Silicon is not strictly a metal but a non-metallic chemical element in the carbon family which makes up about 28% of the Earth’s crust. To derive the product from the ore, the ore is furnace charged and the resulting product is used in a number of applications.
In metallurgy it is used as an alloying element in steel, brass, aluminium and bronze. Silicon is added to enhance the cast-ability and strength of the resulting alloy. The largest single production of Silicon is in China with the remaining production from Brazil, France, Norway and the USA.