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Silicones and Technology

The pace of digital innovation has never been faster than the past few years. New and innovative products are launched every day to meet the increasing consumer demand for high-performing and durable devices.

Silicone technology lies at the heart of almost all devices that make our life easier – smartphones, computers, sports watches. This is because silicones are uniquely light-weight, durable and stable even in the most extreme conditions. Silicones are also instrumental in driving innovation in other sectors such as electric mobility, helping Europe meet its climate and energy challenges – it is for example instrumental for batteries in electric vehicles, protecting them from heat, cold, moisture and temperature fluctuations.

 

A selection of applications using silicones

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Around 35,000 metric tons of products were sold in Europe in 2015, with a direct sales value of €600 million..

Safety first

Silicones contribute immensely to the safety of modern electronics, from protecting satellites from extreme conditions in space, to preventing overheating of batteries in mobile phones and electric vehicles.

Featured application: LEDs

The invention of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) revolutionised the world of lighting and electronics. Unlike its predecessor, the incandescent bulb, LEDs get their light from the movement of electrons inside semiconductors. This light source is not only energy-saving, but also highly effective. Light performance, protection, and a long product life are essential for LED lighting, which is why they use silicones to encapsulate the electronic parts, and to coat, seal and protect the illuminating mechanism. The silicone gel protects and enhances light output, and provides UV-resistance, non-yellowing, low impurity levels, and optical clarity. From LCD TVs to vehicle lighting, from road signs to theatre lighting, silicones ensure that the light shines brightly year after year.

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Batteries

Silicones protect batteries from heat and cold through the formation of an insulating thermal shield around the battery. They also insulate batteries and protect them from electric surges or battery fires. In electric cars, they shield batteries from moisture and temperature fluctuations.

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ICT equipment

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Reducing the environmental impact

Silicones make an impressive contribution to minimising the CO2 footprint of the electronics sector.

Silicones in polyurethane additives for thermal insulation in appliances generate 17 times less greenhouse gases in their product life time than were emitted during their manufacture and disposal. Together with the value-add in electrical insulators, industrial coatings and high quality sealants and adhesives, silicones save more than 1.6 million tons of CO2 equivalent each year (Source: GSC Carbon Balance Study, 2012)

By using products made with silicones, you generate on average 9 TIMES LESS GREENHOUSE GASES than were emitted during manufacturing and disposal of that product.