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Dow Corning's Seam Sealants Enhance Performance of Automotive Airbags

Published on 2011-06-15. Author : SpecialChem

MIDLAND, Michigan, USA -- Dow Corning Corporation, a global leader in silicone and silicon-based technology and innovation, introduced silicone fabric coatings and seam sealants for use on automotive supplemental restraint systems. As airbags and inflatable curtains are used in more applications and world regions, the company is focused on meeting demand for higher-performance, lighter-weight and lower-cost solutions.

"Our proven Dow Corning® brand Elastomers and Sealants for fabric coating, seam sealing and topcoats are used by some of the world's largest suppliers of advanced airbags and inflatable curtains in North America, Europe and Japan," said Ivan Mini, Dow Corning's Global Automotive Interiors major market leader. "And, with most developing automotive markets now embracing these vehicle-occupant safety systems, we are expanding our solutions to meet specific regional needs, newer applications and increased competitive pressures."

Mini noted that Dow Corning's silicone-coating expertise helped fuel the growth of the airbag industry. Silicones showed superior performance over existing neoprene fabric coatings and led to driver and front-passenger airbags being standardized on most vehicles by 2000. Side-impact inflatable curtains for head and rollover protection, knee and foot protection systems, headrest and seatbelt designs, and even external pedestrian systems are driving more growth. That growth will accelerate as developing markets adopt airbag standards for their light-duty cars and trucks and extend applications to two- and three-wheelers.

Today, most new system developments involve silicone coatings for low flammability, abrasion resistance, good flexibility, low gas permeability, thermal aging stability and low stiffness that facilitates packaging versatility. Dow Corning's offerings include:

Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) fabric-coating elastomers - two-part solventless systems with heat-activated curing; Room-temperature-vulcanizing (RTV) seam-sealing elastomers - one-part materials that are moisture-curing without heat; and Friction-reducing LSR topcoats, customized additives and pigmentation options. In addition, Dow Corning can help manufacturers meet regulatory, automaker and consumer needs with an array of airbag development services and support: Robotics prototyping and testing to validate design quality; Analytical services for product optimization and troubleshooting; Material selection and customization to meet specific application requirements; Equipment solutions with needs analysis, financing options and start-up assistance; and Engineering assistance for tooling, coating line design and testing specialists.

"The global airbag market has unsurpassed growth potential, and Dow Corning will remain a leading innovator with high-performance solutions for both new applications as well as regional market needs," Mini said. "We have some of the industry's most recognized experts and most successful technologies."

About Dow Corning

Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services through the Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.

Source: Dow Corning


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