Imagine a substance having usage ranging from medicine to aviation. This might seem skeptical but there is one chemical that has established its place in such a wide range. Yes, you guessed it right. It’s none other than silicone oil. Some of you might not have heard of this industrially essential chemical, so we’ll take some time to understand what silicone oil is and how to use it in various Industries.
You might be focusing on the word oil more than silicone but on the macro level, this might not feel like true oil so sometimes it is also referred to as silicone fluid. These are interchangeable terms.
Most commonly used silicone oils are polymers of silicone where there is oxygen on alternative positions. This linear chain is maintained in a spiral position which makes it easy for the molecule to move over each other and this gives it an oily look. Silicone oils are stable to degradation by high temperatures. The main form which exists is Poly Dimethyl siloxane. Like this polymer form, other organic groups such as phenyl, vinyl amino acid, and epoxide can also be added to siloxane groups to create polymers that have different characteristics than their counterparts or other polymers.
Structure of Silicone Oil:
Silicone oil has a backbone of silicon and oxygen which are placed in alternative positions. Silicone present on these alternating positions in the linear chain also carries two carbon groups methyl, phenyl, and other amino acid groups. Different groups bring a different kinds of characteristics and reactivity.
If we add different organic groups to these Silicone atoms, we can attain silicone oils that can be integrated into two different compounds at the same time.
What are the characteristics of Silicone Oil?
Silicone oils exhibit very stable characteristics which are described below:
Different Silicone oils exhibit different viscosities, but all of these viscosities remain constant over a range of different temperatures. The viscosities of different silicone oils range from 0.7 to 2,000,000 cs.
Silicone oils are very stable and virtually show no change until the temperature of 250°C. This particular stability is due to the chemical bonding between silicon and oxygen in the linear chain.
Low Surface Tention:
Silicone oil molecules can easily slide over each other which gives them the liberty to move smoothly and thus have a lower surface tension which is accompanied by high compressibility.
Silicone oils are known to have higher dielectric strength which allows them to be used in several industries. Silicone oil can also bear heavy pressure and they are also resistant to hydrolysis and oxidation.
Applications of Silicone Oil:
Silicone oil is used in many different industries and products. The most common form of silicone oil is Polydimethyl Siloxane. This is used in many products such as:
- Hydraulic Break Fluids
- Damping Fluids
- Dielectric fluids
- Heating and Cooling fluids.
- Paint products
Now that we have established the base knowledge about silicone oil. Let’s discuss how we can practically use it for different applications in our daily life.
How to use Silicone oil in Lubricant?
Silicone oil is commonly used as a lubricant in a variety of industrial and household applications due to its low surface tension and chemical stability. It is often used as a lubricant for high-temperature applications, as it has a high flash point and does not break down under heat exposure. Additionally, silicone oil is often used in food-grade applications due to its non-toxicity and resistance to chemical degradation. Some common uses of silicone oil as a lubricant include:
Lubricating moving parts in machinery, such as gears, bearings, and conveyor systems.
Lubricating plastic and rubber parts to prevent sticking and wear.
Lubricating door hinges, locks, and other household items.
As a release agent in the manufacturing of molded plastic parts and rubber products.
As a lubricant for medical devices, such as catheters and syringes.
Overall, silicone oil is a great lubricant that provides excellent performance in a wide range of applications, making it a popular choice for manufacturers and consumers alike.
How to use Silicone oil in textiles?
Silicone oil is a commonly used finishing agent in the textile industry. It is applied to textiles to improve the fabric’s softness, drape, and durability, as well as to resist water and stains. The following steps outline how to use silicone oil in textiles:
Preparation: Before applying silicone oil, the fabric must be cleaned and dried thoroughly. Any residue from previous treatments or finishes must be removed to ensure even application and maximum benefits from the silicone oil.
Mixing: Silicone oil is usually supplied in concentrated form, so it must be diluted with a solvent to the desired concentration for use. Mix the silicone oil and solvent in a container, following the manufacturer’s recommended proportions.
Drying and Curing: After applying the silicone oil, the fabric must be dried and cured. This process allows the solvent to evaporate and the silicone oil to bond with the fibers. The drying and curing temperature and time will depend on the type of solvent used, the concentration of the silicone oil, and the type of fabric.
Finishing: Once the fabric is dried and cured, it can be processed through a finishing machine to improve its appearance, softness, and hand. This may include heat-setting, calendaring, or other processes to enhance the fabric’s properties.
