Plastic vs. Silicone Products, Which is Better?
Silicone and plastics do bear a lot of resemblances. Both are clear, lightweight, and indispensable materials in our modern world. But they are totally not the same thing. They differ from each other in many aspects, from compositions and natures to features. This article will show you how distinct they are and which is better through a series of comparisons.
What Is Silicone Exactly?
Silicone products are a family of compounds that includes silanes, silicone fluids, and silicone polymers. They have a wide range of applications in healthcare, aerospace, and elastomers. Silicone is a synthetic polymer with repeating units of silicon-oxygen with two organic groups attached to each silicon. While in plastics the repeating units have carbon-carbon bonds throughout the polymeric structure. Both carbon and silicon belong to the same group in the periodic table. However, plastics are petroleum derivatives while silicones have a building block “Si” which is found in sand. It is also the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen. There are many differences between plastics and silicone products if we see their origin and manufacturing processes. The reason for comparing silicone products with plastics is the similarities in their physical properties.
Similarities and Differences in Plastics and Silicone Products
Through comparison, the similarities and differences between plastics and silicone products are listed as follows:
- Both are lightweight and can be made transparent in appearance
- Another important factor that makes them similar is their elasticity and property of being molded into different shapes
- Both silicone products and plastics are water resistant
- Plastics are organic compounds that do not occur naturally, while silicones are semi-organic since silica (Si) shows a greater metallic character when compared to carbon. Meanwhile, silicones are much more durable and thermally stable because the Si-O bond is stronger than the C-C bond. This feature enables the silicone products to be more sustainable, and heat-resistant, which is why silicone can be used to produce cooking wares
- Silicone products are odorless, highly food-grade and do not release toxic compounds like Bisphenol-A, which is the primary reason for the release of estrogen mimickers. Also, silicones do not have empty voids to entrap harmful bacteria and other impurities, all of which make silicone incomparably healthier than plastics
- Silicone is made from silicon, the constituent part of sand, while plastic is an artificial compound as previously mentioned. The manufacturing alone sets silicone and plastics apart, as silicone is less environmentally harmful and more eco-friendly even from the very beginning. Plastics decompose into fragments and harmful compounds that pollute our environment and pose serious threats to human beings and animals. As for silicone products, however, we can actually recycle them through a set of specialized processes (usually carried away by recycling companies) to get them recycled and downcycled, before the silicone product manufacturers continue to make it into various products.
The above discussion is enough to understand the unique edge of silicone products over plastic products.
As an expert silicone product manufacturer that has been engaged in silicone production for decades, XHF provides a variety of silicone products like kitchen utensils and customized molds. We have a strict policy of cleanliness and sterilization to avoid any impurities or microorganisms. High standards of quality are maintained to meet our customer’s desires. The transparent silicone baby nipples and medical tubes, we produce in our facility, are extremely durable, thermally stable up to 250˚C, and free from any toxic releases. In addition, we have a wide range of molding machines to deliver customized products to our customers. A highly skillful and professional team analyses the data and designs products according to customers’ needs. Other interesting products include silicone two-colored cake mold, silicone spatula, military walkie-talkie, silicone seals, and kitchen tool set.