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Gavin Greig [userpic]


March 30th, 2012 (03:42 pm)
current location: KY16 8SX

Apparently this has been around for a while, but I only came across it last week: sugru is a silicone rubber putty that comes in little sachets like a largish wad of chewing gum, and overnight it cures into, well, silicone rubber with the strength and flexibility that you might expect. Having seen the interesting examples of its usage on the web site, I thought I’d buy a pack of 12 assorted colours and see what it was like.

The pack that arrived was smaller than I expected – about A5 size – and it was a surprise to discover that sugru had a “best before” date, giving it a shelf-life of about six or seven months. That was a bit disappointing, and although it was prominent on the packaging I hadn’t seen any mention of it on the web site. Black mark!

The other drawback that I noticed fairly quickly, which doesn’t bother me but might be a show-stopper for others, is that sugru is not food-grade – so shouldn’t be used to make anything that will come directly in contact with food. Again, disappointing for a silicone rubber.

However, since I didn’t have any immediate application in mind, I didn’t need a large quantity, and in light of the best-before-date I was doubly glad I hadn’t gone overboard.

I was expecting to have to try to think of a use for it, then when I was working on the Neanderthal head a need suddenly rose. I used some Micro Set to make a water-slide transfer adhere better, but when putting the lid back on to the bottle I burst it! The plastic snapped around the top of the lid, as I tried to tighten it up too much.

It wouldn’t have been my first choice for what to apply an interesting silicone rubber fix to, but it did seem like a good candidate, and timely, so I gave the sugru a go, and applied it as a new grip around the top of the bottle cap, covering the split.

It seems pretty sound, it’s gripped the plastic of the bottle cap well, feels firm to the touch with a very slight give, and is quite grippy. Most importantly, it’s sealed the disastrous split so that none of the precious fluids can escape. For this simple task, it’s done the job well.

It’s not the most thrilling application, but this stuff has a lot of potential, so I thought it was worth a) mentioning, b) sharing my experience and c) pointing out the couple of disappointments I discovered with it, so that people are informed.


Posted by: Andrew Patterson (qidane)
Posted at: March 30th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)

The web site does mention the 6-month shelf life somewhere. It was why I decided not to order some on spec but wait till I had a few jobs to do. They had a video of what happened to the stuff when it got old.

Posted by: Andrew Patterson (qidane)
Posted at: March 30th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)

Oh, check the pro tip from their site:

"sugru will stay fresh for 6 months from the date you receive it. If you use it within its date, the cured sugru will last and last. (You’ll find a Use By date on the back of each individual minipack). PRO TIP: If you keep sugru in the fridge, you can increase its shelf life by up to 2X!"

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: March 30th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)

Worth knowing!

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: March 30th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)

I'll have to have another look. I certainly didn't spot that first time round, nor on subsequent trips.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: March 31st, 2012 09:17 am (UTC)

Ah, found it, and I think I see why I missed it before. It's on the About page of the web site, where there's a section all about sugru's properties that doesn't mention it. Then there's a section about how people have used it, then at the foot of the page there's another section that contains the caveats like the 6-month shelf life.

I think I missed it because that second, middle section comes across as less fact-rich than the first, and it reduces expectations as to what you'll find still further down the page. I must have just skipped it.

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