silicone-oil-preparation

How to Use Silicone Oil? Different Uses Explained

Imagine a substance having usage ranging from medicine to aviation. This might seem skeptical but there is one chemical that has established its place in such a wide range. Yes, you guessed it right. It’s none other than silicone oil. Some of you might not have heard of this industrially essential chemical, so we’ll take some time to understand what silicone oil is and how to use it in various Industries.

You might be focusing on the word oil more than silicone but on the macro level, this might not feel like true oil so sometimes it is also referred to as silicone fluid. These are interchangeable terms.

silicone-oil-preparation

Most commonly used silicone oils are polymers of silicone where there is oxygen on alternative positions. This linear chain is maintained in a spiral position which makes it easy for the molecule to move over each other and this gives it an oily look. Silicone oils are stable to degradation by high temperatures. The main form which exists is Poly Dimethyl siloxane. Like this polymer form, other organic groups such as phenyl, vinyl amino acid, and epoxide can also be added to siloxane groups to create polymers that have different characteristics than their counterparts or other polymers.

Structure of Silicone Oil:

Silicone oil has a backbone of silicon and oxygen which are placed in alternative positions. Silicone present on these alternating positions in the linear chain also carries two carbon groups methyl, phenyl, and other amino acid groups. Different groups bring a different kinds of characteristics and reactivity.

If we add different organic groups to these Silicone atoms, we can attain silicone oils that can be integrated into two different compounds at the same time.

What are the characteristics of Silicone Oil?

Silicone oils exhibit very stable characteristics which are described below:

Viscosity:

Different Silicone oils exhibit different viscosities, but all of these viscosities remain constant over a range of different temperatures. The viscosities of different silicone oils range from 0.7 to 2,000,000 cs.

Thermal Stability:

Silicone oils are very stable and virtually show no change until the temperature of 250°C. This particular stability is due to the chemical bonding between silicon and oxygen in the linear chain.

Low Surface Tention:

Silicone oil molecules can easily slide over each other which gives them the liberty to move smoothly and thus have a lower surface tension which is accompanied by high compressibility.

Other properties:

Silicone oils are known to have higher dielectric strength which allows them to be used in several industries. Silicone oil can also bear heavy pressure and they are also resistant to hydrolysis and oxidation.

Applications of Silicone Oil:

Silicone oil is used in many different industries and products. The most common form of silicone oil is Polydimethyl Siloxane. This is used in many products such as:

  1. Hydraulic Break Fluids
  2. Damping Fluids
  3. Dielectric fluids
  4. Heating and Cooling fluids.
  5. Paint products

Now that we have established the base knowledge about silicone oil. Let’s discuss how we can practically use it for different applications in our daily life.

How to use Silicone oil in Lubricant?

Silicone oil is commonly used as a lubricant in a variety of industrial and household applications due to its low surface tension and chemical stability. It is often used as a lubricant for high-temperature applications, as it has a high flash point and does not break down under heat exposure. Additionally, silicone oil is often used in food-grade applications due to its non-toxicity and resistance to chemical degradation. Some common uses of silicone oil as a lubricant include:

Lubricating moving parts in machinery, such as gears, bearings, and conveyor systems.

Lubricating plastic and rubber parts to prevent sticking and wear.

Lubricating door hinges, locks, and other household items.

As a release agent in the manufacturing of molded plastic parts and rubber products.

As a lubricant for medical devices, such as catheters and syringes.

Overall, silicone oil is a great lubricant that provides excellent performance in a wide range of applications, making it a popular choice for manufacturers and consumers alike.

How to use Silicone oil in textiles?

Silicone oil is a commonly used finishing agent in the textile industry. It is applied to textiles to improve the fabric’s softness, drape, and durability, as well as to resist water and stains. The following steps outline how to use silicone oil in textiles:

Preparation: Before applying silicone oil, the fabric must be cleaned and dried thoroughly. Any residue from previous treatments or finishes must be removed to ensure even application and maximum benefits from the silicone oil.

Mixing: Silicone oil is usually supplied in concentrated form, so it must be diluted with a solvent to the desired concentration for use. Mix the silicone oil and solvent in a container, following the manufacturer’s recommended proportions.

Drying and Curing: After applying the silicone oil, the fabric must be dried and cured. This process allows the solvent to evaporate and the silicone oil to bond with the fibers. The drying and curing temperature and time will depend on the type of solvent used, the concentration of the silicone oil, and the type of fabric.

Finishing: Once the fabric is dried and cured, it can be processed through a finishing machine to improve its appearance, softness, and hand. This may include heat-setting, calendaring, or other processes to enhance the fabric’s properties.

textile-silicone-oil-fabric

By following these steps, silicone oil can be successfully used to improve the performance and appearance of textiles. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dilution, application, and processing to ensure optimal results.

How to use Silicone oil as a defoaming agent?

Silicone oil is commonly used as a defoaming agent in various industrial processes, including the food and beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. The following steps outline how to use silicone oil as a defoaming agent:

Preparation: The first step is to prepare the system in which the defoaming agent will be used. This typically involves ensuring that the system is free from any foreign particles or impurities that may interfere with the effectiveness of the silicone oil.

Dosing: Once the system is prepared, the silicone oil must be accurately dosed into the system. The amount of silicone oil required will depend on the size and nature of the system, as well as the type and amount of foam generated. It is recommended to start with a small amount of silicone oil and gradually increase the dose until the desired effect is achieved.

Injection: The silicone oil must be injected into the system in a manner that ensures it is effectively dispersed and has maximum contact with the foam. This may involve using a specialized injector or adding silicone oil directly to the system.

Observation: After injecting the silicone oil, it is important to monitor the system for any changes in the amount of foam being generated. If the foam is not effectively reduced, additional doses of silicone oil may be required.

