Silicone liquid is a clear, odorless polymer. It can be mixed with colorants to create molds for painting or casting objects. It has a low viscosity, which makes it easy to pour. It also does not clog, which allows it to flow through small openings. This is important for making molds for intricate or detailed objects.

The chemistry behind silicone is simple: it consists of silica, the main ingredient in sand. Silicone can be hard, like an O-ring or soft, such as the inner soles for your shoes. It is measured by a hardness scale called Shore hardness, which measures how rigid or flexible it is.

Liquid silicone has many useful properties, which are why it is used in so many applications. It can withstand temperatures from -100 to 300 degrees Celsius. It can also be used as an insulator. This makes it suitable for electrical use, but must be protected from moisture, as the insulating quality is reduced when it comes into contact with water.

One of the most beneficial features of silicone is that it can bind to itself, and this is called self-bonding. This property helps with the production of items such as the iPhone case, which can be made very fast using an automated process. It can also be used in composite seals to reduce assembly components or provide better sealing between two mating components. It is also radio opaque, meaning it can be seen under X-Rays, which is useful for medical applications such as wound drains and catheters.

Another great feature of silicone is its resistance to oils, solvents, acids and bases. This allows it to withstand food and skin contact, which is why it is often used in products such as kitchen items, rubber spatulas and baking pans. It is also used in health care and baby care products such as baby bottle nipples and menstrual cups. Medical grade silicone is usually classified as medical-healthcare grade or class VI, which means it has been tested for biocompatibility.

Although silicone is a safe material for most applications, it can be toxic in high concentrations. It can also be a nuisance to breathe when heated. This is why it should be kept away from combustible materials and in an air-tight container when not being used. It should also be stored in a cool dry place. Uncured silicone rubber is not considered hazardous waste, but it should be disposed of according to local regulations regarding hazardous waste disposal. It should never be disposed of in open water or near sources of heat or flame, as it may decompose. It can also be poisonous to animals if eaten. This is why it is advisable to wear gloves when handling it. If it is contaminated with oil, chemicals or other substances, it should be cleaned thoroughly before being handled again. In addition, it is recommended to store the silicone in a clean environment where it will not be exposed to sunlight or heat.

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