Innovative silicone materials from Dow Corning are helping building owners, highway agencies and transportation companies to improve cost effectiveness and performance of their infrastructure.
"The economic recession means there is more focus within Government agencies and companies around the world on reducing depreciation costs and minimizing operating and replacement costs' said Ron Fillmore, Dow Corning's executive director for the construction industry. "Many of them are turning to our silicone solutions and materials to help them protect their valuable investments in roads, buildings and power systems."
Dow Corning silicones are playing a role in protecting and strengthening various aspects of city and rural infrastructure:
- Building efficiency: Silicone technology was used to create the glass 'living façade' of the Berlaymont building in Brussels - this façade enables energy conservation, reduction in noise levels, optimum use of sunlight, and reduction in cleaning and maintenance costs. Silicone materials also help make buildings more resistant to deterioration caused by water, mold and corrosion.
- Roads, runways, highways and bridges: The Hangzhou Bay Bridge, which spans the East China Sea, is protected by silicone water repellents that make concrete surfaces more resistant to water penetration and salt water corrosion. Silicone-based water proofing chemicals and joint sealants perform year after year in conditions of heat, wet and cold, and also withstand constant cycles of thermal expansion and contraction - thus increasing the lifespan of highways, airport runways, residential streets and bridges.
- Power and Lights: Silicones help reduce costly power interruptions to power supplies. They minimize flashovers caused by harsh environments and industrial pollution and insulate electrical transformers. By installing silicone high voltage insulator coating for transmission line insulators, NorthWind Power Development Corporation, a private wind power project in the Philippines, was able to reduce overall downtime by more than half. The silicone product lasts 10 years or more without recoating - saving many times its original cost over the life of the product.
- Transportation: The unique properties of silicones ensure that they are able to withstand extreme stresses and temperatures - and can be used in a variety of automotive, aircraft, railway and locomotive assembly and maintenance applications. The electric transmission lines used to run China's Qingzang Railway (the highest long-distance railway in the world) are sealed and protected using a liquid silicone rubber technology that performs in snowstorms and low temperatures.