Dow Corning Silicones Help Protect Polar Researchers

Dow Corning window sealant technology is helping protect the new zero-emission Princess Elisabeth polar research station which opened in Antarctica last week to study climate change.

The 20 million euro ($26 million) science station is totally energy self-sufficient and also aims not to emit any carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Belgian-based International Polar Foundation that runs the base. The station is constructed to conserve energy through various means including energy-saving windows made possible by Dow Corning and micro-organism technology that allows re-use of water up to five times. Power and hot water are made possible by wind turbines on a nearby mountain and solar panels mounted to the building’s structure.

“In today's volatile climate, we can have hurricanes one day and severe floods the next,” says Jean-Paul Hautekeer, European Construction Director. “Dow Corning silicones are virtually unaffected by weather -- rain, snow, humidity, ozone, temperature variation or the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays -- and can make building what we may think is impossible, possible.”

The same silicone science from Dow Corning used at the Princess Elizabeth research station is protecting people and property to the end of the Earth and beyond:

The Moon – Even with average temperatures ranging from 100° to -150°C, astronauts were able to walk on the moon’s surface confidently and comfortably – up to 20 hours in one case – due to the extreme temperature capabilities and flexibility of Dow Corning® silicone rubber boots.

The Great American Scream Machine – High temperatures, extreme pressure and high speeds are just part of the fun on the Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags Great Adventure. Silicone-based greases deliver a smooth, fast ride regardless of temperature or weather conditions, making them ideal for a screaming good time.

Burj Dubai Tower – Presently the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai Tower presented developers with many technical and natural challenges due to its location and elevation. Contractors chose Dow Corning® silicone sealants, which offer an insulating solution for glass that withstands the intense heat of the dessert, extreme temperature fluctuations, seismic activity, high winds and violent sandstorms.

Noble Drilling Corporation – Specially-formulated Dow Corning® silicone lubricants (PDF size = 158 KB) cut the equipment fail rate at a Texas oil drilling facility in half. Silicone lubricants are well-suited to many industrial applications where extreme loads and temperatures combine with contaminants to cause many other lubricants to fail.

Qinghai-Tibet Railway – Connecting Xining, capital of northwest China's Qinghai Province, and Lhasa, capital of Tibet, this railway operates in severe conditions which include extremely low temperatures, sand and snow storms, harsh terrain and high altitudes. To ensure reliability and safe operation, Dow Corning® liquid silicone rubber was used as the protective product for cable accessories.

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