Silicone is one of the most commonly used chemical ingredients known to human beings and the users are as young as newborns who drink milk from silicone-made feeder nipples to all the adults who consume silicone through various products used in day-to-day life tasks. Silicone has found its way into most aspects of life like technology, medical science, cosmetics, electronics, etc. But the question is how this material is found in so many things around us although two things containing silicone might not look like each other at all. The answers lie in silicone’s ability to exist in many physical forms e.g., Silicone oil, Silicone grease, Silicone rubber, Silicone resin, Silicone caulk, etc.
Silicone oil is probably one of the most fascinating chemicals we have today and all the buzz around the benefits of silicone oil is real.
Let’s have a closer look here to understand more about silicone oil and see how we can get more out of it:
WHAT IS SILICONE OIL?
They can be defined as a linear chain of Poly siloxane that contains silicone and oxygen at alternating positions. Silicone atom in the linear chain has two spots where they can bind with carbon groups like methyl is bounded. Several polymers can be made out of it like Polydimethylsiloxane. Polymers can affect the degree of physical and chemical properties offered by silicone oils.
It is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless substance that can be found in a liquid or semi-solid state depending on the degree of polymerization. It also possesses a large compression ratio which gives it higher thermodynamic efficiency making it excellent for use as a hydraulic fluid in various machines. The viscosity-temperature coefficient of silicone is low (Viscosity and temperature are intervened. Viscosity is an important factor as low viscosity of lubricants means lower consumption of fuel. Generally, in petroleum oils, the viscosity is much more dependent on temperature, and at higher temperatures viscosity increases making fuel consumption greater than consumption at lower temperatures. Still, silicone oils show a little change in their viscosity with an increase in temperature) which makes them an excellent lubricant. Silicone oil has a much lower surface tension which helps it spread over the surface more easily and this property justifies its use in various cosmetic products where lower surface tension is important for the best and even results. This property of lower surface tension has also paved the path for silicone oil to be used as a defoamer and release agent. Heat resistance is another property that stands strong in favor of silicone to be used in multiple high-temperature open and closed systems. Temperatures even as high as 250°C do not affect silicone oil at all.
For this degree of heat resistance, it is used in lab research apparatus. While being heat resistant, silicone fluid interestingly is also an excellent low-temperature resistant substance. Dimethyl silicone oil can bear temperatures as low as -50°C and Methylphenyl silicone oil can remain fluid even at -65°C. Maybe this is the reason for use of silicone oil refrigerants used in refrigerators. These low-temperature-resistant properties make them excellent for use in some of the coldest regions around the world. Low thermal conductivity is another key feature of silicone oil as its thermal conductivity is as low as 25% compared to that of water. Low thermal conductivity means silicone oil can be used as heat transfer material or as an insulation material with better energy-efficient performance. Moreover, as we discussed earlier that viscosity and temperature are related, a general increase in viscosity means an increase in thermal conductivity, but in the case of silicone oil the thermal conductivity becomes constant above a viscosity of 100 mm2/s. Recently, the water-repellent characteristic of silicone fluid has found its way into the textile and coating industry. The ceramics industry, glass, and fiber production industries are the ones benefiting from this technology. Silicone oil offers high resistance to heavy stress applied to it, this is a feature that mineral oil doesn’t exhibit and often their oil molecules deform under sheer stress also there is a visible change in viscosity. Those silicone oils have a viscosity lower than 1000 mm2/s; stress doesn’t change their viscosity too much. But larger viscosity silicone oils might see a visible change in viscosity on the application of stress which is reversible because the oil molecules are not deformed unlike mineral oils and thus regain their original viscosity when the stress applied to them is removed. This feature makes silicone oil the ultimate king in the game as outperforms petroleum-based oils by 20 times. Although multiple properties of silicone oil make it a perfect lubricant, such as constant viscosity, heat resistance, and low-temperature resistance, it has poor lubrication where there is steel-to-steel friction. This feature doesn’t limit the use of silicone lubricant in steel-aluminum or steel-bronze parts of different machinery. Phenyl polymers of silicone oil have shown more resistance to radiations than other polymers and more phenyl groups added to the chain add more resistance to radiations. For the same reason, methyl phenyl silicone oil is more resistant to radiation than conventional dimethyl silicone oil. Thanks to its radiation-resistant properties, methyl phenyl silicone oil is used in the high-temperature parts of radiation equipment. Just like its viscosity, the electrical properties of silicone fluid are also constant over a wide variety of electrical frequencies and temperatures. Dielectric breakdown is often an issue encountered with the use of mineral oil products, but silicone oil is much better at handling dielectric breakdown. All the insulating oils absorb moisture which can affect the electrical insulation properties of these oils, silicone oil is no exception here so extra care is needed when using it as an insulation fluid and dehydration of silicone oil is necessary before applying electrical stress.
