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Properties of Silicone Oils

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Properties of Silicone Oils

Silicone oil is a liquefied, crystalline silicone rubber with molecular structure which has high electrical and physical characteristics that make it suitable as a lubricant. Silicone oil has a wide range of industrial applications and some of them include sealants, friction modifiers, lubricants, connectors, heat-treating agents and thermoforming oils. This is a special type of silicone which is water-soluble; that means that it cannot be soluted in water. It may however be combined with other solvents for use as a greaser.

Silicone oil is basically any fluid having organic rather than water-soluble properties which could be classified into three categories - thermoplastics, cetearinides and viscosities. Among the three, silicone oil has the highest thermal conductivity among all the liquids. The main ingredient is polydimethylsiloxane. These polymers have been of commercial interest for their highly desirable lubricating properties and their high thermal stability. The most commonly found types are the thermoset, amorphous and cetearin varieties. In this article, we shall be dealing more about silicone oils, its various uses and their viscosity values.

When referring to the thermal stability of silicone oils, the higher the viscosity value, the more rigid it becomes. This also means that it becomes very difficult to form it into a certain thickness or degree of hardness. Thus, it is often used in the printing industry in the form of inkjet paper, as it has excellent thermal stability. Some of the common polymers with high mechanical stability include the polymides, polyurethane and polyimide.

A silicone oil with low thermal stability tends to shrink or melt at room temperature; it also tends to foam at elevated temperatures. The main reason behind this phenomenon is that the molecules are able to travel faster than the maximum molecular weight. As we know, the higher the molecular weight, the cooler the substance is; hence, the less amount of internal friction it experiences. Thus, low-molecular-weight silicone oils are more rigid and less prone to foam.

Another property of low-molecular weight silicone oils is its viscosity. The higher the viscosity value, the more viscous it is. In simple words, silicone oils with high viscosities are more elastic and more difficult to form. This is because heat always breaks down the bonds of molecular weight; however, this process slows down when the molecular weight is lowered. The silicone oils with lower viscosities tend to foam at room temperature.

When using this oil, the use of silicone oils with high molecular weight is encouraged for its lubricating property. Due to its oiliness and viscosity, silicone oils with high molecular weights are said to be more compatible with regular petroleum-based lubricants. However, silicone oils are still better suited as a carrier oil. When used as carrier oil, it should be mixed with petroleum-based oils such as almond oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil.



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