Silicon vs Silicone
Silicon and silicone, though sounding similar, are totally different substances one being man-made and the other natural.
Silicon is an element occurring naturally on the surface of the Earth. It is one of the most abundant elements on our planet, second only to oxygen, constituting up to 27 per cent of the average rock surface. This element bonds with oxygen forming silicates. A few very common examples of silicates are: mica, quartz, jadeite, feldspar, and many more. Pure silicon is a rare commodity in nature. However, in its pure form, silicon occurs as grey crystals having a metallic luster.
Silicon exhibits characteristic properties. It is an ideal semi-conductor, a property that enables the preparation of several computer processing devices. It is the very core of the information technology revolution. It is also used in the preparation of solar cells. Silicon is highly resistant to heat. Due to this peculiar property, silicon is utilized in the preparation of fireproof products. It is used in the preparation of ceramic glass tiles, glass, bricks, and heat-resistant kitchen aids.
Silicone is a man-made product. It is a polymer made out of silicon, carbon, and oxygen. It is available in a solid, a liquid, as well as gel forms. It has got a number of industrial applications. In a liquid form, as liquid silicone, it is used in the lubrication of parts for machines. It is also used as a waterproof sealant for windows in its thicker, rubberized version.
Silicone is flexible, transparent, and possesses moisture-resistant properties in its physical form. Chemically, it is inert. Silicone proves to be a good electrical insulator and a heat-resistant substance. Oven tongs, pan holders, and many other kitchen products are made with the help of this particular product. We also find it’s used as coatings. Silicone coatings have non-stick properties which have enabled their use in the production of silicone bakeware.
The non-stick property of this man-made, amazing polymer is harnessed in making moulds. It is used for casting for products such as resins, alloys, rubber, and foam. The semi-solid silicone lubricant and silicone grease are also preferred products in the industry.
Furthermore, silicone finds its use as a medical aid. It is used as an antacid. It is also used as implants of various forms, pacemakers, and even as artificial joints. This material is used in the preparation of children’s items like: toys, nipples for baby bottles, and beauty products as well. Many shampoos and conditioners are prepared with liquid silicone. In the gel form it is used as hair styling products.
It is also used as an adhesive and a solvent for organic materials. It proves to be an environmentally friendly alternative to traditionally used materials.
1.Silicon is an element while silicone is a polymer of silicon.
2.Silicon occurs naturally while silicone is man-made.
3.Silicon is a semi-conductor while silicone is not. They both have different physical and chemical properties.