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Silicone Knowlege: What Is the Difference Between Silicon and Silicone?

Mar 23, 2023JE SILICONE

Silicone Knowlege: What Is the Difference Between Silicon and Silicone?

Silicone and silicon

To make a long story short, silicon is an element and silicones are polymers containing silicon and oxygen, and often carbon and hydrogen as well.

Silicone and silicon, although similar in their spelling, differ in how they are produced. Silicon  is a chemical element (Si). Like most elements, it does not naturally exist in its isolated form. However, silicone refers to a broad class of polymers that consist of a siloxane bond (chemical formula -Si-O-Si-) with various organic compounds attached.

Another distinction between the two is their physical characteristics. Silicon is harder and a more brittle substance, while silicone is a more flexible and softer material with better heat-resistant properties.

Some of the most common applications for silicon include the following:

  • Alloys
  • Semiconductors
  • Transistors
  • Electrical insulators
  • Bricks
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Computer chips