As of now, we have discussed all the important characteristics of silicone oil and a little overview of the uses of this magnificent fluid, it’s time for a deep discussion about how silicone oil is incorporated into our life.
IS SILICONE OIL SAFE FOR HUMANS?
As we know, Silicone oil is tasteless and colorless.
Does that mean it can be a perfect homicidal substance? Fortunately, it is not because it is not known to be a toxic substance. It is one of the beneficial chemical entities for the human body as it has found its way into various medical procedures. Also, silicone oil is used in a lot of cosmetic products which are applied directly on the skin, so silicone is also known to be beneficial for the skin. Certain drugs also include silicone oil as a basic component or as a vital ingredient for their desirous actions.
A detailed discussion of the medical uses of silicone fluid is given below in one of the paragraphs.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SILICONE OILS
Silicone oil is a broad term, and several different types of silicone oil are derived by the polymerization of different groups at the silicone molecule.
Polymethyl hydrogen siloxane
Polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil has found its application in waterproofing and anti-sticking treatment procedures as it is a colorless and odorless oil. It is also used for increasing the durability of certain materials by crosslinking and it also extends the liquid silicone rubber chain. The addition of an epoxy group to polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil can fairly improve its absorption, reactivity, and coupling properties. Polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil is used for the treatment of dry-surfaced materials such as fire extinguishing powder to make it more free-flowing and avoid clogging. Sometimes polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil is used to create a waterproof film over metal surfaces.
Amino silicone oil
The introduction of an amino group at one of the methyls in the Poly siloxane chain produces amino silicone oils which are popular in the textile industry. The application of amino silicone oils in textile gives the following properties to the product:
- Abrasion resistance
- Elastic feeling
- Soft Touch feeling
- Excellent wrinkle recovery
- Increased durability
Amino Silicone oil can also be used in hair care products such as shampoos. It is highly inflammable so it must be kept away from fire. Amino silicone oil is also used in the textile industry for giving a perfect finish to clothing material. Additionally, they are also being used for manufacturing, silicone emulsions, and also as smoothening agents.
Phenyl methyl silicone oil
Phenyl methyl silicone possesses properties like good insulation, high-temperature resistance and low-temperature resistance, and anti-ozone with small surface tension making it very useful in a lot of products.
It is further divided into three groups depending upon the ratio of phenyl groups present and all of them have different applications.
Low Phenyl methyl silicone oil can be used for instruments that often face very low temperatures.
Medium phenyl methyl silicone oil and high phenyl methyl silicone oil are more resistant to higher temperatures and radiations and thus they are used as lubricants.
Vinyl silicone oil
Vinyl silicone oil is known to be an intermediate material because it has methyl silicone-like properties which make it suitable for the smoothness and limpness of clothes. Vinyl silicone oil has better solubility with organic material as compared to that methyl silicone oil because of the double bond present in vinyl silicone oil.
Owing to this reactivity, let’s discuss some of the applications of vinyl silicone oil:
- It is one of the main ingredients in the manufacturing of liquid silicone rubber. It increases the strength and durability of silicone rubber.
- When allowed to react with organic materials, it produces a substance that has better properties than its conventional counterparts.
