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  • Food Grade silicones?

     fixbear updated 9 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 8 Posts
  • olivero

    October 17, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Guys,

    I’ve always been a fan of using food grade just to be safe, but I don’t quite understand the difference between food safe and non food safe silicones, what’s different about it?

    I was told the food safe ones won’t grow mold and stuff like that but is that the only difference? Also, do you use food safe in the kitchen everywhere or only on surfaces that will actually contact food?

    I’ve always used it everywhere, for walls, anything, just to be safe but perhaps I’m wasting my silicone?

  • fixbear

    October 17, 2019 at 4:25 pm

     was a discovery by GE’s R&D in Niskiyuna down the road from me in the 50’s.  They built a plant just for that in Waterford, NY and operated it for many years till it became a enviromental liability and the patents were expiring. They then sold it as other chemical companies came on line making them.  The genuine GE’s were awesome products  that were safe in most any forms.  But they do have other chemicals involved like acetic acid and some long named others.  After all, basically silicone is no more than silica (sand) in a flexible but stable form.  A byproduct that is from it is distilled and used for contact len’es. Worth about $5000 per gallon in 93 and can’t get over 40F till used. Tarry nasty stuff to remove. 

    Now, lets get to the difference.  Food grade,  Med grade,  MIl grade,  Space grade are no more than testing certifications that they do not contain chemical contaminants for the use.  And the manufacturer stands behine the product for that usage.   Obviously a major company will spend a lot of money for these certifications if there is a market to pay for them.  Sometimes it is the same product and sometimes it’s not.  They may use a different solvent or stabilizers to meet the requirements.. But the only way to be sure is to buy the certified ones.  Believe me, over the years I have used non-certified ones,  but I went in knowing the the line.  After all, i spent a bit of time at R&D.

    • fixbear

      October 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      I forgot to answer your basic question on anti fungal . Nope, not true. The ph of silicones products are normally below where fungal s and bacteria’s like to grow. 

  • olivero

    October 21, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I didn’ get a respond notification on this so I didn’t see your response.

    Interesting information though, so I guess it’s just the fact they went through with the testing to make sure it wasn’t harmful.

  • kenchow

    December 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Bit of a late answer. I repair simple stuff like countertop appliances. I don’t use silicone a lot, just a dab of clear stuff  to cover screws that hold meat slicer blades, or on screws that hold the blade of hand immersion mixers. I try to use silicone that has H1 and NSF on the label. I am more interested in trying to find affordable food safe grease for the occasional planetary mixer repair. It is very expensive and our company won’t spend the money for occasional repairs. You need it when you need it though. Also, I believe it is assumed the food has Incidental contact only.

    • fixbear

      December 12, 2019 at 4:26 am

      Kenchow wrote; 
      I am more interested in trying to find affordable food safe grease for the occasional planetary mixer repair.

      Most industrial supply houses like MSC or McMaster-Carr carry food grade lubricants. Both Mineral and synthetic. Your looking about $40 per gallon for mineral base.

  • olivero

    December 16, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I try to make stuff as good and professional as I can most of the time, so for anything that could potentially come into contact with food, I’ll want to use NSF oil, grease, etc. 

    I had to get the grease for a planetary mixer, a Hobart one and I looked at the picture online which said what the product was inside of Hobarts packaging and went to Grainger and bought it for a fraction of the price, lol.

    • fixbear

      December 17, 2019 at 7:51 am

      Their are three major industrial suppliers out there.  McMaster-Carr is the oldest and my favorite to use. Then came Granger.  And the newest one is MSC (Manhattan Supply Company)

      McMaster has been around since the turn of the last century.  When I first started using them in the Fifties, they were in Chicago.  Now they have warehouses around the country with a normal 1 to 2 days delivery.  I especially like their web site to find items and engineer them as they have complete specs with CAD drawings.  And if you need a spec’ed item, the site will sort for you

      Granger came in 1921, again in Chicago, but focused on motors and electrical.  In the sixties and seventies, their pricing and supply was terrific.  At least in the Northeast.  But during the recession they had a bit of trouble and changed.  A lot.  Often don’t have what I’m looking for and when they do it is usually at a higher price. 

      Manhattan supply came around in the beginning of the second World War.  They were primarily a machine tool supply company. I used them for a lot of milling bits, drill bits, and precision measuring tools.  Especially Carbide.  Even a precision ground optic for checking a lapped surface with a tolerance of .000002 inch.  Today they are called MSC Industrial Direct.

      Now there was a couple of good ones in the Detroit area, But they didn’t make it. They either closed or were gobbled up by MSC as it grew and Detroit died..

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