Synergies with Silicones
In spite of this compelling mechanism, until just a few years ago, acceptance of silicones in the price-sensitive fabric-softener market was muted. However, this is starting to change. Rising raw-material prices are making silicone softening agents ever more attractive. “Esterquats and silicones harmonize particularly well with each other, they complement and even enhance each other’s properties – this makes for attractive synergy effects,” says WACKER chemist Dr. Becker. As a result, mixtures of esterquats and novel functionalized silicones are now being used in fabric softeners more and more frequently (see Figure 1).