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Silicones and Transport

As modern means of transport become faster, more reliable and more efficient, demands on materials to perform become tougher.

As such, smaller parts must resist exposure to extreme heat, moisture, salt and fuels. Most materials deteriorate in these conditions, but not silicones. Silicone parts contribute to vehicle weight reductions, which result in increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions of various pollutants, mainly CO2. Silicones retain their properties and – most important – ensure that cars, ships, airplanes and trains operate safely and efficiently for the long haul.

A selection of applications using silicones

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Around 35,000 metric tons of products were sold in Europe, with a direct sales value of €298 million.

Safety first

Silicones contribute immensely to the safety of modern vehicles, from enabling airbags in cars to preserving the cabin pressure in airplanes.

Featured application: airbag

The development and installation of airbags in cars is a milestone in vehicle safety. Highly durable, gas-tight fabrics are crucial to the performance of airbags, which is why these are coated with silicone on the inside. The silicone coating can ensure the bag, which protects the driver and passengers, remains gas-tight and heat resistant under the pressure from rapid inflation and other extreme conditions, such as fire. In addition, the material does not deteriorate with time but retains its properties year after year.

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Cars and Vans

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Ships and boats

Silicone-based paints and coatings are safer alternatives to traditional marine coatings and paints. By applying these silicone products to hulls of ships and boats, the build-up of dirt and film is dramatically reduced, thereby improving fuel efficiency enormously. For large cargo ships, this improvement is particularly important because ships’ fuel consumption is quite significant. This fact makes the benefit of silicones in this application all the more impressive – fuel savings outweigh CO2 emissions from production of the silicone product 182 times! (Source: GSC Carbon Balance Study, 2012)


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Reducing the environmental impact

Silicones make an impressive contribution to minimising fuel consumption of cars and ships, thus reducing the CO2 footprint of the transport sector significantly.

Modern, fuel-efficient internal combustion engines run at very high temperatures. Did you know that silicone rubber is the only rubber that can endure these temperatures over a long time, thereby contributing to fuel savings in the operation of cars and trucks? In fact, for every ton of CO2 emitted during the production of silicone rubber used to make vital motor parts, over 86 tons of CO2 are saved when the engine is used! (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.