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Silicones and Construction

Silicone materials have revolutionized construction since they were first introduced on the market in the 1960s.

Did you know that silicones are used in almost all modern buildings and a great number of historical landmarks? 

A selection of applications using silicones

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Why are silicones used in construction?

Silicones bond with most materials, from concrete, glass, granite and marble to aluminium, steel and plastics. They are extremely durable and can resist decay caused to other materials by rough weather conditions, moisture or sunlight. Silicone sealants can prevent humidity and hot or cold air from coming through joints and cracks, thereby making buildings more energy efficient. Their flexibility can also reduce damage from small to medium-scale earthquakes.

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Thanks to these unique properties silicones are essential not only in residential and office buildings, but also in bridges, oil rigs, industrial plants and pipelines.

Save energy!

Even very small amounts of silicone contribute to great energy savings. For example, silicone used in insulated glass units has an impressive benefit in terms of green-house gas emissions. For every ton of CO2 emitted during the production of the silicone product, silicones reduce emissions by a factor of 27.7 when the windows are used. Small amounts of silicone additives are also added in the manufacturing process of polyurethane foams used to insulate buildings, appliances and equipment. These additives are indispensable for insulating materials to work effectively.

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From the past to the future

Silicone coatings preserve monuments as diverse as the formidable statues on Easter Island, the delicate Gothic carvings of the City Hall in Bruges, the Statue of Liberty in New York City, and Tower Bridge in London. Silicones also make some of the most spectacular modern architectural projects possible. The uninterrupted walls of glass and metal on skyscrapers would not be possible without silicones.

Structural glazing – the vast expanses of glass that are such a feature of modern architecture – depends on silicone sealants. They also further innovative moves towards more environmentally-sound architecture.

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