Silicones – Engineers Of A Better Life

What do consumer electronics, baby pacifiers, tents, electric vehicles and breathing tubes all have in common? At first sight, not a lot. But take a closer look and you’ll see the crucial link: silicones from WACKER.

We encounter silicones in almost all areas of life. Mostly, though, we are unaware of them. For these hidden helpers come in many guises and can assume an infinite number of shapes. Take a stroll through the astonishing world of engineering silicones – the hidden engineers of a better life.

Full Operational Readiness
Engineered by Silicones

Whether they are contained in electric vehicles, cellphones or consumer electronics, batteries and electronic devices generate heat during operation. But silicone elastomers from WACKER ensure that nothing overheats.

Staying nice and cool

Lithium-ion batteries perform best at 20 to 35 °C – that’s their ideal operating range. Every degree above that can affect their performance and shorten their lifetime. The burning issue, then, is how to dissipate excess heat quickly and efficiently. Thermal interface materials (TIMs) do precisely this: by providing enhanced thermal coupling between the battery module and the heat-dissipation system.

Heat? Cold? No problem!

The higher the temperatures and the loads, the tougher are the requirements which the materials have to meet. Silicone-based TIMs have been proving their worth here for many years. They withstand temperatures between -45 °C and 150 °C, are electrically insulating, and extremely resistant to chemicals and UV radiation. They are the preferred material in many applications – such as EVs – because they are also fire resistant and aging resistant.

Like to know more about silicone-based TIMs from WACKER?

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The Future of Mobility
Engineered By Silicones

The automotive industry is powering up for an electric future. Silicones from WACKER have the potential to capture pole position here and to lead the automotive industry into a new era.

No matter whether it’s the battery, the fuel cell or the motor: without silicones, not a great deal happens in an electric vehicle. Check out our video to see how silicones are electrifying the future of mobility.

Discover more about how WACKER is helping to shape the future of mobility.

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Protection Against The Elements.
Engineered by Silicones

Going on an outdoor adventure? Don’t forget silicones from WACKER: as protective coatings for tents, they can be relied on to keep out the elements. And they also show off their strengths in other technical textiles.

Tents have to contend with a great deal outdoors – continuous rain, sunshine, heat, cold. They are also expected to be lightweight, tear-resistant and, of course, as durable as possible. Many tent makers opt to use polyamide fabric – coated with silicones. This combination is extremely tear-resistant, UV-stable and durable, as well as being thin and lightweight. In short, it is the ideal material for backpacker tents. The outer seams, though, are a perennial problem. The needles used to stitch the tent sections together create perforations that have to be sealed afterwards in a very laborious process.

Bonded, not stitched

A totally different approach has been taken by VAUDE, an outdoors outfitter from Tettnang in Germany: supported by WACKER, it has devised an innovative joining method called siliconized bonding. This consists in joining the tent sections together with a silicone adhesive tape – and not a saddle stitch in sight. The bond is absolutely waterproof, exceptionally tear-resistant, and can easily be repaired. And it’s all thanks to an innovative solution involving solid silicone rubber from WACKER. Find out more in our magazine article. .

Covers galore

WACKER silicones open up whole new options in other technical textiles – from airbags to protective clothing. Discover the possibilities.

Discover more about the myriad applications of WACKER silicones in technical textiles.

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Health. Care.
Engineered By Silicones

From medical technology to wound dressings to prostheses – modern medical treatment would be lost without silicones. For not only do they possess the right properties and meet strict legislation, but they also offer patients maximum safety, utmost comfort and reliability.

SILPURAN ® and ELASTOSIL ® are two silicone elastomer series from WACKER that offer a compelling combination of high compatibility and utmost reliability. Silicones are steam-sterilizable, resistant to heat and radiation, highly flexible and available in a very broad range of Shore hardness values.

Pure and purer still: silicone elastomers in medical technology

Ventilation is a highly sensitive field of modern medicine. From ventilation masks and tubes to valves, it is vital that all the constituent materials be absolutely pure and sterile. The same applies to syringes, drains and all other medical technology products that come into close contact with the human body. Not surprisingly, the legal requirements imposed on the materials are very stringent.

Whatever makes life easier

Medical technology aside, WACKER silicones are used in other medical areas, from cushioning shoe inserts to sensitive silicone adhesives for dressing wounds and scars through to partial prostheses – applications that enhance the quality of life of people around the world.

Silicone Adhesives For Wound Dressings

High comfort levels, optimum wound healing, painless removal

Holding Wearables in Place

Secure grip, gentle removal, simple repositioning

Tubing

Excellent resilience, outstanding elasticity, biocompatibility

Orthopedic aids

Good wearing comfort thanks to perfect cushioning properties

Partial Prostheses

Aesthetic, functional and customizable

External Breast Forms

Individually shaped and feel natural to wear

Discover more about the diverse applications of WACKER silicones in health care.

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The Best Start In Life
Engineered By Silicones

Babies put all sorts of things into their mouths. Some of these may be concerning for parents, but others are just what they want – pacifiers and bottles. Silicones from WACKER make sucking a safe and comforting pleasure for babies.

Only the best is good enough for babies, including the materials used to make their teething rings and pacifiers. In babycare products, volatile residues are undesirable: by law, they may not exceed 0.5 %.

Over the years, liquid silicone rubbers (LSRs) have established themselves as the materials of choice here. In most cases, the injection-molded parts are post-cured by heating them for hours to drive off the volatile residues. Post-curing entails more outlay on work, resources and costs for processors.

Specialty grades are called for.

In recent years, WACKER has been slashing the volatiles content of its entire range of liquid silicone rubbers, upgrading it to a low-volatiles LSR product portfolio. With the development of the new ELASTOSIL ® LR 5040 series, we have gone one step further again: this new grade is specifically designed to meet the needs of the babycare, food and medical technology sectors, and even contains a 20 Shore A hardness grade for ultra-soft applications. Injection-molded parts made with it meet the stringent legislation that applies to sensitive applications – without the need for post-curing, in most cases.

“ELASTOSIL® LR 5040 is setting a new standard thanks to its exceptionally low content of residual volatiles and to the outstanding technical properties that its cured products exhibit – even without post-curing. The products in this series define the technological frontier and have already proven themselves to be the market’s benchmark for sensitive applications.”

Dr. Wolfgang Schattenmann, director of Rubber Solutions, WACKER SILICONES

Find out more about ELASTOSIL ® LR 5040 for the babycare sector.

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Artificial Muscle Power
Engineered By Silicones

Hand prostheses with sensitive gripping thanks to artificial muscles? Touchscreens that can be operated without eye contact? Silicones from WACKER will soon make visionary applications like this a reality.

These applications are based on EAP technology implemented on an industrial scale: EAP stands for electroactive polymer, i.e. a polymer that changes shape when placed under electric current. WACKER is a leader in EAP. The technology centers around an ultra-thin silicone film called ELASTOSIL ® Film, which is coated with electrodes and then made into a laminate. These laminates, which WACKER sells under the brand name NEXIPAL ®, open up completely new applications in the areas of sensors and actuators.

NEXIPAL ®, for instance, can be used to make touch-sensitive displays. Buttons in these displays are simulated by vibrations and can be operated without eye contact. In the area of actuators, EAP laminates can revolutionize valves, pumps or artificial muscles, for example.

You will find more information about innovative EAP technology from WACKER here:

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