Silicone Fluids

Silicone fluids: the most versatile and unavoidable specialty fluids

What are silicone fluids?

Silicone fluids are silicone oils (polydimethylsiloxane) which exhibit different degrees of polymerization, and thus viscosity. Within the silicone oils, the polymeric chains, which have a very high methyl density and thus low intermolecular association, glide and slip over one another: the oils are fluids. Replacing a minority of the methyl groups with organic functionalities like phenyl (inert) or vinyl or amino groups (reactive) modifies the oils to give them special characteristics. The silicone oils can be used as is, in dispersion or in emulsions.

Chemical structure

Depending on processing requirements or usage, silicone fluids may be used as 100% materials, in a diluted form – mostly in halogenated hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds or high-boiling white spirit – or in emulsified form usually as oil-in-water emulsions, mostly in low concentrations. Producers usually deliver these fluids in the following concentrations: from 10 to 50% of silicone in solutions and from 20 to 60% of silicone in emulsions.

Silicone fluids properties

Silicone fluids are particularly used for special applications or applications requiring resistance to extreme weather conditions. Silicone fluids are chosen for such applications since they can adapt to extreme fluctuations in temperature (from -60°C to 300°C) and have high stability against all forms of radiation, in particular UV, to resist outdoor exposure. The extremely low volatility silicone fluids and resistance to weathering means that their waterproofing capacities are durable.

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