Hydroxy silicone oil
Hydroxy-terminated polydimethylsiloxane is a highly active silicone of medium and high-density hydroxy end-blocked Silicone polymer.
As the processing aid for silicone rubber can ameliorate the silicone rubber’s processing performance used as a silicone rubber structure regulator, as a fabric finishing agent, can significantly reduce the polyester thread’s smoothness, sewing capacity, high-temperature resistance, and antistatic performance.
It can make the fabric soft, smooth and elastic, and also give fabric, paper, and leather leakproof, water- and performance. Hydroxy silicone oil is used in hair products for beneficial effects like gloss, shine, and fluffiness. Hydroxy silicone oil has also been used in coating and pigments for providing characteristics such as defoaming effects, anti-convection, and anti-skinning effects.
As we have gone through different types of silicone oil, let’s have a closer look at how silicone oil is used in other products:
1. SILICONE OIL AS PAINT ADDITIVE
Silicone oil/silicone fluid is often used as an additive in paints due to numerous characteristics which are displayed by silicone fluids such as lower surface tension. This property when impacted into paints by silicone oil makes the paint very even on the surface upon which it is being applied. The addition of silicone fluid in paints prevents several film flaws which are common without silicone additives.
The following are some features imparted by silicone additives in paints:
Paint films have significantly higher friction coefficients, but the addition of silicone oil significantly reduces this friction and gives a smooth touch when applied.
The addition of dimethyl silicone oil into paints leads to improvement in the durability of the paint and this particular feature arises due reaction of the methyl group with paint resins. The longer the paint survives on the surface, the better it is for the consumer, so silicone oils bring great value to the paint industry in terms of creating a strong reputation.
As we discussed earlier silicone oil is water-repellent, the same effect is imparted to paints when silicone oil is added to them. Water-repellent property is of ultimate importance for paints, as these paints can be used in aqueous environments such as paints for boats and submarine, also these paints are of utmost importance in tropical areas because they have a more significant amount of moisture in the air than other areas and frequents rains make it water-repellent paints a better choice in saving the metals surfaces and nowadays these paints are used on walls, especially by those having kids.
- Resistance to Salty Water
Functional groups in silicone oil react with metals and inorganic materials while being a constituent of paint and provide better resistance to salty water and better metal sticking properties. Owing to this resistance to salty water conditions, Paints with silicone oil as an additive are therefore useful on boats, submarines, marine oil drilling equipment, and all other metal structures which are bound to come in contact with marine water for a longer period.
Silicone fluids when added to the paint prevent the foam-forming tendency of paints. Certain properties of silicone fluid are particularly important in imparting defoaming characteristics to the paint. These properties include insolubility in water, low chemical reactiveness or high chemical inertness, low surface tension, and high thermal stability. All of these are of sheer importance in defoaming effect. Note that pure silicone oils have relatively lower defoaming abilities than their synthetic derivatives.
Reduce the Convection effect
Silicone oil fairly reduces the convection effect when the paint is drying up. The same features help the paints to give a hammer tone finish to the surface as it doesn’t let the convection effect take place.
All of the above features make silicone oil a preferred choice for being used in paints as an additive.
2. SILICONE OIL, THE BEST LUBRICANT
Silicone oils or silicone fluid have proved to be an excellent lubricator for rubber and polymer surfaces and this ability to work as a lubrication agent is due to multiple characteristics of silicone oil which include low friction coefficient, stable viscosity over a variety of temperatures whether low or high. Silicone fluids are much more resistant to chemical decay oxidation, both of these properties allow the silicone oil to add corrosion protection to metal provinces.
Silicone fluid is not a good lubricant where there is steel-to-steel friction but has proven other ways for some other metals. Silicone oils were previously used to cool clutch fan assemblies in cars and other motor-operated vehicles.
3. SILICONE OIL INDUSTRIAL RELEASING AGENT
Releasing agents are substances that are applied to the molds to prevent the substances from sticking to the mold. Silicone oil is known to be one of the magnificent releasing agents. The main property which makes silicone oil a good releasing agent is low surface tension and thermal stability which allows it to spread perfectly over an irregular surface. Silicone release agents in multiple industries, such as the food processing industry, tire manufacturing industry and die casting industry.