Maintenance: Silicone oil is a highly effective defoaming agent, but it is important to maintain the system and ensure that it continues to perform optimally. This may involve regular cleaning and maintenance, as well as monitoring for any changes in foam generation.

By following these steps, silicone oil can be effectively used as a defoaming agent in various industrial processes. It is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dosing, injection, and maintenance to ensure optimal results.

How to use Silicone oil in the automobile industry?

Silicone oil is a versatile product that can be used in various ways in the automobile industry. Here are some of the most common applications:

Lubrication: Silicone oil can be used as a lubricant in automobile engines and other moving parts, where it provides long-lasting protection against friction and wear.

Engine Cleaner: Silicone oil can be used to clean engines, which helps to remove built-up grime and debris, improving engine performance and efficiency.

Engine Sealant: Silicone oil can be used to seal engine components and prevent leaks, preserving the engine’s efficiency and performance.

Car Care: Silicone oil can be used as a protectant for various automotive surfaces, including rubber, vinyl, and plastic. It provides a protective barrier against UV rays, moisture, and other environmental elements, helping to preserve the appearance and longevity of the vehicle.

Brake Fluid: Silicone oil can be used as a brake fluid in automotive braking systems, where its low compressibility and high stability provide consistent and reliable performance.

Radiator Coolant: Silicone oil can be used as a coolant in automobile radiators, where it provides efficient heat transfer and improved engine cooling.

Rubber and Plastic Conditioner: Silicone oil can be used to condition rubber and plastic parts in automobiles, helping to extend their lifespan and improve their appearance.

automobile-industry

In conclusion, silicone oil is a versatile product that can be used in various applications in the automobile industry to improve performance, efficiency, and longevity. When using silicone oil in automotive applications, it is important to choose the right grade and type of silicone oil for the specific application and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use and handling.

Usage of Silicone oil in release agents:

Silicone oil is a common ingredient in release agents, which are substances used to prevent adhesion between surfaces. Here are the steps to use silicone oil as a release agent:

Clean the Surface: Clean the surface that you want to prevent adhesion, removing any dirt, grease, or oil.

Apply Silicone Oil: Apply a thin, even layer of silicone oil to the surface using a brush, roller, or spray bottle. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly.

Wait for Drying: Allow the silicone oil to dry completely, which usually takes several minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of the layer and the ambient conditions.

Use the Surface: Once the silicone oil is dry, you can use the surface as needed. The silicone oil will act as a barrier, preventing adhesion between the surface and any other material.

Reapply as Needed: Reapply the silicone oil as needed, especially if the surface becomes dirty or contaminated.

Silicone oil is often preferred over other release agents due to its non-toxic, non-reactive, and non-staining properties, making it safe for use on a wide range of materials, including food contact surfaces. Additionally, silicone oil does not evaporate or break down over time, providing long-lasting protection against adhesion. When using silicone oil as a release agent, it is important to choose the right grade and type of silicone oil for the specific application and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use and handling.

How to use Silicone Oil for Cooking?

Silicone oil is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its non-stick properties and high heat resistance. Here are the steps to use silicone oil in cooking:

Choose the Right Type of Silicone Oil: There are different types of silicone oil available, including refined, high-oleic, and food-grade silicone oil. Choose the right type of silicone oil for your cooking needs, taking into account the temperature and type of cooking involved.

Apply Silicone Oil to Cookware: Apply a small amount of silicone oil to your cookware, such as a baking sheet or a frying pan, using a brush or a spray bottle. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly.

Heat the Cookware: Heat the cookware to the desired temperature, allowing the silicone oil to warm up and coat the surface.

Cook Your Food: Place your food in the cookware and cook as desired, taking advantage of the non-stick properties of the silicone oil.

Clean the Cookware: After cooking, let the cookware cool down before washing it with warm soapy water. Silicone oil is resistant to heat and can withstand high temperatures, making it easy to clean and maintain.

cooking-using-silicone-spray

When using silicone oil in cooking, it is important to keep in mind that it has a neutral taste and does not affect the flavor of your food. Additionally, silicone oil is non-reactive, making it safe for use with a wide range of food products. When using silicone oil in cooking, it is important to choose the right type of silicone oil for the specific application and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use and handling.

How to Use Silicone oils in acrylic paints?

The beauty of acrylic pouring increases with the number of cells being created primarily by the difference in the density of both paints. Silicone oil is the basic component in creating these cells.

automobile-industry

Let’s discuss the step-by-step process of how to create cells in an acrylic painting using silicone oil.

Identifying the right Acrylic Paint:

There are two types of acrylic paints, those which do not need additional water and therefore their viscosity can’t be changed and those which require the addition of water, and their viscosities are dependent upon the amount of water added in them.

After selecting what kind of acrylic paint, you are going to use put both these in two separate jars.

Selection of the Pouring Medium:

Pouring medium adds flow and smooth texture to the acrylic paints being used in painting. Pouring medium helps to maintain the viscosity and dilute the paints at the same time.

Add the pouring medium to both of the above-mentioned jars and then mix the pouring medium with acrylic paints separately, note that the amount of pouring medium should be slightly more than the number of acrylic paints.

Addition of Silicone Oil:

After mixing the pouring medium and paint, add 2 drops of silicone oil for 10 ml of acrylic paint and let the mixture blend by slightly moving the mixer stick.

Pouring and Heating:

You are not going to let the acrylic paints sit idle in the jar, it must be poured onto a flat surface such as a paper canvas or any other flat surface, and make sure to cover all of the space on the canvas.

After pouring the paint mixture on the surface, we should dry the paint using a heat gun. As soon as heat is applied, the cells will start to pop up in the painting and you’ll get the desired results.

