28 Oct

silicon vs silicone

Dow CorningSilicone is a polymer incorporating the element Silicon, Si. The general formula is [R2SiO]n where R is an organic group and n represents the repeating nature of a polymer. R can be methyl, ethyl, phenyl… The properties of a silicone compound depends on the crosslinking between polymer chains. Silicone fluids have no crosslinking. Examples of fluids are Dow Corning silicone fluids for high and low temperature baths. Crosslinked silicone can range from a gel, to rubber, to a hard plastic. An example of silicone rubber is silicone pump tubing for peristaltic pumps and silicone clear stoppers. An example of silicone plastic is Saint Gobain Tygon tubing.Saint Gobain

Silicon is mostly found in silicon dioxide, SiO2. Silicon makes up around 26% of the earth’s crust. Silicon is found right under carbon in the periodic table which means it has some of the same properties as carbon. For example silicon has semiconductor properties and it has the ability to combine with carbon hydrogen and oxygen producing silicone compounds.

Glass is made from silicates, SiO2 minerals containing other metals such as borosilicate glass.

Robin Prymula