What is silicone? How is silicone made?
Silicone Rubber is a high molecular polymer material composed of silicon, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen elements. It has a special chemical structure in which silicon atoms and oxygen atoms are connected through silicon-oxygen bonds (Si-O) to form a silicon-oxygen chain. Silica gel typically includes organic groups, usually methyl (CH3) groups, attached to silicon atoms.
Silicone is made by polymerizing silicon compounds into polydimethylsiloxane or similar compounds. The general steps for preparing silica gel include the following processes:
Extraction of silicon materials: The process of preparing silicone usually starts with silica ore, which contains silicon and oxygen. These silicon ores are refined to separate the silicon material from them.
Polymerization: Silicone materials are usually silicone oil or silicone resin, and their molecular structure is rich in silicon-oxygen bonds (Si-O). During the preparation of silica gel, these silicon-oxygen bonds are linked together through a polymerization reaction to form polysiloxane chains. Polysiloxane is the main component of silica gel. Its structure includes silicon atoms (Si), oxygen atoms (O) and organic groups, usually methyl (CH3) groups.
Cross-linking: In order to increase the elasticity and stability of silica gel, it is usually necessary to introduce a cross-linking agent. These cross-linking agents connect different polysiloxane chains together to form a three-dimensional network structure, increasing the strength and elasticity of the silicone.
Additives: According to specific needs, various additives can be added to silica gel, such as dyes, fillers, hardeners, antioxidants, etc., to adjust the performance characteristics of silica gel.
Hardening: Silicone usually needs to go through a vulcanization or thermal hardening process to change it from a liquid to a solid state. The conditions and timing of the hardening process can adjust the hardness and elasticity of the silicone.
Processing: Silicone can be prepared in different shapes and forms, including silicone rubber, silicone sealants, silicone coatings, and more. This requires the silicone to be mixed, calendered, injection molded, or otherwise processed.
What are the differences in the processing methods of liquid silicone, food-grade silicone, and medical-grade silicone?
Liquid silicone, food grade silicone, and medical grade silicone are different types of silicone that are prepared and applied in different ways:
Liquid silicone is commonly used to make sealing, insulating and adhesive products. Its processing methods include mixing, injection molding, calendering, casting and coating.
Liquid silicone often needs to be vulcanized at a specific temperature to solidify into elastic silicone rubber.
Application fields: Liquid silicone is mainly used in industrial fields, such as electronics, automobiles, construction, aerospace and machinery manufacturing.
Bubblesilicone company is a professional Liquid silicone manufacturer.
Food-grade silicone is mainly used in the food processing and baking industries to make food molds, candy making tools and baking utensils.
Processing includes mixing, mold preparation and hardening to form food-grade silicone products.
Application fields: Food-grade silicone is widely used in food preparation and baking industries to ensure food safety and not release harmful substances.
Medical grade silicone is used in medical device and medical device manufacturing. Processing methods typically include mixing, mold preparation, hardening and sterilization.
Medical-grade silicone must meet biocompatibility standards to ensure it is safe for use in medical settings.
Application fields: Medical grade silicone is used in the manufacture of medical devices, implants, catheters, seals, hoses, etc. It is popular for its biocompatibility and high temperature resistance.
These three types of silicone have different processing methods and application areas. Liquid silicone is mainly used for industrial sealing and insulation, food-grade silicone is used in food processing and baking, and medical-grade silicone is specifically used in medical devices and equipment to ensure their safety and biocompatibility. Each type of silicone has specific production and regulatory requirements to meet the needs of its specific application area.