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What is the silicone?

Silicones are obtained from silicon which is one of the most abundant minerals in the World.

The silicon constitutes the 28% of the crust and it is found as silicon oxide in the sand, quartz and also combined with potassium, aluminum and manganese.

The sand or quartz are reduced to metal silicon and the product is grinded until a fine powder is obtained.

When the silicon is combined with the methyl chloride with the presence of a catalyst, the chlorosilane is formed, which will be later hydrolized with water, causing a cyclic silane.

Afterwards, the hydrolyzate polymerizes and the polydimethylsiloxane is obtained (silicone fluids).

 

 

Molecular Structure

The silicones are characterized for having a main chain of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms.

The type of organic group and the polymer ramification‘s degree determine whether the silicone will be fluid, elastomeric or resinosa.

Moreover, modifications can be made by replacing a methyl group for a phenyl thus obtaining fluids resistant to high temperatures and high thermal stability in high and low temperatures.

Other modifications consist of replacing a methyl group for a phenyl.

Temperature resistance

Silicones take place in a temperature range included between – 40 to 200° C, in a continuous way without altering its propertiess.

In the case of the Phenylmethylsilicones, the temperature working range is of  -40 to 250 ° in a continuous way.

Surface tension

Silicones present a low surface tension in relation to:

Silicone oi
Oil
Polyglycol
Water

21.5 DY/cm
35 DY/cm
45 DY/cm
72 DY/cm

This property gives the silicone excellent antifoamers properties.

Electric applications

The silicones in its different forms such as fluids, greases and elastomers are used in the electrical industry because of its excellent insulating properties, high dielectric strength and excellent dissipation factor.

Lubricity

The greases of silicones have excellent lubrication properties in sets: rubber/metal, rubber/plastics/metal and glass/plastics.

Its use is not recommended in the cases of metal/ metal lubrication.

 

Physical forms

Silicones are presented in the form of fluids of different viscosities ranging of 0.5 cst to 1.000.000, elastomers (rubber) RTV and HTV, resins, emulsions, antifoamers, solvent and water repellents.

The silicone fluids are presented alone or in combination with inorganic thickeners to produce greases and special lubricants.

They are also used for the manufacturing of antifoamers, emulsions, release agents in its various forms and fluids for the cosmetic industry, for water baths and for transformers.

The silicone elastomers are combined with inorganic products to generate silicone rubber that vulcanize at room temperature (rubbers RTV) and the rubbers HTV (vulcanized in hot).


The main physical properties of the silicones are:

Uniform properties in a wide range of temperatures.

Low surface tension

High degree of lubricity over organic substrates.

Excellent form release agents properties.

Water repellent.

Good electric properties.

Inert.

Water repellent

Both the leather and the fabrics can be treated with silicones.

In the case of the construction we have the solvent and aqueous repellents with different contents of active material (methyl potassium silicate).

Main uses of greases

Release agents

Nonstick

Insulation

Heatsink

Rubber / metal lubricant

O‘rings lubricant

Plastic / metal lubricant

Plastic / plastic lubricant

Water repellent

High dielectric strength

Precision mechanisms

Sealant to pressure systems

 

 

 
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