Silicon and its many compound varieties, including silicone, is an incredible natural material with many uses. Read on to discover five amazing facts about this versatile element.
1- It’s present in algae
Found in both fresh and saltwater, diatoms are a type of algae which comes in many shapes and sizes. Used in many household items from toothpaste to cat litter, all diatoms share one thing in common, however: they contain silica.
2- Useful for tech applications
Thanks to its ability to act as a semiconductor, silicon is the ideal choice for manufacturing components that will be used in electronic goods and other technological applications. Yahoo Finance highlights just how important this material is. It’s no coincidence that the US hub for tech innovation is known as “Silicon Valley”!
3- It may be replaced…
However, whilst silicon is a very reliable semiconductor, tech researchers are now looking to find a material which can do the same job more quickly, thereby allowing computer processing speeds to get even faster. Yet silicon is likely to remain a stalwart of much electronics manufacturing, thanks to its ready availability and low cost. It also has an important role to play in silicone moulding UK wide, as well as in other industries. Silicone moulding UK businesses will still be in high demand due to the incredible benefits of this material.
4- Silicon is all around us
Indeed, even the bricks and concrete that make up the buildings we live and work in include silicon. That’s because the clay that is used to manufacture bricks contains silicon, as does the binding agent used to make concrete.
5- Silicon in space
When the first humans visited the moon, one of the items chosen to be left behind was a disc made of silicon. This small disc was engraved with messages from 73 countries around the world. For this purpose, silicon was the ideal choice as it is able to withstand the great extremes of temperature that the moon, due to its lack of atmosphere, experiences.