Introduction to Silicones

Find out more about silicone, its origin, its production and its specific features…

Silicon, the main raw material for silicones, does not exist in its pure state. It is present in the form of silica in sand or silica-based rocks and in aluminosilicates, the basic raw materials for the construction and glass sectors.
Chemistry allows us to transform silicon into silicone through various production and processing stages. This adventure starts in Elkem Silicones’ Roussillon facility where silicon is ground up, mixed with methyl chloride then put through synthesis processes to transform it into chlorosilanes then siloxanes. Siloxanes are taken to the Saint-Fons site to be further processed.
This produces several siloxane families, each with specific features and many different properties. The production and manufacturing conditions vary to produce a wide range of products: these can either have a fluid, viscous, paste-like, elastomeric or rigid texture. The bonds created between the silicon and oxygen to form the macromolecular backbone give silicones outstanding properties and outstanding performance levels compared with other polymers.
If you need to learn more in details about silicones, visit the SEHCS (American Chemistry Council) is a not for profit organization representing all major producers of silicones in the USA.