Silicone materials for formula makers of construction applications

Human progress can to a large extent be measured by the way we construct our homes, gathering places and landmark buildings. Since the dawn of time, new techniques and new materials have transformed our architectural ideas and landscapes. Silicone sealants were a major breakthrough in modern architecture, enabling professionals to combine different building materials, such as steel, glass, concrete and stone to build spectacular and more efficient buildings. 

The first silicone sealant cartridge, revolutionizing how various construction components were assembled and sealed, was created by Elkem Silicones on its site in St. Fons, near Lyon, France in 1957! 

Since then, Elkem Silicones has continued to develop new silicone-based raw materials which are formulated with different functional group structures in the organic silicon polymer main chain or side chain. These ingredients include, for example, alcohol, methyl, other functional organic silicone groups, polymers to create specific sealants that provide greater weather and temperature resistance, higher levels of waterproofing, better adhesive strength, anti-parasite and mold resistance and an almost unlimited number of features. In short, silicone formulations improve the strength, flexibility, and resistance of buildings and ensure their long-term structural integrity so they can stand the test of time.

What are the main advantages of Elkem silicone-based materials for making customized formulations for the construction sector?

Elkem Silicones produces its own formulations and ready-to-use sealants, but also supplies specialty downstream formula producers with the silicone and silane-modified polymer materials they need to achieve diverse functional requirements. These raw materials, available in a wide range of viscosities, can be used for sealant formulations, but also as primers and auxiliaries. Because of its fully-integrated manufacturing expertise and facilities, from raw silicate processing to the production of silicone raw materials and customized formulations, Elkem Silicones can satisfy the entire range of formulation needs.

OH Polymers, the main base materials for construction sealants

OH polymers, also referred to as H-48 or methyl-terminated dihydroxy polydimethylsiloxane, are typically colorless transparent viscous liquids, used as the base polymers for making specific silicone rubber elastomers, through reactions with crosslinkers and catalysts at room temperature. These various compounds can then be used for a wide range of purposes in many industries and, in particular in construction, as the base for sealants for  building facades and cladding, installation of windows and doors, insulated glass panes, interior decoration, kitchen and bathroom caulking (with the anti-mold additives) for all types of construction from residential to commercial spaces industrial buildings, via transport infrastructures.

The final cured silicone rubbers, when formulated to exacting specifications, offer many advantages for construction applications:

  • Long-lasting sealant protection and elasticity  
  • Resistance to extreme temperatures, from -60 to 200°C
  • Excellent chemical stability and ageing properties
  • Specific formulation ingredients to counter corrosion
  • Resistance to water, moisture and mold
  • Non-toxic substances to ensure safety for manufacturers, installers and end-users
  • Insulation and low shrinkage.

Our product offering

Elkem Silicones provides three types of technologies for use by construction sealant formula producers: Acetoxy, Alkoxy and Oxime (the latter is available exclusively in Asia).

Acetoxy technology 

This original family of silicone sealants remains the most widely used in multiple construction applications, including weatherproofing, expansion joints, window installations, windowpane glazing, sanitary caulking and a wide range of DIY products. This technology, because it creates acetoxy acid in the curing process, can only be used in applications where there is no risk of corrosion in the surrounding environment. 

Alkoxy technology 

This technology is based on an alcohol curing mechanism and is therefore (like Oxime technology) completely neutral and odorless. It is used in the same range of construction applications as acetoxy technology, but also in areas where corrosion is to be avoided, such as near electrical installations, in contact with sensitive metals (such as copper and its alloys) or in structures that may be exposed to hazardous chemical or environmental pressures. 

Oxime technology (available only in Asia)

This technology, based on a ketoxime curing mechanism is used to produce highly efficient sealants that, like alkoxy technologies, are completely neutral and can be used in applications where there is a risk of corrosion. It can be used in the full range of construction applications. 

Why choose Elkem Silicones as your partner for silicone rubber molding and casting applications?

Silicone-based formulations are the material of choice for a wide range of building applications, because they are versatile, customizable, safe and easy to process, provide innovative and robust performance features and guarantee safety for manufacturers, building professionals and end-users. 

Silicones solutions for construction cover such a wide variety of applications that it is essential for formula makers to confer with our experts and salespeople to make sure they get the right products and the right support. We are available to work closely with manufacturers to meet current needs and in long-term R&D partnerships to develop customized products that meet evolving market needs and regulatory changes.