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Silicon vs Silicone – What’s the Difference

Silicon vs Silicone

We often hear silicon and silicone, but many still need clarification on these two substances. While they may sound the same, they are two completely different things. Silicon is a chemical element that is commonly used in electronics and computing. At the same time, silicone is a synthetic compound used in various industries and products, including medical devices and kitchenware. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between silicon and silicone in detail and understand how they are used in different fields.

What is Silicon?

Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a grey, hard, and brittle material widely used in electronics manufacturing to make microchips, solar cells, and computer parts. Silicon is also used as a structural material in the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries. It provides excellent heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and mechanical strength, making it a popular choice for many high-tech applications.

What is Silicone?

On the other hand, silicone is a synthetic rubber-like material made from silicon, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. It was first discovered in 1930 and has been used in various industries since then. Silicone is a highly versatile material with excellent heat, cold, and chemical resistance, making it ideal for medical devices, cookware, and sealants. Silicone is often used in the medical field to make implants, prosthetics, and medical tubing because it is biocompatible and does not react with body fluids.

Difference Between Silicon and Silicone

One of the main differences between silicon and silicone is that silicon is a naturally occurring element, while silicone is a synthetic compound. Silicone is derived from silicon, which is extracted from the earth’s crust in the form of silica. Silicon undergoes several chemical processes to become silicone, used in various applications. Another significant difference is that silicon is a hard, brittle solid, while silicone is a soft, flexible material.

Regarding kitchenware, people often use the term silicon instead of silicone. However, it is important to note that the material used is silicone when discussing baking sheets, spatulas, and other kitchen tools. Silicone bakeware is popular among home bakers because of its non-stick surface, ease of cleaning, and heat resistance. The flexibility of silicone also makes it easier to remove baked goods from the pan without breaking or sticking.


In conclusion, silicon and silicone are not interchangeable terms and refer to two substances with distinct properties and applications. While silicon is commonly used in electronics and computing, silicone is used in various industries, including medical devices, kitchenware, and automotive. Understanding the differences between silicon and silicone is essential, especially when choosing the right material for a particular application, as it can significantly affect the final product’s performance and durability.

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