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May 8, 2016

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Dow Corning highlights performance and processing enhancements via silicone additives

Silicone-based additives confer various property and performance upgrades to plastics, including slip properties in low-density polyethylene (LDPE) blown film for form-fill-seal applications. At the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai, supplier Dow Corning showcased several more all-new additives focused on property enhancements in engineering plastics.

Dow Corning 40-001 Additive improves flame retardancy while retaining high clarity with minimal haze in polycarbonate compound.

Auto interiors can be conferred with anti-scratch properties through application of 40-001 Dow Corning silicone-based additive.

For thinner-gauge transparent polycarbonate (PC) compounds, Dow Corning 40-001 Additive improves flame retardancy (FR) while retaining high clarity with minimal haze, and has no impact on tensile strength or modulus. The liquid siloxane additive delivers non-halogenated FR performance and achieves an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 94 V-0 rating at 1 mm with a synergist (typically potassium sulfate salt (KSS)), or a UL 94 V-0 rating at 1.5 mm on its own. Further, the additive enhances the processability while maintaining mechanical properties of PC. Applications include LED lighting for consumer electronics, automotive headlamp lenses and exterior lighting.

Dow Corning also debuted a solid silicone polymer that excels at delivering high slip performance at much lower loadings than polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), meaning mechanical properties are maintained. For use in PA compounds, Dow Corning 31-441 Additive also offers excellent anti-scratch properties and improves extrusion efficiency by decreasing screw torque. Dow Corning 31-441 Additive can also act as an FR synergist in combination with primary organophosphorous flame retardants.

“The significance of this FR synergistic effect is that compounders and processors can replace 3% of the organophosphorous flame retardant with 3% of our additive, driving the same FR results while improving processability and mechanical properties,” says Christophe Paulo, global segment leader, Plastics & Composites for Dow Corning. Non-halogenated organic phosphate flame retardants are typically used as primary flame retardants in dosages of the order of 20% but they may adversely affect processability.

“So here we have two different applications or objectives [for Corning 31-441], the first being electrical and electronic where its FR properties are exploited, and the second being gears where its tribological properties come to the fore. As with most of our silicon-based solutions, the 31-441 additive serves multiple purposes,” adds Paulo. Key applications for 31-441 include automotive parts, industrial gears and bearings, and moving parts in appliances and peripherals.

Surface properties are also enhanced in polyacetal (POM) compounds with the addition of Dow Corning HMB-1103 Masterbatch, a new-generation tribology modifier for polyacetal-based systems, and Dow Corning Toray EP-5500 Powder for improved slip in POM copolymer and POM homopolymer systems. These solutions improve coefficient of friction (COF) more effectively than PTFE at significantly lower dosages and with substantially better short- and long-term performance. Target industries are POM compounds used in automotive, consumer, medical and electronics applications.

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