4. SILICONE OIL IN CAR POLISHING
Silicone oil has found its position in the automotive industry as a principal component in car polishes. Silicone oils offer shine and protection to the paint with added benefits of anti-corrosive actions. As silicone oil spreads evenly on the surface and it is transparent, it gives the perfect finish to uneven surfaces. The rubbery characteristic of silicone oil also provides an extra layer of transparent covering which protects the surface of the paint from normal polishes. Silicone oil not only covers the color of the car but can also cover the interior surfaces and even glass.
5. COSMETIC USAGE OF SILICONE OIL
Silicone oil is often used in cosmetics, primarily because of its low surface tension. Silicone oil helps the cosmetics to spread evenly onto the skin. Silicone oil in cosmetics locks the moisture coming out of the skin and prevents skin from getting dry and gives a twinkling look that shines on every angle. Lipsticks have silicone oils combined with phenyl group which gives a higher refractive index and helps the glossy appearance of lipstick on lips. Sunscreen lotions also have silicone oil as a primary component as the silicone oil removes stickiness and reduces the amount of oil coming out of the skin.
6. SILICONE OIL IN SILICONE SEALANT
Silicone oil is one of the best sealants, containing angle component silicone. In the utility of silicone sealant, thinking about the construction, regularly want to regulate the sealant viscosity, decrease the viscosity of the adhesive, enhance the development drift and the lubrication of the adherents, and consequently the desire of dimethyl silicone oil as a plasticizer. At the identical time, being part of the plasticized agent can cure adhesive complete overall performance improvement, enhance adhesive joints of excessive influence resistance, anti-fatigue overall performance, etc. On the other hand, the addition of plasticizers will affect the different residences of silicone sealant. The tensile electricity of the silica gel decreases step by step with the make bigger quantity of the plasticizer, and the elongation at ruin is increasing.
7. HYDRAULIC OIL IN AIRCRAFT
Silicone hydraulics has been used in the aircraft industry for a long time and there are multiple advantages of using silicone hydraulic oil. Its high resistance to oxidation and great thermal stability leads to increased life of silicone hydraulics oil and require longer changing intervals making it cost-effective. High anti-wear properties and greater strength of film provided by silicone oil led to the protection of parts of the engine. Moreover, aircraft faces a variety of temperature going into the different layers of the sky and silicone oil can bear low temperatures like -50°C and higher temperatures of 250°C.
8. SILICONE EMULSION
When silicone oil is added to an aqueous environment, it results in the production of silicone emulsions. Silicone emulsification significantly reduces the viscosity, and this is sometimes required. The physical properties of silicone emulsion change abruptly after polymerization. Particularly if the viscosity change is needed, polymerization is a great idea. Silicone emulsions don’t have any health-related issue as it is less viscous and generally more aqueous. Silicone emulsions are widely used in the cosmetic industry and are now being used as release agents in the food processing industry to avoid stickiness to molds.
9. BREWING INDUSTRY AND SILICONE OIL
Silicone oil is being used in breweries for improving the quality of the beer particularly due to defoaming properties of the silicone oil. The silicone oil which is used in the brewing industry is known as food grade version of silicone oil. It is used in all three key processes of making a beer which are distillation, brewing, and fermentation of the beer.
10. USAGE IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY
Silicone oil is an integral part of the textile industry, and it is so much important that some textile owners have started their production of silicone oil. Silicone oil addition to the textile manufacturing process brings in all the qualities needed in a perfect fabric such as a perfectly smooth and soft finish, and waterproofed material. Silicone oil adds a bunch of other characteristics to textile production like flame avoidance, antistatic performance, and color-fixing properties. When silicone oil is added to the dye in the dyeing process, the result is a cool finish. Silicone fluids are also known for increasing the storage time for textiles and also there is the benefit of sharp color appearance.