Usage of Silicone Oil in Agricultural adjuvants

Silicone oil is used in agricultural sprays containing pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides and it helps these to perform better (synergistic effect)

How does silicone oil act as a synergist to agricultural sprays?

For a chemical spray to be more effective and efficient, it needs to cover the surface of the plant better but that is not easy for these pesticides or herbicides as there is a difference in surface tensions between the plant and spray droplets.

Nearly 99% percent of the spray will not reach its target if used without adjuvants. To counter this problem, silicone oil comes into play. The maximum leaf surface can only be covered only when the surface tension problem is solved.

Higher surface tension means the spray droplets are in lesser contact with the surface of the leaf, on the other hand, lower surface tension means flatter droplets and better coverage of leaf surface area.

As silicone oil possesses lower surface tension and is chemically stable, the addition of Silicone oil will collectively lower the surface tension of agricultural sprays and increase its availability, and enhance efficiency.

 

Use of Silicone Oil in the cosmetics industry:

Silicone oil is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizing and conditioning ingredient. Here’s how it’s used in different cosmetics products:

Moisturizers: Silicone oil is added to creams and lotions to improve their moisturizing properties. It helps to form a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth.

Hair care products: Silicone oil is commonly used in hair care products like conditioners, serums, and hair oils. It helps to detangle hair, reduce frizz, and provide a glossy, smooth finish.

Makeup products: Silicone oil is added to some makeup products, like foundation and primer, to improve their texture and spreadability. It can also help to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin appear smoother.

Sunscreens: Silicone oil can be used as a base ingredient in sunscreens. It helps to spread the sunscreen evenly and prevent it from leaving a sticky or greasy residue on the skin.

When using silicone oil in cosmetics, it is important to keep in mind the type of silicone oil used, as different types have different properties. For example, Cyclopentasiloxane is a lightweight and non-greasy silicone oil that is commonly used in skincare products, while dimethicone is a heavier silicone oil that is more commonly used in hair care products.

It is also important to be mindful of the concentration of silicone oil in the product. While a small amount can provide benefits, using too much can leave the skin feeling greasy and congested.

 

In conclusion, silicone oil is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cosmetics products to improve their moisturizing, conditioning, and soothing properties. When used in moderation, it can provide many benefits for the skin and hair.

optical brightener white t-shirt

Optical Brighteners (OB): Everything You Need to Know

Optical brighteners are fascinating chemicals because they absorb light in the ultraviolet and violet spectra (340 nm–370 nm), which lie in the electromagnetic spectrum. After absorbing, they emit this light into a different region (blue, 420–470 nm) while displaying the phenomenon of fluorescence.

The bluish haze added by optical brightening agents removes the yellowish feel from substances and gives them a fresh look.

Alternatively, optical brighteners are known as:

Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs)

Fluorescent Brightening Agents (FBAs)

Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWAs)

Their primary function or effect is that they give a whitish and bright appearance to several products to which they are frequently added. A detailed discussion about the applications and uses of optical brighteners is provided later in this blog post.

optical brightener white t-shirt

 

Before going into further details of applications, let’s dive into the properties and types of optical brighteners:

Types of OB:

Optical brighteners (OB) can be classified into different categories depending on the number of sulfonic groups in the structure.

The following are different categories of optical brighteners:

Disulfonated optical brighteners.

Tetrasulfonated optical Brighteners

Hexasulfonated optical brighteners.

Now let’s discuss each of them a bit more in detail:

Di-sulfonated Optical brighteners:

As is visible from the suffix “Di,” this type of OB consists of two sulfonic groups. They show resistance to water and are very unlikely to show solubility in other solvents. They have a degree of affinity for cellulose; therefore, they are used in wet-end addition.

Tetra-sulfonated Optical Brighteners:

Tetrasulfonated OBs are those that contain four sulphonic groups. They are comparatively less hydrophobic, show better solubility, and have a medium range of affinity. Because of their medium affinity, they can be used in both dry and wet end additions. The paper industry is where they have found themselves most useful.

Hexa-sulfonated Optical brighteners:

Hexa stands for six, so it’s pretty obvious that they contain six sulfonic groups. Because a greater number of sulfonic groups corresponds to greater solubility, hexasulfonated optical brighteners have high solubility. For the same reason, they are only used in dry-end addition techniques. Their primary use is due to the extreme brightness they bring to different substances.

Properties of Optical Brighteners:

Optical brighteners bring a lot of beneficial properties to the table; let’s get deep into them.

Brightness and Whiteness:

When the white textile fabric is produced in the factories, observers are called to check the whiteness of the fabric, and white textile that is freshly made often gives off a yellowish haze, which often dampens the look and aesthetics of the fabric. Adding a bluer tint to the fabric makes it look whiter. If you grew up in the 1990s, you probably remember seeing blue laundry detergents used in the washing process to give it a brighter tint.

As explained at the start, optical brighteners emit blue light, and when this property is added to the textile, they give it a brighter look and get rid of the yellowish feel. Having a greater affinity for cellulose, they become excellent for use in cellulose-containing fabrics.

The brightness of OB can be boosted by the addition of “polyols,” primarily due to an increase in the emission of blue light. On the other hand, excess brightness should also be avoided because it may add a greenish haze, which is not desirable.

Lightfastness:

This is a property of any colour-producing material that indicates how resistant it is to fading when exposed to light. OBs introduce a significant amount of lightfastness when added to the cellulose-containing fabric. On the other hand, when added to fabrics like Xylon, their light fastness increases more than that of cellulose, and in the case of polyester, there is an even higher rating of light fastness being added by OBs.

Washing fastness:

It is the property of the colour dyed on fabric; it is the measure of how resistant a dyed colour is to the effects of the washing process. The washing fastness added by OBs is in the medium range, and it might degrade with time, particularly in the case of cellulose textiles. In the case of other textile materials, the washing fastness of OBs may last for the life of the textile material.

