What Is The Step By Step Process Of Silicone Production?

What Is The Step By Step Process Of Silicone Production?

Silicone is an “artificial synthetic polymer”. Silicon and oxygen are used in silicon manufacturing. It is a highly versatile synthetic polymer with many applications across different industries. We use silicone-made products like gloves, car parts, and many other products in our everyday lives.


How is silicone produced?

Complex chemical procedures involving silica, water, and natural gas-derived methanol are used in making silicone. It is developed in the form of liquid, rubber, resins, and silanes. 


There are five steps to making silicone. In the first step of producing silicone, silicon is isolated from silica. When a large amount of quartz is heated up to 1800 degrees Celsius, we get pure silicon. After giving it some time to cool, the manufacturers grind it into fine powder.


Step 1: Isolate silicon from silica

 In the first step of producing silicone, silicon is isolated from silica. When a large amount of quartz is heated up to 1800 degrees Celsius, we get pure silicon. After giving it some time to cool, the manufacturers grind it into fine powder.


Step 2: Combine powder with methyl chloride

The resultant product of step 1, i.e. pure silicon powder is combined with methyl chloride. When this mixture is heated, it activates the reaction between the components forming methyl chlorosilane. Methyl chlorosilane is a mixture of a lot of components, but the main component is dimethyldichlorosilane. It is a primary building block of silicone. 


Step 3: Distill the mixture

A complex distillation process is required to separate the numerous components of methyl chlorosilane. Chlorosilanes have different boiling points and this step involves heating the compound to a series of precise temperatures.


Step 4: Add water

After the process of distillation is complete, a combination of water with dimethyldichlorosilane causes hydrochloric acid and disilanol to separate from each other. Post this separation, hydrochloric acid starts acting as a catalyst for the disilanol, causing it to condense into polydimethylsiloxane.


Step 5: Polymerization of the Silicone

Polymerizing the silicone can be done with several different methods, depending on the properties of the finished product you require.

Making silicone is a pretty simple process and can happen on a mass scale, thus reducing the production cost. The above steps define the accurate procedure and now you have a clear understanding of how silicon is made?



Benefits of silicone

Products developed from silicone are known to have high strength and resistivity. Some of the well-known properties of silicone are:

  • Temperature resistance
  • Water resistance >
  • Flexibility
  • Durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-sticky
  • Long-lasting
  • Nontoxic
  • Non-odorous
  • Clarity



How is silicone made from sand?

As studied in the above procedure, silica, a major component of sand is separated from silicon and then converted into a very fine powder. This powder is then combined with methyl chloride. After this step has been completed, further chemical reactions are performed on the mixture to make silicone from sand. 



Uses of silicone

The production of silicone-based components can be done on a large scale; thus reducing the relatively low production cost. For this very reason, silicone has become the top choice for making:

  • Adhesives: Silicone is highly used in making adhesives for its some of the well-known properties. Elasticity, along with its other properties remains unchanged at high temperatures.
  • Sealants: Silicone is a highly flexible material that remains stable in extremely high and low temperatures. Also, it is water, moisture, and chemical resistant.
  • Lubricants: For a very long period, silicone is used in making lubricants as it has very low coefficients of friction.
  • Extrusions: One of the most important reasons why silicone is used in extrusions is that it is an extremely stable material and has extreme durability in worst-case scenarios. 



In this blog, we studied what is silicone made out of. There are five steps involved in the making of silicone from silicon. It is quite a simple process, describing why silicone is used by most of the industries in making their products. Various advantages of silicone like its thermal and chemical stability, low toxicity, and electrical insulation have led to an increase in applications in different industries.


Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s answer some of the most common questions that have often been confused when it comes to the procedure of making silicone. 


How are silicone polymers formed?

There are five steps involved in the making of silicone:

  1. Isolate silicon from the silica
  2. Combine powder with methyl chloride
  3. Distill the mixture
  4. Add water
  5. Polymerization of the silicone


What is the raw material for silicone?

The raw materials for silicone are silica stone, water, and natural gas-derived methanol.


What is the formula of silicone?

The silicone formula is (R2SiO)x, where R can be any one of a variety of organic groups.


Does silicone melt?

Silicone doesn't have a melting point but remains solid until the process of combustion occurs.


Can we produce silicone at home?

No, we cannot produce silicone at home as it involves chemical reactions which need to be performed very carefully. It is advised to manufacture silicone in a laboratory or a factory.


How much does the silicon cost?

The cost of silicon is Rs.315 per 100 grams.


Is silicone toxic?

No, silicone is a non-toxic compound. For this very reason, silicone is used in manufacturing pharma and healthcare products.

Back to blog