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Fascinating Silicone™ Chemistry Corner – Peroxide Cure

Peroxide cure systems for silicone polymers


Reaction: Free radical
Reactants/functionality: Polydimethylsiloxane or SiOH/SiOH
Catalysts: Various peroxides
Stimulus for cure: Heat 


Common applications:

  • One-part, pre-catalyzed systems are used to cure silicone high-consistency rubbers (HCRs), which are extruded or injection molded at elevated temperatures.
  • Two-part systems – where the peroxide catalyst is added during processing – are used to cure pressure-sensitive adhesives and some paper coatings.

Advantages

  • Room- or low-temperature cure possible.
  • Catalyst is not easily poisoned.
  • Properties can be modified by manipulating the peroxide level.

Disadvantages

  • Cold storage is required to extend peroxide shelf life, short bath life when catalyzed.
  • Oxygen inhibition can occur.
  • In HCRs, voids can be formed by volatile residues from the peroxide.
  • Post cure may be necessary to remove these volatiles, which can cause depolymerization at high temperatures.
  • Some residual peroxide components can produce toxic peroxide byproducts (chlorophenyls or PCBs), which could result in “blooming” upon aging; consequently, post-curing is recommended.

Expand your understanding

Learn about:
One- vs. two-part systems
Condensation heat cure
RTV moisture cure
Temperature-activated addition cure
Photo-initiated addition cure

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