Optical Brighteners’ Applications:

Let’s briefly discuss the uses of OBs:

Laundry detergents with optical brighteners:

Laundry detergents have some quantity of optical brighteners added in to brighten the washed clothes, and this has vastly replaced the blue dye that was added to white fabrics while washing previously.

OB in the Paper Industry:

Optical brighteners are often used in the paper industry for increased brightness, which often gives a better background for writing. On the other side of the coin, banknotes do not use such fluorescent agents, and therefore this characteristic can be used to check for fake banknotes.

white paper brightened by optical brightener

Optical Brighteners in the Cosmetic Industry:

The same feature of adding brightness can make eye powders and face powders favourable products in which optical brighteners can be used. They are also used to treat blonde hair for conditioning purposes and add luminance to it by using optical brighteners.

optical brightener added in face powder

question mark

Most Frequently Asked Questions about Dimethyl Silicone.

Silicone has been the most popular chemical in recent times, whether it is in the form of silicone implants or silicone gels. With COVID’s exponential growth in e-commerce marketplaces, silicone products were always trending on various social media platforms. The upward trajectory of the popularity of silicone products has been around for almost two decades. Most people have only known silicone as a thick, viscous gel-like material or as the primary hard material used in various chips around the world. Although silicone chips have played a massive role in the tech revolution, there are many other silently incorporated roles for silicone in many of the fast-moving consumer goods we use daily. Most of these lesser-known facts about the use of silicone come from the fact that silicone is also available in liquid form, which is often referred to as silicone oil or silicone fluid. Silicone fluid comes in a variety of polymerized forms, and probably the most famous one is dimethyl silicone.

question mark

Whenever a question comes to mind, people often go find the answer on the internet. We have noticed that not a lot of information is present on a single page where you can find all the answers. Here we’ll try to answer most of the questions being asked frequently.

What is dimethyl silicone?

Dimethyl silicone, also known as silicone oil, is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless chemical that appears to the naked eye to be water, even though it is not soluble in water. It is soluble in many organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ether, chloroform, ether, and many others. Various steps are involved in the production of dimethyl silicone, such as:

  • Hydrolysis
  • Neutralization
  • Cracking
  • Fractionation

Dimethyl silicone has found its application in a lot of industries, such as the cosmetics industry, paint industry, food industry, car polishing industry, and many more. Dimethyl silicone is much more incorporated into our lives through multiple products than ever before.

Can you eat dimethyl silicone?

Do you want to eat dimethyl silicone? I bet you can’t because it is a liquid in the first place and can be drunk, but it has no taste, which makes it highly unlikeable to be drunk. But don’t assume that it can’t be used in the food industry. Dimethyl silicone is a key ingredient in cooking sprays, where it provides non-stick properties and also acts as a good anti-foaming agent. It is also used as an additive. The only care needed with dimethyl silicone while using it in food processing is avoiding its direct contact with fire as it is flammable, so always use it with care and in smaller quantities.

a man eating

Where can I buy dimethyl silicone?

Dimethyl silicone is not rare to find. It can be bought online at several e-commerce marketplaces, but that quantity might only be for small businesses or individual users. For large-scale purchases, contacting manufacturers around the world might be the best way to get your hands on some high-quality, low-priced dimethyl silicone. The majority of silicone fluid manufacturers are located in China. Often, these manufacturers tend to have websites where you can find contact details such as a phone number, email, or LinkedIn page. The other way to go about looking for dimethyl silicone oil is by using websites like Alibaba or Made in China, where you can browse through a lot of vendors selling silicone oil. However, one of the most vexing aspects of weeding out these vendors is that sometimes middlemen enter the picture, resulting in a higher price. Hengyi Technology provides a solution to all these problems with the association of several dimethyl silicone oil manufacturers. You just need to tell the company the quantity and type of silicone fluid required, and Hengyi will provide you with the best quote for your desired amount.

 

Is dimethyl silicone toxic?

It is a non-toxic substance, and in fact, it is very useful in the food industry. It is marked as a safe food additive, and its use in cooking sprays is just increasing day by day. Okay, that’s about toxicity for humans. Is it toxic for plants? Although it is used as an adjuvant with many herbicides and pesticides, when used alone on plants, it is not a toxic substance and doesn’t cause retardation in the growth of plants or even pests. However, drinking silicone oil should be avoided, as it can cause low-grade irritation. It should also not come into contact with the naked eye.

 

toxic mask

Can dimethyl silicone cause cancer?

Dimethyl silicone being used in the food industry signals its safety for human consumption in low amounts. Although rumors of its safety kept circulating as “health hazardous” or “cancerous,” there is no scientific proof to support this gossip. To be safe, the World Health Organization recommends no more than 43 g of cooking spray containing dimethyl silicone per 40 kg of body weight per day.

 

cancer surviving kid

Is silicone oil good for hair?

Silicone is used in several hair products, and it creates a water-repellent layer around your hair that keeps it hydrated over time. It is not dangerous, but long-term use may cause hair to dry out and lose strength. Silicone buildups in the hair are hard to remove, and they generally go away in 7 to 8 washes. There are many specific silicone-free shampoos available on the market, but silicone is still used by a lot of shampoo and haircare product manufacturers.

 

hair

Can silicone oil stay in the eye forever?

Before going into the discussion about whether silicone oil can stay in the eye forever or not, it is important to know why silicone oil is injected into the eye. Silicone oil is injected into the eye to replace vitreous humor (a gel-like substance), which is generally lost when there is retinal detachment of the eye. The inclusion of silicone oil in the eye prevents the aqueous humor from reaching the retina. After the vitreous humor heals itself, silicone oil is often removed from the eye, or else it will lead to an increase in intraocular pressure. Silicone oil typically lasts 3–4 months before being surgically removed after complete recovery.

