Since it was founded in 1914, Wacker Chemie AG has become a world-recognized leader in the industrial adhesives industry. Wacker produces a wide range of products, including silicone rubbers, polymer products, and chemical materials, and employees more than 16,700 people in more than 28 countries. In 1987, the Wacker Silicones Corporation was founded in Adrian, Michigan, and is now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of silane and silicone products. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at some of those products.
Wacker Silicones – Elastosil
Silicone rubbers, which consist mostly of silicone polymers and fillers, make for highly versatile product, owing to their extremely diverse properties. These rubbers undergo high-temperature or room-temperature vulcanization (HTV or RTV) with appropriate reactants. During this process, the uncured compound, which is in a plastic state, is transformed into an elastomeric rubber comprised of a three-dimensional structure. These rubbers are heat resistant, extremely flexible in low temperatures, and retain good mechanical properties over a wide range of temperatures. They are also resistant to aging caused by UV light and radiation, and are safe for the environment as well.
Wacker’s Elastosil® line of silicone products can be used for most construction and industrial applications, including as a sealant in construction projects. Their versatility and nearly unlimited potential, however, makes them ideal for applications in many industries, including engineering, automotive, mechanical, electronics, textiles, and domestic appliances. Let’s look closer at the various types of Elastosil products that are currently available from Wacker Chemie AG.
The Many Forms of Elastocil
- HTV/LSR Silicone Rubbers
- Elastosil® LR – Elastosil® LR is a self-adhering liquid silicone rubber that bonds to many substrates without a primer or adhesive, and undergoes HTV and platinum curing. It is ideal for manufacturing large volume parts, and for those combining multiple functions.
- Elastosil® FLR – FLR (fluorinated liquid silicone rubbers) are those that are resistant to corrosive fluids, which are used mainly in the automotive industry. They comprise products such as engine oil and fuel.
- Elastosil® R – Elastosil® R are solid silicone rubbers that can be processed by a number of conventional methods, including compression, extrusion, and transfer molding, and that cure by peroxide.
- Elastosil® R+ – the R+ series feature advantages of solid and liquid silicone rubbers, such as excellent mechanical properties and reduced post-conditioning times.
- RTV-1 and RTV-2 Silicone Rubbers
- One-Part Silicone Rubber (RTV-1) – these silicone rubbers come ready to use; they undergo RTV and are perfect for bonding, sealing, and encapsulation. The products in this line include Elastosil® E, Elastosil® A, and Elastosil® N.
- Elastosil® Joint Sealants – offer professional solutions for joint optimum-bonding; they are tailored for specific applications in the plastics, glazing, and construction industries.
- Two-Part Silicone Rubbers (RTV-2) – undergo HTV and can be applied automatically; their range is completed by a second gel and/or foam product, like Wacker SilGel® and Elastosil® SC. There are several types of RTV-2 products: Elastosil® M is used for mold making; Elastosil® RT for encapsulation (sealing) and pad printing; and Elastosil® C for making composite mold.
- Silicone Rubber Dispersions
- Elastocil® RD – solvents like toluene can be used to turn solid silicone rubber grades into dispersions; these products undergo condensation or addition curing and can be applied to extremely thin films, which makes them ideal for industrial coating applications. These products are also available as either one- or two-part products.
- Silicone Sealants
- Elastosil® silicone sealants – are extremely durable and versatile and offer a number of considerable advantages over other sealing systems like cement-based products. These sealants are highly resistant to UV light and harsh weather, and have a wide operating temperature range. They are used in many construction applications like doors and windows, and also as sealants in bathrooms.
- Elastosil® AUX – additives are used together with silicone rubber grades. They serve either as a primer or adhesive promoter to form a stronger, and more durable adhesion. Additives can also be used as mold release agents.
- Silicone Films
- Elastosil® Film – an ultrathin, high precision film made of crosslinked silicone rubber that is available in varying degrees of thickness, from 20-400µm. It is manufactured without the use of solvents, and in roll-stock form. This technology is currently being developed as a dielectric precision layer in future electronic applications, such as generators or smart sensors that use electro-active polymers (EAPs).