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Fascinating Silicone™ Chemistry Corner – Release Agents

How silicone release agents work

One of the key properties of silicone is its low surface tension – in particular, its low critical surface tension of wetting (or low surface energy). This combines with the low cohesive strength conferred by its methyl groups to give silicone excellent release characteristics.

Unlike more rigid carbon-carbon backbones, silicone polymers can easily expose their low-interacting/surface-active methyl groups to provide low adhesion, or easy release.

Silicone benefits for release

  • Excellent spreading on many different substrates, including metal mold surfaces
  • Thermal stability
  • Formulations with the ability to cure to form thin films that do not transfer or interfere with the bulk properties of the substrate
  • Lower surface tension than typical acrylic and SBR adhesives, facilitating release in pressure-sensitive label applications

Typical silicone release agent applications

  • Release liners for pressure-sensitive adhesive labels
  • Rubber tire release
  • Metal mold release
  • Food release

Learn how other types of silicones work.

Did you know ... even fluorocarbons, which have lower surface energy than silicones, do not match silicone's release performance!

Expand your understanding

Learn more about:
Silicones for Manufacturing
Silicones for Paper

Technical article:
Silicone Release Coatings for the Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Industry (PDF Size 146 KB)

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