What is Silicone

Silicone is a polymer of organic rubber, which can be in three forms, namely, gel, liquid and solid. It is a type of psolysiloxane, composed of both organically and inorganically found polymers. The type of polymers, and the number of links or attachments between these two kinds of components, affects the final consistency and characteristics of the silicone product. These can include very hard plastics to liquids, and consistencies that vary from rubbery to sticky and gel-like.

The basis of silicone is silicon. Silicon is the second most prevalent element on earth. The surface of the earth consists up to 28% of silicon, it can be found in stones, clay and sand. Silicone is a silicon molecule.

Silicones have unique structures that give them numerous useful features. Silicones are practically used in everything from computers, automobiles and sporting goods to cosmetics, writing implements and home products. They are an important part in our modern day life, and yet there is a good chance you use products made with silicones every day without even realizing it.

Properties

The state of matter of this compound depends on the extent of polymerisation. A greater degree of polymerisation makes silicone more solid. A lower degree of polymerisation makes the compound less solid. Silicone is often mistakenly referred to as “silicon.” Although silicones contain silicon atoms, they are not made up exclusively of silicon.

It has a high melting point which is 500*F, it has a low thermal conductivity, low chemical reactivity. Its low on toxicity, it is highly resistant to oxygen, UV rays(ultra violet rays), ozone etc which has led it to be popular in cosmetics.

USES

Silicone sealants are used in making and maintaining buildings. Silicone can help correct construction flaws, like joints that are not entirely flushed. Silicone formulations are used for small tasks such as for household plumbing. Silicone grease, for example, can be used on faucets and valves so that they don’t dry out or crack. With preventive application of silicone, in daily household it can be used to fill cracks or gaps which otherwise are costly to get fixed.

Silicone is also used to making cooking tools. It is used to make parchment paper, that is wrapped around trays to prevent food from sticking, as well as non-stick sprays. Silicone rubber, on the other hand, is used to make spatulas, spoons and knives.

Other use is silicone pumping. It means to inject silicone into the body, they are used by women all over the world for breast implants.

Some silicone rubbers can be bulky or thick in appearance, which can be a disadvantage if hoping to create a discreet look. Silicone rubber also has a high viscosity, resisting the force that allows liquid to flow. This is a disadvantage if using silicone rubber in insulation. This rubber must be vacuumed and degassed to stop bubbles from becoming trapped in the rubber. Silicone rubber can also be resistant to curing (referred to as cure inhibition) if there is contact with substances containing sulfur or clay. Except for liquid silicone rubber, all types of silicone rubber are susceptible to these disadvantages.

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