Silicone Polymers

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Silicone Polymers 2016-12-06T05:35:22+00:00

Silicone Polymers

   

Organo-silicon compounds were studied by Kipping between 1899 and 1937.

J F Hyde at Corning glass manufacturers was aware of Kipping’s work and investigated silicones as materials with properties intermediate between glasses and the more conventional plastics. Corning demonstrated a heat resistant dielectric which in combination with glass fibre tapes looked promising for electrical insulating purposes.

In 1943, with Dow Chemicals, they formed a joint company Dow-Corning Corporation to produce silicone polymers. Meanwhile, the General Electric Company under the leadership of Eugene Rochow had prepared similar polymers using a different approach and they began commercial production in 1946.

Silicone polymers have an unusual combination of properties including water repellency, low surface tension, anti-stick properties and high temperature resistance. They can be produced as liquids, thermoplastic and thermosetting resins from very hard to soft, rubber like materials.

Production commenced in the UK in 1954 by Albright & Wilson under licence from Dow and in 1955, by ICI using rights under the General Electric process.