Silicon is a natural substance found on Earth, and it can be used in several different ways and is often added to other synthetic items to make new products. The silicone used in Silicone Moulding UK products such as those from https://www.meadex.co.uk/silicone-moulding/ is an example of this.
As a natural element, Silicon appears on the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 14 which means its nucleus contains 4 protons. It has the chemical symbol Si. Silicon is much more common than people first think, and if you order elements based on their total weight on Earth, Silicon comes second in the list. It is also the eighth most common element to be found across the entire universe when you order them by weight.
Silicon makes up many structures that are found on Earth, including the crust of the planet itself, where Silicon accounts for over 27% of the makeup of the crust. It can also be found in quartz stones and sand in the form of silicon oxides. As a natural element, it is key to the existence of both plants and animals. We use it in many items from mobile phones, computer chips, and in bricks and other construction materials. Interestingly, when meteorites fall to Earth and are examined, it has been noted that they contain high levels of Silicon.
As a material, Silicon is critical in steel production, and it requires very little processing to take place to make it a variable product. It is found in a solid-state when left at room temperature but can also be used in a liquid form when heated to over 3,265 degrees Celsius. When Silicon combines with oxygen naturally in the environment, it forms silica which is another product that most people have heard about.
The element of Silicon is neither classified as a metal, not as a non-metal. This means that it is a metalloid. These are elements that do not fit precisely into either main category. In essence, this means that the elements classed as metalloids have properties of metals and non-metals. This most often means that they have metallic aesthetics but are only slightly conductive of electricity. Silicon can be used as a semi-conductor, and this conductivity increases as the temperature of the silicon increases.
Silicon was first discovered by Jons Jacob Berzelius in 1824; he was a Swedish chemist. Berzelius is also credited with discovering the elements thorium, selenium and cerium. In order to isolate the element, he heated silica with potassium to obtain pure Silicon.