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The Many Uses of Silicone by The Snugg

Silicone belongs to a family of high-performance materials that provide essential benefits to every facet of society. Silicone is made from silicon, a natural element found in sand. Chemists produce a reaction using silicon, methyl chloride, and water that removes the chlorine atom. This reaction creates temperature-resistant polymers, which are found in thousands of industrial products. Silicone-based products can be found in the aerospace, construction, electronics, personal care, and transportation sectors of our economy.

  1. Silicone Uses
  2. Silicones Inspiring Innovation: Silicone Uses

The ability for silicone to withstand extreme stress and temperatures makes it the perfect construction material for aircraft and spacecraft manufacturing. Silicone-based adhesives and sealants protect doors, windows, fuel tanks, wings, overhead bins, wing edges, vent ducts, electrical wires, hydraulic switches, and black boxes. These same adhesives and sealants bond to a wide variety of materials found in the building and construction sector, such as concrete, glass, granite, steel, and plastics. Silicone-based sealants and coatings protect joints and other construction materials from sunlight, moisture, heat, and corrosion. Advances in silicone technology have also led to the development of paints and coatings that hold up against intense sun exposure and pollution.

  1. What Are Silicones?
  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory: Silicone

Silicone has played an important role in the advancement of computer technology, electronics, and telecommunications. Silicone-based adhesives and sealants bond and encase fragile circuitry, microprocessors, and semiconductors. They protect electronic components from extreme heat, moisture, corrosion, and contamination. Manufacturers also produce hard-case housings made from silicone, which end up being used for keypads, keyboards, copier rollers, cell phones, facsimile machines, speakers, and tablet cases.

  1. The Element Silicon
  2. Silicone in Our Daily Lives

The health care industry utilizes silicone-based products in medical applications. They are also commonly found in infant-care products. Health care professionals, patients, and families are often satisfied with the quality of silicone-based products. Silicone-based products are generally bacteria-resistant, making them the perfect choice for health care needs. They also do not react with other materials that irritate the human body. In addition, silicone-based medical products do not produce harmful byproducts. They also have a reputation of not triggering allergic reactions in patients. Silicone creates a soft texture in topical medications that do not leave a greasy residue. It also forms seals that help protect wounds as they heal. Silicone is also found in many medical devices, such as drug delivery systems and pacemakers.

  1. Properties of Silicone (PDF)
  2. Microprocessors: The Silicon Revolution

Many people use household products that contain silicone. Silicone increases the sturdiness and convenience of cookware. On average, silicone-based cookware is easier to clean and lasts longer. Silicone is also found in household polishes and cleaning products. They spread easily and create the perfect shine on countertop and floor surfaces. In fabric softeners, silicone keeps clothes, towels, and linens looking and smelling fresh.

  1. Uses or Acquirement of Silicon Dioxide
  2. The Radiochemistry Society: Silicone

The pulp and paper processing industry uses silicone in the production of large quantities of material. Silicone enables manufacturers to control the amount of foam produced while creating paper and film. This industry uses silicone to help labels and stickers peel off and stick to surfaces. The ability of silicone to resist humidity and temperatures makes it the ideal adhesive for sticky items, such as sticky notes and tape.

  1. PBS: Early Silicon Valley
  2. Silicone Polymers

Many people use silicone-based hygiene and personal care products. Silicone is responsible for creating the silky-smooth applications found in these products. Silicone also makes these products easier to apply to the skin without causing irritation or stinging. For instance, antiperspirants no longer produce a white film or irritate the skin if made with silicone. Shampoos and conditioners have better shine, and makeup retains its color. In addition, silicone produces the wetness and spreading effects of lotions, sunscreens, and cleansers.

  1. Silicones
  2. Silicones Chemistry

Manufacturers of silicone rubber cure and mold it to produce materials found in automotive and electronic products, such as cables, tires, gaskets, and electronic sealants. Silicone rubber is also found in food molds, artistic replicas, toys, playground equipment, cookware, and more. Silicone delivers the strength and adhesion that makes it the perfect manufacturing material to be used in high-performance transportation vehicles. Silicone adhesives extend the life of cars, trucks, boats, and planes. Exterior paints and coatings also withstand the elements. Many automotive manufacturers produce a wide range of parts made from silicone, including headlamps, hydraulic bearings, radiator seals, hoses, spark plugs, ventilation flaps, and shock absorbers.

  1. Phone and Car Batteries Could Use Silicon Made From Rice
  1. Caltech Engineering Design Research Laboratory: Properties of Silicon
  2. The Royal Society of Chemistry: Silicone