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What is silicone made of?

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Quick Answer

Silicone is made of a chain of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms with two other atoms or compounds bonded to each silicon atom. Its structure is somewhat similar to a hydrocarbon chain, in part because of silicon being part of the same periodic group. However, bonds between silicon atoms, unlike bonds between carbon atoms, are unstable. Silicone, on the other hand, is very stable and resists both heat and chemicals.

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What is silicone made of?
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Full Answer

Silicone has a wide array of uses in both households and in industry because of its flexibility and ability to withstand both caustic chemicals and heat as well as being highly resistant to water. Silicone is a general term for a wide array of different compounds, but all share the alternating silicon and oxygen chains. However, silicone rubbers aren't the only place this structure is found, as it is also a common feature in many minerals. Silicone is used in solid applications as well as in liquid ones such as oils and grease. Such liquids neither break down at high heat nor become viscous, according to the University of California, Davis.

The chemically inert nature of silicone makes it appropriate for use in many medical applications, including implanted devices. Silicone is so heat resistant that it can be sterilized using heat without harm.

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