Silicone fluids: versatile ingredients for industrial applications

Silicone fluids are silicone oils which feature different degrees of polymerization and therefore viscosity. In silicone fluids or oils, the polymeric chains form spirals with a very high methyl density and thus low intermolecular association, which enables them to glide and slip over one another. They are very versatile and by replacing some of the methyl groups with phenyl (inert), vinyl or amino groups (reactive), it is easy to modify them, thus enabling formulators to provide oils with specific characteristics for different applications. 

These fluids include different oligomers that are the building blocks for specific applications.

How are silicone fluids delivered and used?

To correspond to processing requirements and their usage, silicone oils can be used as is or in dilutions at different ratios (mostly in halogenated hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds or high-boiling white spirit) or emulsified (usually as oil-in-water emulsions) and mostly in low concentrations. Producers usually deliver these fluids in the following concentrations: from 10 to 50% of silicone in solutions and from 20 to 60% of silicone in emulsions.

What are the fundamental chemical properties of silicone fluids and what are they mostly used for? 

Silicone fluids are characterized by very high thermal and thermo-oxidative resistance and capable of maintaining their functional features at temperatures ranging from -60 to +300°C. Silicone fluids are also much more stable than organic polymers when subjected to electromagnetic or particle radiation (UV, alpha, beta and gamma). Furthermore, silicone fluids offer the advantages of very low volatility, excellent shearing resistance, low surface tension and very high and durable water repellency.

The versatility of silicone fluids: excellent for an almost unlimited number of applications

The Elkem Silicones vast portfolio of BLUESIL silicone fluids are particularly well adapted for use as hydraulic or transformer oils, damping liquids, diffusion pump fluids, thermally resistant lubricants, dielectrics, defoamers and release agents for an almost unlimited number of industries. 

Their versatility and capacity to withstand extreme conditions means our silicone fluids are used in transport, electrical and electronic manufacturing, paints and coatings, architectural and construction applications and many other industrial processes that require high levels of long-term protection against all types of aggression. 

Our silicone oils, because of their clean and safe performance characteristics, are also used to enhance the processing of consumer products, such as textiles, sportswear and leather and to provide end users with the resistance and comfort features they demand, as well as in cosmetics, skin care and pharmaceuticals.

The Elkem Silicones vast portfolio of BLUESILTM silicone fluids are also particularly appreciated in heavy industry for their performance in extreme conditions. A prime example is their use as drilling fluid (also known as drilling mud) used in geotechnical engineering to make it easier to bore holes into the earth. Extensively used in oil and natural gas rigs, they are also used to dig water wells or sample geological strata.

Our technologies and product offerings

Elkem Silcone BLUESILTM fluids use different technologies that are the building blocks for specific applications. Here is a sample of some of our versatile and high-performance oligomer products:

  • Silox is an intermediary product composed of a mixture of cyclic polydimenthylsiloxanes and linear polydimethylsiloxanes terminated with hydroxyl groups. It is used in manufacturing oils or other polydimethylsiloxanic compounds. Its properties include good viscosity, stability and is essentially odorless, as well as ozone and UV resistant. It is processed with organic silicone high-polymers, with acid or base catalysts to produce the basic raw material for polydimethylsiloxane fluid and hydroxyl terminated PDMS, or other polydimethylsiloxanic compounds
    1. Available Products – Siloxane 45 CT Hydrolysate
  • Polymethylcyclosiloxanes, including Dimethylcyclosiloxane (DMC) and octamethyl cyclotetrasiloxane (D4, are clear, odorless and volatile fluids with non-greasy and low surface tensions (high spreadability), which provide high chemical activity and excellent reaction rates. Applications include polymerization of high-performance silicone oils and gums, silicones, elastomer intermediates, solvents, diluents, etc. 
    1. Available Products – Cycliques 0586, BLUESILTM DMC A2, Tetramere D4 & Tetramere D4 A2 
  • Linear Polymer is a low viscosity, reactive silanol fluid which provides good stability in viscosity, is essentially odorless and is resistant to ozone, UV and ultra-high or ultra-low temperatures. It is processed in a condensation reaction on its own or with other organoalkoxysilanes to produce raw materials of amino fluids. These provide excellent softeners, lubrication and washing properties for use on different textiles for better directional adsorption with the hydroxyl group of the fabric surface. It is also used as a process additive for methyl vinyl cured silicone rubber and as paper anti-stick agent. 
    1. Available Products – BLUESILTM Linear Polymer 0325 

Why choose Elkem Silicones as your partner for silicone fluids?

Elkem Silicones has been developing and producing a full range of Bluesil™ silicone fluids for over 50 years backed by services provided by our experts to produce customized solutions to:

  • Optimize industrial productivity and efficiency through process improvements and defect rate and waste reductions, thus reducing total cost of operations
  • Ensure clean and safe processing to guarantee the quality of products
  • Comply with the most demanding industry and regulatory standards
  • Build R&D partnerships, to develop new products upstream and reliable logistical and technical support services downstream.