11. SILICONE OIL AS DEFOAMER
Silicone oil is often used as a defoamer particularly due to the small surface tension offered by it. Other features of defoamers or ant0foaming silicone oil include readily emulsification ability, not reactive at all, increased thermal stability compared to other defoamers, great ability to remove or vanish the foam, and high pH stability (can operate over a wide range of pH). Silicone oil defoamers can be stored for over 12 months if the temperature is kept below 45 Centigrade. Silicone defoamers are used in the oil and gas industry because silicone oil defoamers provide excellent benefits over organic substances. The quantity of silicone oil defoamers needed to achieve a certain defoaming effect is much lower than substances that need much more of it. Silicone oils are often used in little amounts in restaurants for defoaming and anti-stick properties. In such situations, silicone oil is combined with cooking oil for deep frying. Silicone oil should not replace cooking oil entirely as this can become lethal, and it is a very notable health hazard associated with always remembering to use food-grade silicone oil.
12. MEDICAL USES OF SILICONE OIL
Silicone oil has been famously known for its medical importance, although we have discussed in detail how silicone oil is medically used in ophthalmic surgery.
Let’s have a brief overview again of some of the uses:
- Ophthalmic Surgery: Silicone fluid tamponades have been used as a replacement for vitreous humor in the posterior chamber of the eye when there is retinal detachment due to several reasons. Silicone fluid when injected into the eye prevent aqueous humor to reach the retina and allows the retina to heal itself. Silicone oil is left in the eye for an extended period of about 3 months or in some cases can be left permanently. Several properties of silicone oil such as viscosity, low friction coefficient, and ability to resist sheer stress make it a perfect candidate for this application.
- Drug Delivery System: Recently trials have been conducted in which silicone oil-filled eyes have been shown to uptake more drugs than the normal eye and this pharmacokinetics may significantly improve the use of silicone oil as a drug delivery system for deep eye structures.
- Medical Instruments Lubrication: Microbe infestations of medical instruments have been a major problem in surgical settings. Nitric Oxide has been known to be incredibly effective against microbes, bacteria in particular. When applied on the surface of medical instruments, silicone oils create a physical barrier between the microbe-infested environment and the tools. A new combination of nitric oxide-releasing silicone oils has been prepared for utilizing both properties of nitric oxide for antibacterial effects and the physical barrier and lubricating effects of silicone oil.
- Anti-Flatulence Drugs: Silicone oil is used as a component for making drugs that reduce flatulence and it often comes in handy for such situations. Such drugs absorb gas formed inside the intestines.
- Anti-Dermatitis Drugs: Certain silicone oil-based ointment preparations have been made for providing comfort to dermatitis patients having a burning sensation as silicone oils hold water and keep a check on the skin from getting dry. Silicone oils have also shown some anti-coagulation effects.
WHERE TO BUY SILICONE OIL?
Silicone oil is not a rare entity as it can be found online and in stores all over the U.S. and the same is for other countries, but the problem arises where to buy it in bulk for industrial use. The answer is pretty simple, the country where it produced most abundantly and yes, you guessed it right, Its China. China produces more than half of the silicone oil produced in the world and this is the best place to get your hands on the best quality silicone oil while paying an absolutely rare cost.
Now you might be thinking, why not buy it locally, the answer is pretty simple. High labor costs and pretty denting tasks to produce silicone oil make it pretty expensive and local companies sometimes are not capable of large-scale production.
The next question that might be coming to your mind is where to find these Chinese silicone oil companies. Again, the answer is in your hand. Alibaba might provide you with a lot of companies to buy silicone oil from, but the problem is some of these apparent sellers on Alibaba may not be manufacturers rather they are middle people trying to charge you more than the actual costs and an inexperience buyer may end getting fraud so the best choice to go around looking for silicone oil is Manufacturer companies’ websites.
HENG YI TEK is one of the suppliers of silicone fluids in China and provides its customers with the best quality with authority and truthfulness.
We provide a variety of silicone oil and related products; you can check by clicking down below on the list: