Typical Silane Applications

Coupling Agent: Organofunctional alkoxysilanes are used to couple organic polymers to inorganic materials. Typical of this application are reinforcements, such as fiberglass and mineral fillers, incorporated into plastics and rubbers. They are used with both thermoset and thermoplastic systems. Mineral fillers, such as silica, talc, mica, wollastonite, clay and others, are either pre-treated with silane or treated in situ during the compounding process.

By applying an organofunctional silane to the hydrophilic,non-organoreactive filler, the surfaces are converted to reactive and organophilic. Fiberglass applications include auto bodies, boats, shower stalls, printed circuit boards, satellite dishes, plastic pipes and vessels, and many others. Mineral-filled systems include reinforced polypropylene, silica-filled molding compounds, silicon-carbide grinding wheels, aggregate-filled polymer concrete, sand-filled foundry resins and clay-filled EPDM wire and cable. Also included are clay- and silica-filled rubber for automobile tires, shoe soles, mechanical goods and many other applications.

Adhesion Promoter: Silane coupling agents are effective adhesion promoters when used as integral additives or primers for paints, inks, coatings, adhesives and sealants. As integral additives, they must migrate to the interface between the adhered product and the substrate
to be effective. As a primer, the silane coupling agent is applied to the inorganic substrate before the product to be adhered is applied. In this case, the silane is in the optimum position (in the interphase region), where it can be most effective as an adhesion promoter. By using the right silane coupling agent, a poorly adhering paint, ink, coating, adhesive or sealant can be converted to a material that often will maintain adhesion even if subjected to severe environmental conditions.

Hydrophobing and Dispersing Agent: Alkoxysilanes with hydrophobic organic groups attached to silicon will impart that same hydrophobic character to a hydrophilic inorganic surface. They are used as durable hydrophobing agents in construction, bridge and deck applications. They are also used to hydrophobe inorganic powders to make them free- flowing and dispersible in organic polymers and liquids.

Crosslinking Agent: Organo-functional alkoxysilanes can react with organic polymers to attach the trialkoxysilyl group onto the polymer backbone. The silane is then available to react with moistuto crosslink the silane into a stablethree-dimensional siloxane struc-ture. Such a mechanism can be used to crosslink plastics, especiapolyethylene, and other organic reins, such as acrylics and urethaneto impart durability, water resistanand heat resistance to paints, coaings and adhesives.

Moisture Scavenger: The three alkoxy groups on silanes will hydrolyze in the presence of moisture to convert water molecules to alcohol molecules.Organotrialkoxysilanes are often used in sealants and other moisture-sensitive formulations as water scavengers.

Polypropylene Catalyst “Donor”: Organoalkoxysilanes are added to Ziegler-Natta catalyzed polymerization of propylene to control the stereochemistry of the resultant polypropylene. The donors are usually mono- or di-organo silanes with corresponding tri- or di-alkoxy substitution on silicon. By using specific organosilanes, the tacticity (and hence the properties) of the polypropylene is controlled.

Silicate Stabilizer: A siliconate derivative of a phosphonate- functional trialkoxysilane functions as a silicate stabilizer to prevent agglomeration and precipitation of silicates during use. The predomi- nant application is in engine coolant formulations to stabilize the silicate corrosion inhibitors.

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