Silicon Applications: Silicones

Silicon Applications: Silicones
by Team HPQ
Most of the applications for chemical-grade silicon center around the production of silicone polymers. These polymers include silicone rubbers, silicon-based oils, and greases, sealants, lubricants, and silicones.

Silicones are an example of a synthetic polymer made up of siloxane, which is a chemical compound derived from silicon. They are frequently used in construction, namely for sealants, adhesives, and lubricants. The healthcare, cosmetic, electronics, packaging, and photovoltaic industries also utilize silicone products for various purposes. 

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Silicones are non-reactive with most chemicals, allowing them to be used internally and externally within the field of medicine.

Silicone is used in long term implantations, as well as to assist medical device technologies. Prosthetic limbs, artificial joints, medical adhesives, molds, and tubing also represent prominent medicinal uses for silicone products.

The non-reactive nature of silicones enables cosmetic products to take advantage of the material.

Silicones are often used in leave-on skincare products and all manner of hair products. Scar-healing and soothing agents also feature silicone, as the material is non-irritating and widely applicable for the vast majority of the population.

Silicones are also prevalent within the packaging industry, namely food packaging, and processing. They are safe in food applications, as silicones don’t modify food properties and can be produced to be odorless.

In industrial food processing, silicone is used as surface components in conveyor belts because they can be designed to have the right non-slip and non-stick characteristics combined with durability. For packaging, silicones are used as gaskets to seal the lid to the container for their airtight and waterproof characteristics.  

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