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What is Silicone and Why is it Used in So Many Products?

What is Silicone and Why is it Used in So Many Products?

It seems like everywhere you look these days, you see “Silicone” is an ingredient or the entirety of a product you like or use.

 

Invented in 1943 and developed by Dow Corning, silicone was originally intended as an improved insulation grease for electrical machinery. Flash forward 70 years and silicone, a human-made synthetic rubber “polymer”, silicone can take many forms -- from liquid to high durometer or “hard” silicone. Silicone is present in sealants, lubricants, medicine, cosmetics, hair products, cookware, breast implants, space shuttle “o” rings, solar panels, airplane parts, fabric, boxes and bins, casting molds for soaps and candles, storage products…the list is seemingly endless. 

 

One of the most famous silicone products, Silly Putty, was invented by accident! In 1950, General Electric scientist James Wright was attempting to create an inexpensive substitute for synthetic rubber. When he mistakenly mixed boric acid with silicone, Silly Putty was born! Well, it actually took businessman Peter Hodgson to recognize its “fun” properties (bouncing, image transference, mold-ability), rename it “Silly Putty,” package it in a plastic egg (it was introduced at Easter time) and market it as a toy. Today, Silly Putty is owned by the Crayola Crayon company and is still sold in its original beige color but also in a rainbow of other colors.

 

What are the Characteristics of Silicone that Make it So Popular?

  • Low toxicity – you can eat off it! Food-grade silicone is made without petroleum-based chemicals, BPA, BPS, or fillers
  • Waterproof
  • Weatherproof
  • Resistant to UV light
  • Withstands extremely hot or cold temperatures
  • Recyclable
  • Reusable
  • It’s “green” – made of natural products
  • Inherently flame retardant
  • Does not support microbiological growth
  • Products like 100% silicone Packbands can be stretched and twisted without breaking or tearing and return to their original shape

The demand for silicone rises every year and is expected to reach a volume of over 4 million metric tons by 2025.

Check out: Best Silicone Food Storage Products 2020

  

Packbands are formulated of 100% food-grade silicone. They are UV-, heat- and cold-resistant, virtually unbreakable, can be stretched and twisted, return to their original shape and have hundreds of uses. Packbands are washable (even in the dishwasher!) and reusable. For more information, visit: www.packbands.com.