What is silicone made of?
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Q:

What is silicone made of?

A:

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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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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Related Questions

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    What is the difference between silicone and latex?

    A:

    There are several distinct differences between silicone and latex rubbers, the primary difference being that latex is a natural product and silicone is man-made. Consumers may choose between silicone and latex versions of several plastic products, including pacifiers, caulking and rubber bands.

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    Does silicone contain latex?

    A:

    Silicone does not contain latex. Silicone and latex are two distinct substances. Silicone is a synthetic compound that is similar to rubber and resistant to heat. Latex can be either natural or synthetic, but natural is more common. Silicone is a polymer whereas synthetic latex is made from a monomer.

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    Silicon is found in many products from very low-tech bricks, ceramics and soaps to high-tech microelectronics and computer chips. Silicon is also abundant in nature in various forms.

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    What is silicon used for?

    A:

    Silicon is one of the most-used elements in the world, as both its primary form and silicon compounds can be found in an almost endless number of different products. A common silicon product is silicone, which is a silicon-oxygen compound used for many medical products, cosmetics, and also to make certain building materials waterproof.

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