The value of a material can be determined by the breadth of its application. Materials such as silicone can have unlimited problem-solving benefits, depending on how it is engineered, says Sinisa Petkovic, Key Account Executive for CBC Malaga.
“Silicones make other materials workbetter,” says Sinisa. “They can fix broken products and make new products possible. Silicone has some unique properties about it that make it both synthetic and sustainable at the same time,” he enthuses.
Silicones combine silicon-based glass and carbon-based plastic. Sinisa points out that “like glass, silicones are temperature and moisture-resistant, chemically inert, and dielectric. As with plastics, silicones are strong and able to take on many forms.”
Importantly, silicone can be formulated as a sealant.
“Silicone can be formulated as an adhesive or a release agent, an antifoam or a foam stabiliser,” Sinisa explains. “There are so many applications that silicone can serve, and often these can be varied, or opposing applications.”
For the mining segment, Sinisa recommends DOWSIL™ 732 Multi-Purpose Sealant as an effective general purpose acetoxy RTV sealant.
“American company, Dow, are experts in material sciences. They have been investing in the innovation of silicones and developing the chemical compound of the material for some time,” says Sinisa. “Dow’s DOWSIL™ 732 can adhere to styrene, copper, glass, nylon and steel, and has the option of aluminium metallic finish. It can withstand temperatures up to 177°C.”
While the DOWSIL™ 736 is similar to the 732, one of the key differences is that this product can handle temperatures up to 315°C.
“It is a general-purpose heat resistant sealant that we have sold huge quantities of to the aluminium industry in the Perth area,” Sinisa elaborates.
Central to the CBC Malaga location where Sinisa operates out of are some of the largest aluminium operations in the world, across the Darling Range, Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup regions.
Aluminium is one of the of the most critical elements in the production of the technology. The production process for the material begins with the mining of bauxite ore which oxidises alumina, a white powdered metal compound. Australian refineries extract alumina from the bauxite ore which is then shipped to global manufacturers.
“About 90% of the world’s alumina goes into making the aluminium used in the design and construction of buildings, airplanes, and hand-held devices. While the remaining 10% goes into industrial chemical operations,” explains Sinisa.
“Aluminium is another versatile material and silicones help to make aluminium produce run more smoothly. The two materials can be imagined in so many ways from a design and engineering perspective. At CBC, we take particular interest in materials science innovations, and we do what we can to impart that knowledge to our customers across the mining segment,” he concludes.
Why choose silicone?
- Flows easily without beading up
- Pliable and flexible, once cured, they will always return to their original shape
- Long-term resistance to rain, sleet, snow, ozone, acid rain and damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Highly resistant to damage and degradation from extreme temperatures, thermal shock, chemicals, and oxidation.
- No hardening, cracking, or becoming brittle with age the way carbon-based organic materials do
- Inert reaction to other materials, unless by design
- Water repellent and waterproof
- Outstanding for adhesion, even of substrates