Chemical Place


Silicone Fluid

Applications


Silicone fluids are available with different viscosity depending on what your use is for the fluid.

Silicone fluids are primarily used as lubricants, thermic fluid oil or hydraulic fluids. They are excellent electrical insulators and, unlike their carbon analogues, are non-flammable. Their temperature-stability and good heat-transfer characteristics make them widely used in laboratories for heating baths ("oil baths") placed on top of hotplate stirrers, as well as in freeze-dryers as refrigerants. Silicone oil is also commonly used as the working fluid in dashpots, wet type transformers, diffusion pumps and in oil-filled heaters.

​The class of silicone oils known as cyclosiloxanes has many of the same properties as other non-cyclic siloxane liquids but also has a relatively high volatility making it useful in a number of cosmetic products such as antiperspirant.

​Some silicone oils, such as simethicone, are potent anti-foaming agents due to their low surface tension. They are used in industrial applications such as distillation or fermentation where excessive amounts of foam can be problematic. They are sometimes added to cooking oils to prevent excessive frothing during deep frying. Silicone oils used as lubricants can be inadvertent defoamers (contaminants) in processes where foam is desired, such as in the manufacture of polyurethane foam.

Silicone oil is also one of the two main ingredients in Silly Putty, along with boric acid.