 

eye

Why is silicone used instead of oil in acrylic pouring?

Acrylic pouring is a type of abstract art in which acrylic paint is poured into each other. The most prominent feature of acrylic pouring is the creation of cells. There are many ways to achieve it, and one way is through the addition of silicone oil to acrylic paints. Only a few drops of silicone oil are needed to create cells when pouring acrylic.

 

acrylic pouring dimethyl silicone cells

rice-crop-growing

Silicone Adjuvants in Agriculture as Herbicides. What else?

Silicone adjuvants are used frequently in agriculture for increasing the effects of agricultural herbicides and pesticides. Before going deep into the discussion, let’s understand first what adjuvants are. They can be simply explained as support chemicals that can be added to herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides to increase their effectiveness and also add several beneficial characteristics.

rice-crop-growing

 

Agricultural adjuvants are primarily used as an herbicide but their use as insecticides, fungicides, acaricides, and plant growth regulators are also being established.

It’s time to dive further into details of how Silicone Agricultural Adjuvant can be used in different modes:

Silicone Adjuvants for Herbicides:

When these adjuvants are added to the herbicides, they either improve or sometimes lower the potential of the herbicides depending upon the nature of the adjuvant it is being added in. Enhancing the effect of herbicides by adding adjuvants seems pretty straightforward forward but why we would want the adjuvant to decrease the effects of herbicides? Sometimes, the herbicide might be needed to eradicate the growing herbs in crops, and using the herbicide at its full capacity might prove harmful to the crop itself and that is where adjuvants come into play to save the crop while killing the herbs at the same time.

 

Roles of different types of Silicone Adjuvants along with Herbicides:

Activator Adjuvants:

As the name suggests, these types of silicone adjuvants increase the activity of herbicides by enhancing the following characteristics:

  • Increased absorption into the plant surface.
  • Decreased photodegradation of herbicides leads to increased time of activity of herbicides or increased life of herbicidal action.
  • Changes the physical properties of herbicides.

Plants have a thick outer surface known as a cuticle which must be penetrated by herbicides to be effective. The cuticle is made up of wax which is water-repellent in nature and cutin and pectin which are somewhat less repellent to water. Wax is the major factor that limits the absorption of herbicides as the hydrocarbons are the primary component in the wax. The amount of wax and type of wax changes across different species which makes it a bit tricky in choosing the right adjuvant which can help herbicide cross the cuticle easily. 

Surfactant:

Surfactants can be anionic, cationic, nonionic, and organosilicon. They are used after herbicides. The main function of surfactants is to decrease the surface tension between spray droplets of herbicide and plant surface.

man-spraying-a-crop

Nonionic surfactants can be used in combination with a lot of pesticides because it carries no electrical charge. While anionic surfactants carry a negatively charged functional group. Anionic surfactants are more specific and are only compatible with some specific herbicides. Only one cationic surfactant (ethoxylated fatty amines) is commonly used with herbicides. Organosilicon is a relatively newly introduced group of surfactants, and they are replacing the old non-ionic surfactants because of lower surface tension, better rain fastness, and other improved properties than those of non-ionic surfactants.

Silicone Adjuvants for Insecticides and Acaricides:

Silicone surfactants are not very reactive, but their capability to penetrate insects is mainly because the outer layer of insects is somewhat similar to that of plants. Silicone surfactant penetrates the insect’s stroma due to decreased surface tension.

 

Silicone Adjuvants for Fungicides:

Silicone adjuvants used in fungicides are not very much known and there is limited knowledge available. Fungicides are not required to be absorbed into the leaf surface for effectiveness. Instead, they tend to perform better when they stay on the surface of the plant to keep them protected from fungus. 

Contrary to the protective fungus, the systemic fungus is required to be absorbed to perform its function. Silicone adjuvants may prove helpful in the cause of system fungicides. 

Silicone Adjuvants for Plant Growth Regulators:

The use of silicone-based adjuvants such as siloxane polymers has proven to show an increased effect on plant growth regulators and this action is due to increased uptake of plant growth regulators. An example of a silicone adjuvant in plant growth regulators is the use of silicone adjuvant with manganese salt and phosphate which is applied to wheat crops, and it tends to give more outcomes than any other surfactant used.

 

agricultural silicone adjuvants

To sum up the discussion, silicone adjuvants play a vital role in increasing the outcome of crops and reducing the potential damage or harm which can be inflicted by herbs, pests, fungi, and other factors.

Hengyi Technology provides a variety of agricultural silicone adjuvants to be used by manufacturers around the world.

Where to buy silicone oil

Silicone Oil uses in different Product and Industries

Silicone is one of the most commonly used chemical ingredients known to human beings and the users are as young as newborns who drink milk from silicone-made feeder nipples to all the adults who consume silicone through various products used in day-to-day life tasks. Silicone has found its way into most aspects of life like technology, medical science, cosmetics, electronics, etc. But the question is how this material is found in so many things around us although two things containing silicone might not look like each other at all. The answers lie in silicone’s ability to exist in many physical forms e.g., Silicone oil, Silicone grease, Silicone rubber, Silicone resin, Silicone caulk, etc.

Silicone oil is probably one of the most fascinating chemicals we have today and all the buzz around the benefits of silicone oil is real.

Silicone oil uses

Let’s have a closer look here to understand more about silicone oil and see how we can get more out of it:

WHAT IS SILICONE OIL?

They can be defined as a linear chain of Poly siloxane that contains silicone and oxygen at alternating positions. Silicone atom in the linear chain has two spots where they can bind with carbon groups like methyl is bounded. Several polymers can be made out of it like Polydimethylsiloxane. Polymers can affect the degree of physical and chemical properties offered by silicone oils.