By following these steps, silicone oil can be successfully used to improve the performance and appearance of textiles. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dilution, application, and processing to ensure optimal results.
How to use Silicone oil as a defoaming agent?
Silicone oil is commonly used as a defoaming agent in various industrial processes, including the food and beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. The following steps outline how to use silicone oil as a defoaming agent:
Preparation: The first step is to prepare the system in which the defoaming agent will be used. This typically involves ensuring that the system is free from any foreign particles or impurities that may interfere with the effectiveness of the silicone oil.
Dosing: Once the system is prepared, the silicone oil must be accurately dosed into the system. The amount of silicone oil required will depend on the size and nature of the system, as well as the type and amount of foam generated. It is recommended to start with a small amount of silicone oil and gradually increase the dose until the desired effect is achieved.
Injection: The silicone oil must be injected into the system in a manner that ensures it is effectively dispersed and has maximum contact with the foam. This may involve using a specialized injector or adding silicone oil directly to the system.
Observation: After injecting the silicone oil, it is important to monitor the system for any changes in the amount of foam being generated. If the foam is not effectively reduced, additional doses of silicone oil may be required.
Maintenance: Silicone oil is a highly effective defoaming agent, but it is important to maintain the system and ensure that it continues to perform optimally. This may involve regular cleaning and maintenance, as well as monitoring for any changes in foam generation.
By following these steps, silicone oil can be effectively used as a defoaming agent in various industrial processes. It is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dosing, injection, and maintenance to ensure optimal results.
How to use Silicone oil in the automobile industry?
Silicone oil is a versatile product that can be used in various ways in the automobile industry. Here are some of the most common applications:
Lubrication: Silicone oil can be used as a lubricant in automobile engines and other moving parts, where it provides long-lasting protection against friction and wear.
Engine Cleaner: Silicone oil can be used to clean engines, which helps to remove built-up grime and debris, improving engine performance and efficiency.
Engine Sealant: Silicone oil can be used to seal engine components and prevent leaks, preserving the engine’s efficiency and performance.
Car Care: Silicone oil can be used as a protectant for various automotive surfaces, including rubber, vinyl, and plastic. It provides a protective barrier against UV rays, moisture, and other environmental elements, helping to preserve the appearance and longevity of the vehicle.
Brake Fluid: Silicone oil can be used as a brake fluid in automotive braking systems, where its low compressibility and high stability provide consistent and reliable performance.
Radiator Coolant: Silicone oil can be used as a coolant in automobile radiators, where it provides efficient heat transfer and improved engine cooling.
Rubber and Plastic Conditioner: Silicone oil can be used to condition rubber and plastic parts in automobiles, helping to extend their lifespan and improve their appearance.
In conclusion, silicone oil is a versatile product that can be used in various applications in the automobile industry to improve performance, efficiency, and longevity. When using silicone oil in automotive applications, it is important to choose the right grade and type of silicone oil for the specific application and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use and handling.
Usage of Silicone oil in release agents:
Silicone oil is a common ingredient in release agents, which are substances used to prevent adhesion between surfaces. Here are the steps to use silicone oil as a release agent:
Clean the Surface: Clean the surface that you want to prevent adhesion, removing any dirt, grease, or oil.
Apply Silicone Oil: Apply a thin, even layer of silicone oil to the surface using a brush, roller, or spray bottle. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly.
Wait for Drying: Allow the silicone oil to dry completely, which usually takes several minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of the layer and the ambient conditions.
Use the Surface: Once the silicone oil is dry, you can use the surface as needed. The silicone oil will act as a barrier, preventing adhesion between the surface and any other material.
Reapply as Needed: Reapply the silicone oil as needed, especially if the surface becomes dirty or contaminated.
Silicone oil is often preferred over other release agents due to its non-toxic, non-reactive, and non-staining properties, making it safe for use on a wide range of materials, including food contact surfaces. Additionally, silicone oil does not evaporate or break down over time, providing long-lasting protection against adhesion. When using silicone oil as a release agent, it is important to choose the right grade and type of silicone oil for the specific application and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use and handling.
How to use Silicone Oil for Cooking?
Silicone oil is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its non-stick properties and high heat resistance. Here are the steps to use silicone oil in cooking:
Choose the Right Type of Silicone Oil: There are different types of silicone oil available, including refined, high-oleic, and food-grade silicone oil. Choose the right type of silicone oil for your cooking needs, taking into account the temperature and type of cooking involved.
Apply Silicone Oil to Cookware: Apply a small amount of silicone oil to your cookware, such as a baking sheet or a frying pan, using a brush or a spray bottle. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly.
