Silicone is used in a number of things, from breast implants to indoor plumbing and even cookware. It is a type of psolysiloxane, composed of both organically and inorganically found polymers. The type of polymers, and the number of links or attachments between these two kinds of components, affects the final consistency and characteristics of the silicone product. These can include very hard plastics to liquids, and consistencies that vary from rubbery to sticky and gel-like.
Silicone sealants are used in making and maintaining buildings. Silicone can help correct construction flaws, like joints that are not entirely flushed. It can also fill the gaps which may have occurred when older buildings have “settled.” While industrial-level silicones are sold directly to large construction companies, homeowners can purchaser consumer-level silicone formulations.
These consumer-level silicone formulations are used for small “handyman” tasks such as fixing household plumbing. Silicone grease, for example, can be used on faucets and valves so that they don’t dry out or crack. With preventive application of silicone, homeowners can prevent leaks which are far more expensive to fix.
Silicone is also used to making cooking tools and implements. It is used to make parchment paper, that is wrapped around trays to prevent food from sticking, as well as non-stick sprays. Silicone rubber, on the other hand, is used to make spatulas, spoons and knives.
Outside of the kitchen, silicone’s heat-resistant properties have been used to make fittings for electrical equipment and firestops. It is also used to make breast implants.