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Silicones from Dow Corning
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Fascinating Silicone™ Applications

Silicones save the otters

Otters generate a natural hydrophobic coating that protects them from icy waters.

A silicone helped save otters caught in the 1989 Alaskan oil spill disaster. The crude oil had soaked into their fur, destroying the air layer that helps keep them warm as they swim in the icy waters of Prince William Sound. They were in danger of dying from the cold.

Detergents were used to remove the crude oil, but they removed the natural waterproofing oils from the otters’ fur. Treating the otters with silicone fluids similar to those used in hair conditioners gave their fur a temporary waterproof layer. The silicone kept them protected until they regenerated their natural hydrophobic coating.

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