Momentive Releases Room Temperature Cure Elastomers
Global silicone producer Momentive Performance Materials has announced the launch of a new range of elastomer products that can be cured through exposure to ultraviolet light. Unlike traditional silicone elastomers (HCR), which are typically vulcanised with a peroxide catalyst cured by heat exposure, this UV-sensitive, platinum catalysed curing system allows curing to take place at room temperature. This will, says Momentive, lead to energy savings and increased extrusion speed while maintaining the silicone elastomers’ physical properties.
Benchmark-supported test runs have shown the new materials typically cure at a much higher speed for equivalent mechanical properties, resistance to heat and other characteristics normally achieved with the traditional thermal systems. The UV exposure time for the cure can be as short as 0.5 seconds, depending on the speed of the line and UV intensity. Moreover, the company notes, the investment required for proper UV light sources is affordable in comparison to conventional curing tunnels.
“UV curing systems have been used in several industries for a number of years”, says Holger Albrecht, Momentive’s global marketing manager. “Now, for silicone extrusion we have developed a unique product and patented process technology. Together with our industry partners, we have introduced a new approach that does not require long heating tunnels. A small UV unit is sufficient for a high output in a small space. Based on this technology, the development of complex profiles and co-extrusion parts is now possible.”
While Momentive’s development lends itself to tyre industry applications, the company has yet to commit itself to any specific products for this purpose.