonding while sealant is used as a finisher element.

Adhesive: Used for bonding various substrates
Silicone Sealant: Used for filling gaps between various substrates.

Preparation & Drying

If you are working with bonding two kinds of surfaces using Adhesive, the following things are to be kept in mind.

One is adhesives require a standard preparation before being applied. The steps include cleaning the surface with solvent, drying it, etc.While applying Silicone Sealant is an effortless job. Sealants are available in cartridge form with a nozzle. This cartridge is adjusted into a gun, which makes the application even easier.

Also, no advanced preparation is required before applying silicone sealant.This advantage makes General Silicone Sealant a favourite for household repairs such as cracks & leakages. You can look at the categories of General Silicone Sealant Here.

Also, sealant dries faster than adhesive by curing quickly.

Adhesive: Needs detailed preparation before applying
Silicone Sealant: Needs no advanced preparation and cures quickly.


Stating here the most common applications of Adhesive & Sealant to make the differentiation process easy for you.


- Assembling Doors & Windows
- Laying out tiles
- Bonding parts of machinery
- Building furniture
- In preparing Prefabricated houses

In short, Adhesives are used in the building & bonding process.

Silicone Sealants:

- Filling Cracks
- Glazing Windows
- Structuring Curtainwall
- Fixing Show-pieces
- Filling gaps between doors, windows, tiles
- Building Aquarium
- To stop household leakages
- Fixing sanitaryware
- Glazing Automotive & Marine Vehicles

Inshort, Sealants selected for fixing, filling, repairing & structuring.

Quick Recall:

  • Adhesive is strong and durable. It requires pre-preparation before applying. It is primarily used for bonding various substrates.
  • Silicone Sealant is flexible & has high shrinkage. It is used for filling gaps & making space air & watertight and doesn’t let dust particles pass through. It is fast drying and cures speedily.

We think now you’ll be able to differentiate between adhesive & sealant easily and choose the best fit for the job to be done.