Silicones are produced by reacting silicon—one of the earth's most common elements- with methyl chloride and further reaction with water which removes the chlorine atom. This reaction produces polymers that are resistant to high and low temperatures and are used in thousands of products in applications including health care, transportation (e.g., aerospace and automotive), textiles, electronics, and construction.
The common building blocks used to manufacture silicone polymers are known as cyclosiloxanes and linear siloxanes. These substances share a common chemistry, but each substance is different with regard to its specific properties and uses. The most common of these silicone substances in commercial use are known as D4, D5, D6, L2, L3, L4, and L5.
Silicones have an exceptional breadth of chemical and physical properties. Silicones are flexible and resist moisture, chemicals, heat, cold and ultraviolet radiation. Products made with silicones take on these and other important properties so they are more stable, more aesthetically pleasing, easier to use or apply, and longer lasting.
Silicones help make products more sustainable in several markets, including the transportation, electronics, energy, and consumer product sectors.