Silicone

Caution not to be confused because of the very similar designation "silicon". Silicon is the designation for the chemical element with the atomic number 14. Silicone is the designation for a large family of silicon compounds. The physical character of the silicon atom is simlilar to that of carbon because of its 4 valence electrons. Therefore the variations of crystals and compounds of both elements are similar.

In order to avoid confusion it should be prefered to apply the designation "siloxane" which is synonymous to "silicone" or even better to address the chemical nature by the designations silan, polysiloxane or polydimethylsiloxan. The later is the most important family of siloxanes and usually designated by its abbrevation PDMS.

Very low surface energy and hydrophobity are common characteristics of slicones. Fluid linear polysiloxanes are excellent lubricants or release agents. Cross linked polysiloxanes are elastomeric and are excellent materials for producing flexible moulds.

Any silicon deposites on surfaces completely inhibit adhesion. Prior to any glueing, painting or printing any deposites of silicons need to be removed. A prefered method is plasma cleaning. For more details see ⇒ Removing silicones