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Fascinating Silicone™ Facts – VMS FAQ

Commonly asked questions about volatile methylsiloxane fluids

Q. Are volatile methylsiloxanes something new?
No. Commercially available since the 1950s, cyclic volatile methylsiloxane (VMS) fluids have been used primarily as intermediates in the manufacture of nonvolatile, higher-molecular-weight silicone polymers used in silicone sealants, rubbers, and fluids. They have also been used for more than 20 years in personal care applications such as antiperspirants and hair and skin care products.

Q. Are VMS fluids expensive?
VMS fluids do cost more, initially, than many of their volatile organic compound (VOC) counterparts. However, replacing only a part of your current solvent with VMS may be enough to bring you into regulatory compliance. The potential waste management savings from using VMS could be substantial. Consider the cost of installing a new incineration system, expanding an existing one, or failing to meet regulatory requirements.

Q. If I replace my current solvent with a VMS fluid, will performance suffer?
Depending on the solvent you are using now, replacement by 100% VMS fluid may or may not be feasible. However, partial replacement may help you lower your total VOC use or content without impairing performance. Plus, VMS fluids actually outperform organics in a number of applications, such as the removal of high-viscosity silicones. They are better carriers of silicones than organics. And they are safer than many organics for cleaning plastic surfaces because they don’t attack or degrade them.

Q. Are VMS fluids slow to dry?
VMS fluids have extremely low surface tension and very low viscosity. This not only enables them to slip into tight, hard-to-reach places, it also increases surface area and makes them drain off easily, both of which enhance drying. Another plus: VMS fluids exhibit low heat of evaporation, so the addition of even a small amount of heat will speed drying significantly.

Q. Are cyclic VMS fluids safe for the environment and human health?
Current science shows that, when used as intended, silicones are safe for the environment and human health.

To learn more about VMS fluids from Dow Corning and how they can help you meet the demands of increasing government regulation of VOCs and ozone-depleting chemicals, visit

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