TPE and Silica gel are two different materials.
Silica gel Name: silicic acid gel，Silica gel is a highly active adsorbent material, which belongs to amorphous material. The main component of silica gel is silica, which has stable chemical properties and does not burn.
TPE is also called thermoplastic elastomer. It is a polymer or polymer alloy material with the structure of rubber soft segment (or rubber phase) and plastic hard segment (or continuous plastic phase). The most common TPE refers to the polymer alloy materials which are blended with SEBS and SBS as substrates.
Comparison of advantages and disadvantages between thermoplastic elastomer and Silica gel
TPE and Silica gel are environmentally and non-toxic, but for food contact materials, Silica gel meets FDA21CFR177.2600 and European Union LFGB olive oil test standards, while TPE can not pass these two test standards basically.
Regarding heat resistance, TPE can generally withstand 70-90 temperature, special TPE can withstand 100-130 temperature, while Silica gel can withstand 200-250 temperature without distortion.
As for chemical resistance,Silica gel is better than TPE.