Silicone grease is a highly effective waterproof lubricant that is used by a wide range of consumers. In this ScienceStruck article, we shall study the unique properties of this substance, and the different ways in which it is useful to us in our day-to-day lives.
Silicone grease is obtained by mixing a thickener such as amorphous fumed silica with a silicone oil like polydimethylsiloxane. This substance contains long chains of linear polymers, which slip very easily over one another, imbibing the substance with its lubricant properties. It is generally a thick, translucent, white paste. However, the colors might change depending on the type and proportion of oil and thickener.
Silicone grease is a very useful product for chemical laboratories, large industries, and common consumers, as it is resistant to water, chemicals and natural gases, and ultraviolet rays, and a rough environment will not have as much effect on it as organic lubes. Silicone grease is also non-toxic and remains unaffected in a wide range of temperatures. Also, an application of silicone grease can last for many years. All these properties make it a incredibly versatile part of various activities. Let us now study these uses more closely.
Uses of Silicone Lubricant Grease
- The applications of silicone lubricant sprays are many, as they are used for electronic and automotive purposes, by reducing rust and heavy friction. Most industries use large amounts of silicone grease to lubricate gears and other moving parts inside machinery.
- It is also useful in lubricating most rubber and plastic parts, as it does not cause them to soften, harden, or expand unlike other lubricating options.
- This substance also has dielectric properties, which make it ideal for connecting high-voltage marine electric components.
Depending on the application, one can find a variety of formulations. For example, formulations used in lubricating electric components are toxic, thick, and heat resistant, while those used for sealing water pipes are thinner and completely non-toxic.
Chemical Laboratory Uses
- Silicone grease is used in chemical labs due to its great lubricating and sealing qualities. It is mostly used to seal the joints which hold laboratory glassware together while mixing solutions and compounds.
- It is also useful for chemical experiments, because it is an inert substance that does not interfere with the reaction processes, nor does it attract dust, unlike other lubricants.
- It is also used while separating macromolecules of denatured gel by reducing disturbances and anomalies during this electrochemical reaction.
- Many consumer products such as light bulbs, flashlights, hinges, and guns utilize silicone grease, for lubrication and protection from corrosion.
- The non-toxic variants are used for plumbing purposes by sealing leaking faucets and pipes in homes.
- It is also used to lubricate bolts, hoses, toys, shower heads, and many other household items.
- Some formulations are also commonly used as a lubricant for latex condoms.
- Silicone grease is used to make cameras waterproof. One can also use silicone lubricants for other electronic equipment such as refrigerators or ovens due to their tolerance to temperature changes.
- It is even used as a lubricant for artificial/prosthetic eyes.
- One can use silicon grease for locks of various kinds along with graphite powder, or use silicone lubricant for sliding doors, by regularly cleaning the grooves and spraying silicone grease on the area.
- One can use silicon lube for treadmills and other sports equipment to prolong the life of sliding and rotating parts in the electronics and motors used in such equipment.
While all these uses may make silicone grease appear like an amazing product, it has its limitations. It cannot be used in places where the lubricant is needed to break down over time, as it is not degradable biologically, and it also reacts badly with other silicone items. So, take care and precautions while using this product, and it will soon be a go-to item for many of your everyday DIY problems.