Six everyday silicone applications

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Silicone contributes to and enhances products in areas ranging from transportation to personal care products, working to improve quality of life.

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Transportation

The strength and durability of silicone contributes to high-performance cars, boats, airplanes and spacecraft. The exterior of such transportation can be protected by the use of silicone coating or adhesives. This reduces the cost of maintenance and repair work.

Household and personal care products

Silicones are often in cleaning products such as polishes because they spread well, boost shine and are chemically inert enough not to react with anything on the surface. Fabric softeners will incorporate silicone because they aid softening, helping items maintain the feeling they had when new.

Gentle silicones are also versatile enough to use in many personal care products and ensure they don’t irritate or sting. They are used in antiperspirants to reduce the stickiness and white residue. The ease of spreading, shine optimisation and colour retention contributes to the use of silicones in long-lasting makeup, shampoos and sun creams, amongst other items. Silicone is even used in the increasingly popular menstrual cups that provide an alternative to tampons, as discussed in this article from The Guardian.

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Rubber

Silicone rubber has many formulations, which enables it to be used in a variety of products and processes. The available variance in colour and hardness of silicone rubber makes it suitable for the production of cake pans and tires. It is used by silicone hose manufacturers, such as https://www.goodflexrubber.com/pages/silicone-hose-manufacture, who produce hosing for use across many industries.

Textiles and health care

Advances in silicone have transformed fabrics. A silicone finish will enable a textile to maintain its texture, shape, and uniformity while allowing for bright colours. Leather shoes and wet-weather clothing are waterproofed using silicone, and goggles also use silicone to seal water out. The technical fabric increasingly used in sportswear includes silicone, which can create lightweight, high-performing and durable clothes whilst maintaining a good level of breathability.

Silicones are ideal for use in health care as they sterilise easily, are bacteria-resistant, do not irritate the body, and don’t react with other chemicals. They can be used in some medicines, such as topical creams, to allow them to be applied without leaving any greasiness behind. Silicone tubing is present in certain devices, such as heart pacemakers, because it reduces infection risk.

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