Silicone is made from silicon dioxide, or silica, found in nature as quartz, or common beach sand.
The principal raw material is silicon (Si), the second most common element in the Earth’s crust. Most commonly, it is found combined with oxygen in the form of silica.
Silica (or silicone dioxide) is found in nature as quartz or beach sand. It can be reduced to produce silicon metal – which is then reacted with other compounds to produce silicones.
Silica is then placed in a Silicon Furnace, where carbon electrical arcs react at high temperatures, driving the oxygen out of the silica, combining with the carbon to form carbon dioxide and leaving silicon metal.
When combined with a catalyst, long-chain silicone molecules cross-link together to make the different forms of silicone used in everyday materials.
Silicone is resistant to extreme temperatures, degradation by UV rays, water, and has a range of other useful characteristics.
It can be produced in many forms including silicone fluids, resins, liquid rubbers and solid rubbers.
Silicone rubber plays a significant role in nearly ever industry such as electronics, transportation, chemicals, textiles, foods, cosmetics, and construction.
In short, silicone rubber is vital for modern living.