Thermoplastic Silicone Elastomer Combines the Best of Both Materials Thermoplastic Silicone Elastomer Combines the Best of Both Materials
October 3, 2004
Originally Published MPMN October 2004
Thermoplastic Silicone Elastomer Combines the Best of Both Materials
Hybrid material offers a property profile not seen before in either thermoplastics or silicones
Geniomer thermoplastic silicone elastomer from Wacker combines the typical properties of silicones with the thermally moldable advantages of a thermoplastic.
Munich, Germany–based Wacker Silicones has developed a new process for manufacturing a silicone compound. The resulting product, called Geniomer, has unique properties and characteristics.
It is a polydimethylsiloxane urea copolymer that contains both hard and soft blocks of material.
Its unique property profile stems from the combination of inorganic and organic components. A silicone forms the basis of its soft segment, which is responsible for the product’s elasticity. An organic group builds the corresponding hard segment, which offers strength and heat stability.
Wacker uses a physical curing process instead of the traditional catalyst-based technique. Because no catalysts are used, the polymer has no byproducts or organic volatiles. It has very high purity. These characteristics make it ideal for use in medical applications such as tubing.
Available in several grades, Geniomer is paintable, and has good slip and release properties, low temperature flexibility, and high tensile strength.
Working closely with its customers, the company is currently running a project to open up new markets and application fields for thermoplastic silicone elastomers. Potential uses range from process aids for plastics, such as polypropylene, or other materials.
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