It is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless substance that can be found in a liquid or semi-solid state depending on the degree of polymerization. It also possesses a large compression ratio which gives it higher thermodynamic efficiency making it excellent for use as a hydraulic fluid in various machines. The viscosity-temperature coefficient of silicone is low (Viscosity and temperature are intervened. Viscosity is an important factor as low viscosity of lubricants means lower consumption of fuel. Generally, in petroleum oils, the viscosity is much more dependent on temperature, and at higher temperatures viscosity increases making fuel consumption greater than consumption at lower temperatures. Still, silicone oils show a little change in their viscosity with an increase in temperature) which makes them an excellent lubricant. Silicone oil has a much lower surface tension which helps it spread over the surface more easily and this property justifies its use in various cosmetic products where lower surface tension is important for the best and even results. This property of lower surface tension has also paved the path for silicone oil to be used as a defoamer and release agent. Heat resistance is another property that stands strong in favor of silicone to be used in multiple high-temperature open and closed systems. Temperatures even as high as 250°C do not affect silicone oil at all.

For this degree of heat resistance, it is used in lab research apparatus. While being heat resistant, silicone fluid interestingly is also an excellent low-temperature resistant substance. Dimethyl silicone oil can bear temperatures as low as -50°C and Methylphenyl silicone oil can remain fluid even at -65°C. Maybe this is the reason for use of silicone oil refrigerants used in refrigerators. These low-temperature-resistant properties make them excellent for use in some of the coldest regions around the world. Low thermal conductivity is another key feature of silicone oil as its thermal conductivity is as low as 25% compared to that of water. Low thermal conductivity means silicone oil can be used as heat transfer material or as an insulation material with better energy-efficient performance. Moreover, as we discussed earlier that viscosity and temperature are related, a general increase in viscosity means an increase in thermal conductivity, but in the case of silicone oil the thermal conductivity becomes constant above a viscosity of 100 mm2/s. Recently, the water-repellent characteristic of silicone fluid has found its way into the textile and coating industry. The ceramics industry, glass, and fiber production industries are the ones benefiting from this technology. Silicone oil offers high resistance to heavy stress applied to it, this is a feature that mineral oil doesn’t exhibit and often their oil molecules deform under sheer stress also there is a visible change in viscosity. Those silicone oils have a viscosity lower than 1000 mm2/s; stress doesn’t change their viscosity too much. But larger viscosity silicone oils might see a visible change in viscosity on the application of stress which is reversible because the oil molecules are not deformed unlike mineral oils and thus regain their original viscosity when the stress applied to them is removed. This feature makes silicone oil the ultimate king in the game as outperforms petroleum-based oils by 20 times. Although multiple properties of silicone oil make it a perfect lubricant, such as constant viscosity, heat resistance, and low-temperature resistance, it has poor lubrication where there is steel-to-steel friction. This feature doesn’t limit the use of silicone lubricant in steel-aluminum or steel-bronze parts of different machinery. Phenyl polymers of silicone oil have shown more resistance to radiations than other polymers and more phenyl groups added to the chain add more resistance to radiations. For the same reason, methyl phenyl silicone oil is more resistant to radiation than conventional dimethyl silicone oil. Thanks to its radiation-resistant properties, methyl phenyl silicone oil is used in the high-temperature parts of radiation equipment. Just like its viscosity, the electrical properties of silicone fluid are also constant over a wide variety of electrical frequencies and temperatures. Dielectric breakdown is often an issue encountered with the use of mineral oil products, but silicone oil is much better at handling dielectric breakdown. All the insulating oils absorb moisture which can affect the electrical insulation properties of these oils, silicone oil is no exception here so extra care is needed when using it as an insulation fluid and dehydration of silicone oil is necessary before applying electrical stress.

As of now, we have discussed all the important characteristics of silicone oil and a little overview of the uses of this magnificent fluid, it’s time for a deep discussion about how silicone oil is incorporated into our life.

IS SILICONE OIL SAFE FOR HUMANS?

As we know, Silicone oil is tasteless and colorless.

Does that mean it can be a perfect homicidal substance? Fortunately, it is not because it is not known to be a toxic substance. It is one of the beneficial chemical entities for the human body as it has found its way into various medical procedures. Also, silicone oil is used in a lot of cosmetic products which are applied directly on the skin, so silicone is also known to be beneficial for the skin. Certain drugs also include silicone oil as a basic component or as a vital ingredient for their desirous actions.

A detailed discussion of the medical uses of silicone fluid is given below in one of the paragraphs.

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SILICONE OILS

Silicone oil is a broad term, and several different types of silicone oil are derived by the polymerization of different groups at the silicone molecule.

  • Polymethyl hydrogen siloxane

Polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil has found its application in waterproofing and anti-sticking treatment procedures as it is a colorless and odorless oil. It is also used for increasing the durability of certain materials by crosslinking and it also extends the liquid silicone rubber chain. The addition of an epoxy group to polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil can fairly improve its absorption, reactivity, and coupling properties. Polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil is used for the treatment of dry-surfaced materials such as fire extinguishing powder to make it more free-flowing and avoid clogging. Sometimes polymethyl hydrogen siloxane oil is used to create a waterproof film over metal surfaces.

  • Amino silicone oil

The introduction of an amino group at one of the methyls in the Poly siloxane chain produces amino silicone oils which are popular in the textile industry. The application of amino silicone oils in textile gives the following properties to the product:

  • Abrasion resistance
  • Elastic feeling
  • Soft Touch feeling
  • Excellent wrinkle recovery
  • Increased durability

Amino Silicone oil can also be used in hair care products such as shampoos. It is highly inflammable so it must be kept away from fire. Amino silicone oil is also used in the textile industry for giving a perfect finish to clothing material. Additionally, they are also being used for manufacturing, silicone emulsions, and also as smoothening agents.