Heat the Cookware: Heat the cookware to the desired temperature, allowing the silicone oil to warm up and coat the surface.
Cook Your Food: Place your food in the cookware and cook as desired, taking advantage of the non-stick properties of the silicone oil.
Clean the Cookware: After cooking, let the cookware cool down before washing it with warm soapy water. Silicone oil is resistant to heat and can withstand high temperatures, making it easy to clean and maintain.
When using silicone oil in cooking, it is important to keep in mind that it has a neutral taste and does not affect the flavor of your food. Additionally, silicone oil is non-reactive, making it safe for use with a wide range of food products. When using silicone oil in cooking, it is important to choose the right type of silicone oil for the specific application and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use and handling.
How to Use Silicone oils in acrylic paints?
The beauty of acrylic pouring increases with the number of cells being created primarily by the difference in the density of both paints. Silicone oil is the basic component in creating these cells.
Let’s discuss the step-by-step process of how to create cells in an acrylic painting using silicone oil.
Identifying the right Acrylic Paint:
There are two types of acrylic paints, those which do not need additional water and therefore their viscosity can’t be changed and those which require the addition of water, and their viscosities are dependent upon the amount of water added in them.
After selecting what kind of acrylic paint, you are going to use put both these in two separate jars.
Selection of the Pouring Medium:
Pouring medium adds flow and smooth texture to the acrylic paints being used in painting. Pouring medium helps to maintain the viscosity and dilute the paints at the same time.
Add the pouring medium to both of the above-mentioned jars and then mix the pouring medium with acrylic paints separately, note that the amount of pouring medium should be slightly more than the number of acrylic paints.
Addition of Silicone Oil:
After mixing the pouring medium and paint, add 2 drops of silicone oil for 10 ml of acrylic paint and let the mixture blend by slightly moving the mixer stick.
Pouring and Heating:
You are not going to let the acrylic paints sit idle in the jar, it must be poured onto a flat surface such as a paper canvas or any other flat surface, and make sure to cover all of the space on the canvas.
After pouring the paint mixture on the surface, we should dry the paint using a heat gun. As soon as heat is applied, the cells will start to pop up in the painting and you’ll get the desired results.
Usage of Silicone Oil in Agricultural adjuvants
Silicone oil is used in agricultural sprays containing pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides and it helps these to perform better (synergistic effect)
How does silicone oil act as a synergist to agricultural sprays?
For a chemical spray to be more effective and efficient, it needs to cover the surface of the plant better but that is not easy for these pesticides or herbicides as there is a difference in surface tensions between the plant and spray droplets.
Nearly 99% percent of the spray will not reach its target if used without adjuvants. To counter this problem, silicone oil comes into play. The maximum leaf surface can only be covered only when the surface tension problem is solved.
Higher surface tension means the spray droplets are in lesser contact with the surface of the leaf, on the other hand, lower surface tension means flatter droplets and better coverage of leaf surface area.
As silicone oil possesses lower surface tension and is chemically stable, the addition of Silicone oil will collectively lower the surface tension of agricultural sprays and increase its availability, and enhance efficiency.
Use of Silicone Oil in the cosmetics industry:
Silicone oil is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizing and conditioning ingredient. Here’s how it’s used in different cosmetics products:
Moisturizers: Silicone oil is added to creams and lotions to improve their moisturizing properties. It helps to form a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth.
Hair care products: Silicone oil is commonly used in hair care products like conditioners, serums, and hair oils. It helps to detangle hair, reduce frizz, and provide a glossy, smooth finish.
Makeup products: Silicone oil is added to some makeup products, like foundation and primer, to improve their texture and spreadability. It can also help to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin appear smoother.
Sunscreens: Silicone oil can be used as a base ingredient in sunscreens. It helps to spread the sunscreen evenly and prevent it from leaving a sticky or greasy residue on the skin.
When using silicone oil in cosmetics, it is important to keep in mind the type of silicone oil used, as different types have different properties. For example, Cyclopentasiloxane is a lightweight and non-greasy silicone oil that is commonly used in skincare products, while dimethicone is a heavier silicone oil that is more commonly used in hair care products.
It is also important to be mindful of the concentration of silicone oil in the product. While a small amount can provide benefits, using too much can leave the skin feeling greasy and congested.
In conclusion, silicone oil is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cosmetics products to improve their moisturizing, conditioning, and soothing properties. When used in moderation, it can provide many benefits for the skin and hair.