Silicone Oil – Properties and Uses

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Silicone Oil - Properties and Uses

This article from ScienceStruck presents to you the chemical and physical properties of silicone oil. It has numerous medical, automotive, and other industrial applications.

Did You Know?

Silicone oil has no odor or taste, is fire resistant, and offers excellent electrical insulation.

A liquid polymerized siloxane, with organic side chains, can be termed as silicone oil. Silicone oil consists of alternating atoms of silicone and oxygen (..Si-O-Si-O-Si..). This odorless oil is nonflammable and nontoxic. Due to its lubricating properties and magnificent thermal stability, this oil is used in several industries, such as medical industry, automotive industry, and aerospace industry. Further, we shall brief you about the many properties of this oil and the different fields it is widely used in.


The density of silicone oil is 0.963 g/mL at 25°C with a refractive index of n20/D 1.403 (lit.)

Silicone oil is tasteless and water clear. It has a highly variable viscosity, ranging from 0.65 centistokes to 1,00,000 centistokes.

Other than being a great water repellent, this oil also has a low surface tension.

When tested over a broad range of temperatures and frequencies, silicone oil has proved to be a good dielectric agent.

According to many medical reports, silicone oil is non-toxic. But it can cause mild irritation, temporarily, if it comes in contact with the eyes.

Silicone oil has a low vapor pressure, i.e., 5 mm Hg at 20°C.

It has anti-foaming properties and is widely used in the food service industry.

Silicone oil has a boiling point that is greater than 140°C/0.002 mmHg(lit.).


✦ Silicone oil is used as a substitute for the vitreous fluid of the eye during many eye operations and treatments because no other substance matches the purity of this oil.

Most of the anti-flatulent medicines contain this particular oil. It reduces the immoderately formed gas in the human digestive system.

It is used in ointments and skin creams. As silicone oil is a water repellent, it prevents the skin from drying by forming a protective layer across the skin, but it does allows the skin to breathe.

Silicone oil-based pharmaceutical creams due to their transcutaneous permeability, are effective for providing relief against burns, dermatitis, and also provides anti-clotting benefits.

Medical instruments are known to be lubricated by silicone oil.

In the automotive industry, silicone oil was initially used for cooling fan clutch assemblies.

It has been used as a lubricant in woodworking and construction.

While deep-frying foods in hotel, cooks often add small quantity of silicone oil to their cooking oil to prevent the latter from foaming and splattering. But never substitute silicone oil entirely as this can prove to be toxic.

Silicone oil is employed in the fermenting process in breweries.

It acts as a good mold release for plastics and rubber components during their manufacture.

It is used as a hydraulic oil in aircraft as it has anti-shear properties.

This oil is used in laboratories in heating baths.

The refrigerants added in freezing machines also contain silicone oil.

Silicone oil is used in clays and silly putty.

Textiles require a smooth finishing, and therefore, silicone oil is used in provide required softness.

These were the many uses of silicone oil. Indeed, this oil has very interesting properties as well as uses. So the next time, when you have to deep-fry a lot of potato wedges without splattering and foaming the cooking oil, you know what to do!

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