  • Phenyl methyl silicone oil

Phenyl methyl silicone possesses properties like good insulation, high-temperature resistance and low-temperature resistance, and anti-ozone with small surface tension making it very useful in a lot of products.

It is further divided into three groups depending upon the ratio of phenyl groups present and all of them have different applications.

Low Phenyl methyl silicone oil can be used for instruments that often face very low temperatures.

Medium phenyl methyl silicone oil and high phenyl methyl silicone oil are more resistant to higher temperatures and radiations and thus they are used as lubricants.

  • Vinyl silicone oil

Vinyl silicone oil is known to be an intermediate material because it has methyl silicone-like properties which make it suitable for the smoothness and limpness of clothes. Vinyl silicone oil has better solubility with organic material as compared to that methyl silicone oil because of the double bond present in vinyl silicone oil.

Owing to this reactivity, let’s discuss some of the applications of vinyl silicone oil:

  1. It is one of the main ingredients in the manufacturing of liquid silicone rubber. It increases the strength and durability of silicone rubber.
  2. When allowed to react with organic materials, it produces a substance that has better properties than its conventional counterparts.
  • Hydroxy silicone oil

Hydroxy-terminated polydimethylsiloxane is a highly active silicone of medium and high-density hydroxy end-blocked Silicone polymer.

As the processing aid for silicone rubber can ameliorate the silicone rubber’s processing performance used as a silicone rubber structure regulator, as a fabric finishing agent, can significantly reduce the polyester thread’s smoothness, sewing capacity, high-temperature resistance, and antistatic performance.

It can make the fabric soft, smooth and elastic, and also give fabric, paper, and leather leakproof, water- and performance. Hydroxy silicone oil is used in hair products for beneficial effects like gloss, shine, and fluffiness. Hydroxy silicone oil has also been used in coating and pigments for providing characteristics such as defoaming effects, anti-convection, and anti-skinning effects.

 

As we have gone through different types of silicone oil, let’s have a closer look at how silicone oil is used in other products:

 1. SILICONE OIL AS PAINT ADDITIVE

Silicone oil/silicone fluid is often used as an additive in paints due to numerous characteristics which are displayed by silicone fluids such as lower surface tension. This property when impacted into paints by silicone oil makes the paint very even on the surface upon which it is being applied. The addition of silicone fluid in paints prevents several film flaws which are common without silicone additives.

silicone oil for paints industry

The following are some features imparted by silicone additives in paints:

  • Reduced Friction

Paint films have significantly higher friction coefficients, but the addition of silicone oil significantly reduces this friction and gives a smooth touch when applied.

  • Increased Durability

The addition of dimethyl silicone oil into paints leads to improvement in the durability of the paint and this particular feature arises due reaction of the methyl group with paint resins. The longer the paint survives on the surface, the better it is for the consumer, so silicone oils bring great value to the paint industry in terms of creating a strong reputation.

  • Water Repellent

As we discussed earlier silicone oil is water-repellent, the same effect is imparted to paints when silicone oil is added to them. Water-repellent property is of ultimate importance for paints, as these paints can be used in aqueous environments such as paints for boats and submarine, also these paints are of utmost importance in tropical areas because they have a more significant amount of moisture in the air than other areas and frequents rains make it water-repellent paints a better choice in saving the metals surfaces and nowadays these paints are used on walls, especially by those having kids.

  • Resistance to Salty Water

Functional groups in silicone oil react with metals and inorganic materials while being a constituent of paint and provide better resistance to salty water and better metal sticking properties. Owing to this resistance to salty water conditions, Paints with silicone oil as an additive are therefore useful on boats, submarines, marine oil drilling equipment, and all other metal structures which are bound to come in contact with marine water for a longer period.

  • Defoaming Effect

Silicone fluids when added to the paint prevent the foam-forming tendency of paints. Certain properties of silicone fluid are particularly important in imparting defoaming characteristics to the paint. These properties include insolubility in water, low chemical reactiveness or high chemical inertness, low surface tension, and high thermal stability. All of these are of sheer importance in defoaming effect. Note that pure silicone oils have relatively lower defoaming abilities than their synthetic derivatives.

  • Reduce the Convection effect

Silicone oil fairly reduces the convection effect when the paint is drying up. The same features help the paints to give a hammer tone finish to the surface as it doesn’t let the convection effect take place.

All of the above features make silicone oil a preferred choice for being used in paints as an additive.

2. SILICONE OIL, THE BEST LUBRICANT

Silicone oils or silicone fluid have proved to be an excellent lubricator for rubber and polymer surfaces and this ability to work as a lubrication agent is due to multiple characteristics of silicone oil which include low friction coefficient, stable viscosity over a variety of temperatures whether low or high. Silicone fluids are much more resistant to chemical decay oxidation, both of these properties allow the silicone oil to add corrosion protection to metal provinces.

Silicone fluid is not a good lubricant where there is steel-to-steel friction but has proven other ways for some other metals. Silicone oils were previously used to cool clutch fan assemblies in cars and other motor-operated vehicles.

3. SILICONE OIL INDUSTRIAL RELEASING AGENT

Releasing agents are substances that are applied to the molds to prevent the substances from sticking to the mold. Silicone oil is known to be one of the magnificent releasing agents. The main property which makes silicone oil a good releasing agent is low surface tension and thermal stability which allows it to spread perfectly over an irregular surface.  Silicone release agents in multiple industries, such as the food processing industry, tire manufacturing industry and die casting industry.

4. SILICONE OIL IN CAR POLISHING

Silicone oil has found its position in the automotive industry as a principal component in car polishes. Silicone oils offer shine and protection to the paint with added benefits of anti-corrosive actions. As silicone oil spreads evenly on the surface and it is transparent, it gives the perfect finish to uneven surfaces. The rubbery characteristic of silicone oil also provides an extra layer of transparent covering which protects the surface of the paint from normal polishes. Silicone oil not only covers the color of the car but can also cover the interior surfaces and even glass.

