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Fascinating Silicone™ Chemistry Corner – Silicones vs. Organics

Silicone vs. carbon bond characteristics

Bond energy – kJ/mole
The Si-O-Si bond has higher bond energy.

Bond length – angstroms (Ǻ)
Si-O-Si bonds are longer.

Bond angle – degrees, avg.
Silicon bonds have a lower barrier to rotation.

Barrier to rotation – kJ/mole
Silicon bonds have a lower barrier to rotation.

Barrier to rotation material comparison – kJ/mole
Polydimethylsiloxane has a much lower barrier to rotation than polyethylene or polytetrafluoroethylene.

Long bond length combined with a wide bond angle, great freedom of rotation, and large free volume give siloxane polymers:

  • The most open, flexible structure of any polymer
  • Incredible ease of orientation for their surface-active groups
  • A lower glass transition temperature (Tg) than any other comparable polymer

Glass transition temperature (Tg) comparison

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Activation energy for viscous flow of linear polymers, showing the dependence on energy for viscous flow.
PE = polyethylene, PB = polybutane, PP = polypropylene, PIB = polyisobutylene, PET = polyethyleneterapthalate, PVAc = polyvinylacetate, PS =polystyrene, and PVC = polyvinylchloride.

Expand your understanding

Learn about:
Typical performance properties
Commercial benefits
Surface & interface applications
Silicone rheology

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