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Silicone or silicon?

Of course, it depends on what you mean and what you need! Silicon is a natural chemical element, silicone is a man-made product.

The words are often used interchangeably but there are important differences. Whilst silicon is natural, silicone is a man-made polymer derived from silicon. There are also differences with the applications of silicon and silicone. Whilst the former is an ideal semi-conductor (used for silicon chips), silicone has widespread use in industrial applications.