Are silicone socks safe?

  • It's fairly common for E3D to sell silicone socks for their hot ends. There are also other companies that sell these silicone socks for their hot end cartridges.

    According to a brief internet search, it seems the ignition temperature of silicone is surprisingly low - around 450 °C. This surprised me because I was under the impression silicone would just burn / evaporate if it were heated up to a much higher temperature.

    If my thermistor/heatrod slips off, my heatrod will glow into an orange temperature during thermal runway. This only happens briefly, but its color indicates it is reaching a temperature around 790 °C.

    So, are silicone socks safe? Couldn't they ignite fairly easily?

    Incandescence chart for iron

    The more pressing issue here is not whether the sock will ignite, it's why your heater is reaching 800 °C in the first place. This should almost never happen under any circumstances in normal operation, as the upper limit for printing temperature on most common materials is 280 °C. Either your thermal-runaway protection is not sufficient in any way, or you're pumping **WAY** too much energy into your hotend.

    If your heatrod falls off it can happen! If your silicone sock accidentally touches the heatrod during application - maybe? Silicone is actually about as combustible as cardboard - why would you put cardboard around your heater end

    I dont understand what this article is supposed to be clearing up about, only that the fact your cartridge being capable of decoupling itself is an even larger problem.

    I was just surprised. I mod my hot ends, and knowing this now, I don't feel responsible enough to trust myself with a silicone sock, personally. And it's not just me - a bad thermistor from the manufacturer or basic slip-up could cause this.

    You are linking to a printer that had no Thermal Runaway Protection enabled. It seems that your printer doesn't either, please fix that first!

    note that your Incandescence chart is technically the iron one, the one for aluminum is a little different (by a margin of some hundred degrees). Note that Aluminium (which your heater block is made of) melts at 660 °C, so your most worrying item should be the block, which will melt, drip and melt anything below if this goes on for a couple seconds like seen here

    Just as a by-the-way: there are heat resistant silicones that will burn very slowly and retard fires even if you cross into the high temperatures. Here is an example (Disclaimer, I have worked for the company who made this ad)

    While it is good fire safety practice to keep around as few inflammable material as possible, don't forget that the usual filaments are flammable, too. Ultimater lists an ignition temp for their PLA of 388 °C and thermal decomposition from 250 °C (

    Today I learned that "sock" can refer to other stuff than just footwear. Also, congratulations for reaching the Hot Network Questions!

  • craftxbox

    craftxbox Correct answer

    2 years ago

    Neither your thermistor nor your heater cartridge should ever be capable of becoming loose from your hotend, let alone the fact it's capable of reaching 800 °C before your printer even notices (This is a massive issue in itself!!!)

    Silicone socks are safe, unless you're printing materials with extremely high melting points, which is usually never.

    If you're concerned it's going to autoignite mid-print, you have much bigger issues surrounding your hotend than a silicone sock.

    I'm accepting your answer because my question was opinion-based.

    @steveantwan it's not opinion based but PLEASE replace your firmware for one with TRP.

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution

Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

Tags used