What’s the Difference Between Silicone and Silicon?


June 4, 2021

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Contrary to what you might think, silicon and silicone are anything but similar. Any silicon wafer supplier can attest that silicon is a naturally occurring chemical element. Likewise, manufacturers of sealants, lubricants, and adhesives will tell you that silicone is a synthetic material.

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Silicone is a substance that’s produced by chemical synthesis. Primarily made up of silicon, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen, silicone can either be a liquid or a flexible and rubber-like plastic.In the field of electronics, silicone is the material used to make casings that protect sensitive devices from hazards that include electrical shocks. In the medical field, this material can also be found in contact lenses, implants, bandages, and catheters.Personal care items such as shaving cream, shampoos, and personal lubricants also contain silicone in them. Furthermore, silicone’s high heat resistance and low toxicity make it ideal for manufacturing various types of kitchenware such as panhandles, tongs, oven mitts, and cookware coatings.The same property makes it perfect for greasing and lubricating automotive parts. Moreover, other industries use silicone as a sealant for plumbing pipes, aquariums, and other watertight containers.


Silicon is a metalloid that’s also the 14th element of the periodic table. Although it’s rarely found in nature in its purest form, silicon is seen as the most common component of sand called quartz. When mixed with reactive metals, silicon produces silicates that include mica, feldspar, and granite.Besides being a key ingredient in glass, concrete, and bricks, silicon is also used to create pottery, enamels, and ceramics. However, in the field of electronics, silicon is the ideal semiconductor of electricity.Heating this element into a molten state is a requirement for the production of semi-conductive wafers that act as the base for microchips or integrated circuits. Silicon is such a major player in modern electronics that the region where most computer and electronics companies are located was named Silicon Valley.

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