Plastic? Rubber? Just plain weird? Used for everything from ice-cube trays to adult toys to cake tins it certainly gets around. So what is silicone??
Silicon is a natural chemical element. Silicone polymers are derived from silicon and so silicone is a man-made product derived from silicon a natural element.
Silicon is generally found in solid crystalline form like sand or glass.
silicone, the product, may be a liquid lubricant, a semi-solid adhesive or a rubber-like plastic polymer
Liquid silicone is often used as a lubricant.
An example of a thicker form of rubberized silicone would waterproof sealant used in bathrooms and window fitting.
Solid silicone – silicone rubber – is used for everything from cake baking cases to internal sanitary protection.
Silicone rubber a manmade product derived from natural products – silicon and rubber. It is made by curing or vulcanizing natural rubber. Silicon is injected into the long hydrocarbon chains of natural rubber under high heat and pressure. The result is silicone rubber.
Silicone rubber is a silicon polymer with rubberized qualities.
It was first produced under the chemical name of polydimethlysiloxane.
Silicone rubber is heat resistant so can be used to make cookware including oven mitts, tongs, pot holders and pan handles.
Silicone rubber also possesses non-stick qualities, so it can be formed into flexible cookware such as muffin and cake pans.
All silicone is inert, it does not react with other elements or compounds.
There are (as yet) no known health hazards of silicone.
Silicone is not biodegradable, but it can be recycled easily – where facilities exist.
Silicone comes in two grades, food and medical grade silicone.
Do I boycott silicone?
Silicone, is a man-made polymer, with the disadvantages inherant in plastic products my particular bug bear being it does not biodegrade, and so has to specially disposed of. Like other plastics I try to avoid using it. Like other plastics, there are some silicone products I use, because they help me reduce the amount of plastic throwaway trash I would otherwise create. For instance, I use the reusable mooncup internal sanitary protection, because it means I do not have to unwrap a thousand tampons from their plastic covers. For a while I used silicone cup cake but I am happy to report I have found a paper alternative check out my great buns .
silicone products I use or at least think might be useful
I am not a paper cup – a pottery cup with reusable silicone lid.
plastic free menstruation silicone mooncups
Lots more information on the different plastics, and what they are used for, can be found HERE
Check out my collection of plastic-free, compostable products with the >>>A-Z<<< plastic free index
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- Silicone Rubber Sheet for Solar Cell Module Laminating Machine (cncglass.com)