Silicone and rubber are not the same thing. Rubber in its natural form is a latex substance and comes from the rubber tree where it is tapped from the sap. Products made using this rubber are classified as natural rubber products, those made with anything else are classified as synthetic rubber products.
Silicone is a synthetic product and is known as an elastomer. This in essence means that it has elastic and viscous properties, which is why it is often confused with rubber. Silicone is made up of a number of different elements including silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The silicon that is one of the main ingredients of the products comes from silica which itself is a product that is derived from sand. Turning sand into silica and then into silicon is a long process that has many steps involved in it. This is why silicone products can sometimes be seen as slightly more expensive.
Once the silicon is made it is then mixed with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and other elements that turn it into a gum, this is then heated to high temperatures and can be passed through a process offered by a Silicone Moulding UK company like Meadex Silicone Moulding and turned into a number of different products. These products are slid in their construction and have elastic properties. This is what makes silicone a popular choice when rubber is not suitable, is too expensive or a synthetic alternative is preferred. Silicone has replaced lots of products that would have previously been impossible for people with latex allergies to use.
Silicone is able to withstand varying degrees of temperatures up to around 300 degrees celsius without the structural integrity of the product being compromised. It is also able to cope with temperatures of as low as -60 degree celsius. This makes it an incredible durable product and opens the possibilities of its uses to an almost endless number of industry needs. As a material silicone is also unaffected by UV light, ozone effects and all kinds of damage that can occur as the result of weather effects.
As well as being used in construction silicone has also made an appearance in our self care products, especially in the beauty industry. It has replaced natural rubber and latex products and can be found in beauty blenders and other cosmetic accessories. It can be used in sponges as the elastic qualities helps it to retain its shape whilst being malleable enough to move over the contours of the face.If you were to take a look in your cosmetic collection you will probably find a handful of things that use silicone in their design.