Medical Grade vs. Platinum Grade

The question of medical grade silicone comes up quite a bit, like if I use it in my production, and which is better, medical or platinum grade?

The answer to this question isn’t as straight forward as you’d think it would be…

Some background first. It’s not called Platinum because it sounds good like you would rate something bronze, silver, gold, platinum. The reason it’s called Platinum Grade refers to the catalyst used in the curing of the raw material to become the finished product, in this case the catalyst is the metal platinum.

Different catalysts can be used, but platinum makes a very stable product once cured with better resistance to heat and acids. Tin is another commonly used metal but the cured silicone differs and reverts back over time, so that the finished product degrades. These are cheaper to make and so are often used for temporary molds or products where longevity is not a concern.

True Medical Grade silicone is indeed of the Platinum cured variety like I use in my production, but to be Medical Grade it must be of a very unique type of silicone with specific qualities to pass medical certification. To meet these standards the physical properties of Medical Grade silicone tend towards stiff and dry, making them impossible to be used for casting toys. I’m currently unaware of any toy manufacturer that uses true Medical Grade Silicone. However, it has been commonly adopted in the adult toy industry to interchange the terms Medical Grade and Platinum Grade. The end user isn’t needing to make that distinction since their toy isn’t being inserted into the body permanently.  I think the buying public has helped in the blending of the two terms, but when you get down to it I believe that consumers are just seeking the very best quality that is available to them, and for toys that would be 100% Platinum Grade.

So buyer beware:

If it doesn’t plainly say: “100% Platinum Grade Silicone” it just isn’t going to be.