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Dow Corning Materials Technology

Dow Corning was formed in 1943 specifically to explore the potential of silicon-based chemistry. Our scientists pioneered the development of the first silicon-based products, applying their unique chemical make-up and inherent versatility to meet the needs of a number of commercial applications.

Today, we are building on our existing chemistry expertise to tap the potential of a much broader array of materials.

Dow Corning makes products that fall into the following basic categories:

  • Hyperpure Polycrystalline Silicon: elemental silicon used in computer chips and other electronic devices.
  • Silanes: Silanes are an important class of silicon compounds. These critical intermediates serve both as internal building blocks but, also as useful products for the chemical and electronic industries.
  • Siloxanes: This versatile material is responsible for at least six classes of commercially important products (some formulated). They are fluids, emulsions, compounds, lubricants, resins, and elastomers or rubbers. One of the more common siloxane polymers is known as poly(dimethylsiloxane) or PDMS.

Low molecular weight PDMS is sometimes known as VMS while PDMS encompass all non-volatile poly(dimethylsiloxanes):

  • Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMS),  are used to improve the performance of solvents, cleaners, and some personal care products (deodorants, antiperspirants).
  • Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS),  are used as end-use industrial materials, such as transformer fluids as process aids or surface treatments in the manufacture of textiles; papers and leather goods; and in a variety of personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, skin creams, and detergents. Also known as dimethicone.
  • In addition to PDMS, Dow Corning makes a variety of versatile functional siloxanes. These polymers contain organic functionality which enhances the benefits of standard PDMS.

New Materials: In the future, we plan to apply our chemistry expertise to develop entirely new categories of materials, including silicone-organic hybrids, structural ceramics, and electronic ceramics.  

 

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