How is silicone rubber made?
Silicon, the main chemical element used to make silicones, does not exist in a pure form naturally, and is therefore extracted from silicates (or silica) embedded in sand or rocks. The full silicate-to-silicone value chain includes the extraction of silicon to obtain silicon metal, which is then transformed to obtain silicone intermediates, obtained by mixing grounded silicon with methyl chloride and transformed through different stages of synthesis into chlorosilanes and then siloxanes.
Siloxanes are then transformed into rubber silicone ingredients or compounds. The basic silicone raw materials thus obtained, are further modified through various chemical processes to obtain high-performance polymers with specific characteristics, such as their viscosity, insulation properties, heat resistance, tear strength, etc. These silicone polymers are then processed to obtain various types of silicone rubber formulations processed into end products: Heat Cured Rubber (HCR), Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) and Room Temperature Vulcanization formulations (single component RTV-1 and double component RTV-2).