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Fumed Silica

Fumed Silica

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Published by vicky_coolguy
Information about various aspects related to fumed silica
Information about various aspects related to fumed silica

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Published by: vicky_coolguy on Sep 21, 2010
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11/26/2012

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 The production method of pyrogenic highly-dispersed silicon dioxide involves theprocess which is based oncontinuous vapour phase hydrolysis of silicon tetrachloride SiCl4. The first mass production of fumed silica has been launched in 1944.During the process, the silicon tetrachloride in gas phase reacts with water formingin H2-O2 flame, with thereaction temperature 1000°C:2H2 + O2 + SiCl4 → SiO2 + 4HCl The only by-product formed is hydrochloric acid that isMicroscope image of particles agglomerates utilised and processed according to thestrictenvironmental standards.By varying the concentration of the reagents, flame temperature and dwell time of the silica in thecombustion chamber, it is possible to influence the particle size, particle sizedistribution, surface area andsurface properties of silica within wide limits.Application in Different FieldsIt is used as a filling agent in dozens of applications, due largely to uniqueproperties of the particles: ultrafine size, homogeneity, spherical shape and utmost purity. When added in liquids, itcauses thickening effectthat is of significant importance for the production of lubricants, lacquers, paints,glues and medicines.1. Adhesives and sealantsFumed silica is effective and integral component in adhesiveand sealant systems. With addition in glues, it preventssedimentation, enhances viscosity, provides less setting time,reduces stretching of fibres (filaments) in glues and increasesadhesive power dramatically. Apart from thickening effect,fumed silica secures the desired mechanical strength of asealant when the latter is cured.Silicone sealants feature the following particular traits:• Good weatherability and resistance in aggressive environment• Enhanced adhesion to most of construction materials without priming• Excellent movement accommodation (no less than 20%)• Improved thermal and cold resistance – maintains performability (remains resilientand elastic) withintemperatures -50° to +200°C• Easy handling in wide temperature ranges (surface applications -30° to +60°C)2. Pharmaceuticals and cosmeticsIn pharmacy, the product has found its application as an inertcarrier and stabiliser of the active ingredient. The silica provides desired consistency for pastes and ointments
 
and prevents separation of components as well. Also, it is used asan auxiliary for the production of drops and pills.In medical applications, the most crucial advantage is that all thesubstances adsorbed on surface of the silica before, e.g. inmedicines, are then desorbed gradually and completely in aqueousenvironment of human body, thus securing lasting effect andenhancing performance of medicines.Fumed silica is an enterosorbent, i.e. an agent that absorbs and removessubstances harmful and toxic to thebody from intestinal tract. Thanks to its absorbing ability, the silica outperforms greatly all the existing medicalsorbents. Binding ratefor micro-organisms accounts for up 3 billion microbes in 1g of the sorbent. Thisextraordinary absorbingeffect is conditioned by the phenomenon of micro-organisms’ agglutination viaparticles of the silica.Fumed silica is used on large scale in the production of toothpaste. It keeps teethenamel safe providingexcellent polish and serves as a carrier of active ingredients in gel toothpaste.3. Manufacturing of PlasticsGlass-fibre plastics are used exceptionally for the fabrication of plastic frames inshipbuilding, for which rawmaterials like unsaturated polyesters (UPRs) and reinforcing glass fillers arerequired:- in low-viscosity polyester resins with good wet-in features, fumed silica promoteslevelling and preventscracking and sagging during the manufacturing of polyester-based glass fibreplastics.- fumed silica delivers thixotropic properties to polyester and epoxy resins. Also, itcan be used as antiblockingagent in polymer films. In the production of PVC resins, the silica enables to adjusttheir operatingviscosity.4. Paints and lacquersHere, fumed silica functions as a stabiliser and anti-settling agent of pigments and as an anti-sedimentation additive. It improvesthixotropic and rheological properties of coatings and paint systems,retains original transparency of lacquers. Furthermore, addition of thesilica enhances hardening of coating film, adhesion to surfaces, aswell as reduces deterioration rate of the coatings and fading of materials with transparent top coating. Besides, it helps to preventrun-off and sag of paints applied on vertical surfaces, thus ensuringtop quality levelling. The silica is used as a matting agent of lacquersystems, whereas the desired effect may be adjusted within wide
 
ranges.5. Rubber industryFumed silica is active reinforcing filler used in the production of silicon rubbers.Primarily, the silica makes iteasier to prepare rubber mixtures by reducing sticking to the rollers. It is the mostsignificant additivedesigned to acquire lightweight durable and high quality colour rubbers used in themanufacturing of soles,rubber cloths, sanitation and hygiene items, etc.- fumed silica is easy to be mixed and disperses freely in rubbers.It can be utilised in the following technological processes and products:- in rubber-fabric articles to assure enhanced durability (hosepipes, belts,conveyors);- in the fabrication of neoprene- and SKN-based items which are oil- and gas-proof.- items subject to repeatedly bending (conveyor belt, rubber hoses);Modified Grades of Fumed Silica The methyl-modified silica is heat-resistant organophilic products which featureshydrophobic properties. It isobtained through chemical modification of ultra fine silica’s surface by means of chloroorganic silanes.High dispersion and surface chemistry allow to add hydrophobic silica as athickening and matting agent aswell as a reinforcing filler in different compounds. With addition in the formulation of varied paint andlacquer systems, modified silica enhances water, thermal and frost resistance of coated surfaces andprovides their safety in aggressive environment not favourable to proper operation.Hydrophobic silica enables to acquire non-porous silicone rubbers and mixtures thathave longer lifeperformance in damp and wet form suitable for the fabrication of cable rubbers andother applications. Tangible effect is seen in free-flowing materials where methyl silica is added as anti-caking agent. Forinstance, in extinguishing powder chemicals, it increases their flowability andextinguishing effect by 6 to 7times.Multiple tests with modified fumed silica have resulted in the synthesis of heat- andwater-resistantlubricants that can be used in industrial applications.Using of methyl silica as a filling agent in polymer compounds, as a thixotropicthickener in grease lubricants,and as an additive preventing the settling in lacquers and paints securesmanufacturing of high qualityproducts.

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