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Silicones from Dow Corning
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Organically Modified Silicones
Cure Systems
How Silicones Work
Silicone Manufacturing


Through the curing or crosslinking process, silicone gels, elastomers, and resins "solidify" their properties and
can achieve new levels of performance potential.


Did you know ... some silicones can take days to cure completely, while others reach full cure
in a matter of seconds!

Cure systems for silicone polymers

Silicone fluids can be used "as supplied." In other words, their properties are fully developed. Silicone gels, elastomers, and resins, however, may need to be crosslinked (or cured) to achieve their final properties. This requires the presence of a crosslinker – a silicone molecule with multiple functional sites that can react or link with another silicone polymer.

Silicone crosslinkers have multiple functional sites that can link with another silicone polymer

Under the right conditions (heat, humidity, or ultraviolet light) – and in the presence of the crosslinker and a catalyst – the individual polymer chains will link together to form a more complex material.

Individual polymer chains link together to form a more complex material

Depending on the base polymer, the crosslink density, and the presence of any reinforcing fillers, this material can range from a rigid film to a flexible rubber or a spongy gel.

Crosslinking or cure reactions for silicones

There are three crosslinking reactions for reactive silicone polymers:

For an in-depth discussion of silicone crosslinking reactions, read Section 5 of the Silicone Chemistry Overview. (PDF Size 210KB)

One part or two?

Two coffee cupsOne- or two-part cure systems are selected based on the environment they will be used in, the method of application, the expected rate of use, and other application requirements. Compare the typical uses, advantages and disadvantages of one- vs. two-part silicone cure systems.

Expand your understanding

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

Silicone Chemistry Overview (PDF)

Technical articles for chemists and engineers:

Silicones in Industrial Applications
Article reprints from the silicone chapter of Inorganic Polymers, published by Nova Sciences.

Scientific overviews by silicone experts from around the globe.

  • Introduction to silicone chemistry
  • Uses, benefits, and limitations of silicones in various industrial applications

Explore your material options

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