Silicone oil for car polishing

 

5. COSMETIC USAGE OF SILICONE OIL

Silicone oil is often used in cosmetics, primarily because of its low surface tension. Silicone oil helps the cosmetics to spread evenly onto the skin. Silicone oil in cosmetics locks the moisture coming out of the skin and prevents skin from getting dry and gives a twinkling look that shines on every angle. Lipsticks have silicone oils combined with phenyl group which gives a higher refractive index and helps the glossy appearance of lipstick on lips. Sunscreen lotions also have silicone oil as a primary component as the silicone oil removes stickiness and reduces the amount of oil coming out of the skin.

silicone oil used in cosmetic products

6. SILICONE OIL IN SILICONE SEALANT

Silicone oil is one of the best sealants, containing angle component silicone. In the utility of silicone sealant, thinking about the construction, regularly want to regulate the sealant viscosity, decrease the viscosity of the adhesive, enhance the development drift and the lubrication of the adherents, and consequently the desire of dimethyl silicone oil as a plasticizer. At the identical time, being part of the plasticized agent can cure adhesive complete overall performance improvement, enhance adhesive joints of excessive influence resistance, anti-fatigue overall performance, etc. On the other hand, the addition of plasticizers will affect the different residences of silicone sealant. The tensile electricity of the silica gel decreases step by step with the make bigger quantity of the plasticizer, and the elongation at ruin is increasing.


 7. HYDRAULIC OIL IN AIRCRAFT

Silicone hydraulics has been used in the aircraft industry for a long time and there are multiple advantages of using silicone hydraulic oil. Its high resistance to oxidation and great thermal stability leads to increased life of silicone hydraulics oil and require longer changing intervals making it cost-effective. High anti-wear properties and greater strength of film provided by silicone oil led to the protection of parts of the engine. Moreover, aircraft faces a variety of temperature going into the different layers of the sky and silicone oil can bear low temperatures like -50°C and higher temperatures of 250°C.

silicone oil used for aircraft engines

8. SILICONE EMULSION

When silicone oil is added to an aqueous environment, it results in the production of silicone emulsions. Silicone emulsification significantly reduces the viscosity, and this is sometimes required. The physical properties of silicone emulsion change abruptly after polymerization. Particularly if the viscosity change is needed, polymerization is a great idea. Silicone emulsions don’t have any health-related issue as it is less viscous and generally more aqueous. Silicone emulsions are widely used in the cosmetic industry and are now being used as release agents in the food processing industry to avoid stickiness to molds.

 

9. BREWING INDUSTRY AND SILICONE OIL

Silicone oil is being used in breweries for improving the quality of the beer particularly due to defoaming properties of the silicone oil. The silicone oil which is used in the brewing industry is known as food grade version of silicone oil. It is used in all three key processes of making a beer which are distillation, brewing, and fermentation of the beer.

Silicone oil used in beer industries

10. USAGE IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY

Silicone oil is an integral part of the textile industry, and it is so much important that some textile owners have started their production of silicone oil. Silicone oil addition to the textile manufacturing process brings in all the qualities needed in a perfect fabric such as a perfectly smooth and soft finish, and waterproofed material. Silicone oil adds a bunch of other characteristics to textile production like flame avoidance, antistatic performance, and color-fixing properties. When silicone oil is added to the dye in the dyeing process, the result is a cool finish. Silicone fluids are also known for increasing the storage time for textiles and also there is the benefit of sharp color appearance.

Silicone oil for textile industry


11. SILICONE OIL AS DEFOAMER

Silicone oil is often used as a defoamer particularly due to the small surface tension offered by it. Other features of defoamers or ant0foaming silicone oil include readily emulsification ability, not reactive at all, increased thermal stability compared to other defoamers, great ability to remove or vanish the foam, and high pH stability (can operate over a wide range of pH). Silicone oil defoamers can be stored for over 12 months if the temperature is kept below 45 Centigrade. Silicone defoamers are used in the oil and gas industry because silicone oil defoamers provide excellent benefits over organic substances. The quantity of silicone oil defoamers needed to achieve a certain defoaming effect is much lower than substances that need much more of it. Silicone oils are often used in little amounts in restaurants for defoaming and anti-stick properties. In such situations, silicone oil is combined with cooking oil for deep frying. Silicone oil should not replace cooking oil entirely as this can become lethal, and it is a very notable health hazard associated with always remembering to use food-grade silicone oil.

12. MEDICAL USES OF SILICONE OIL

Silicone oil has been famously known for its medical importance, although we have discussed in detail how silicone oil is medically used in ophthalmic surgery.

 

medical uses for silicone oil

Let’s have a brief overview again of some of the uses:

  • Ophthalmic Surgery: Silicone fluid tamponades have been used as a replacement for vitreous humor in the posterior chamber of the eye when there is retinal detachment due to several reasons. Silicone fluid when injected into the eye prevent aqueous humor to reach the retina and allows the retina to heal itself. Silicone oil is left in the eye for an extended period of about 3 months or in some cases can be left permanently. Several properties of silicone oil such as viscosity, low friction coefficient, and ability to resist sheer stress make it a perfect candidate for this application.
  •  Drug Delivery System: Recently trials have been conducted in which silicone oil-filled eyes have been shown to uptake more drugs than the normal eye and this pharmacokinetics may significantly improve the use of silicone oil as a drug delivery system for deep eye structures.
  • Medical Instruments Lubrication: Microbe infestations of medical instruments have been a major problem in surgical settings. Nitric Oxide has been known to be incredibly effective against microbes, bacteria in particular. When applied on the surface of medical instruments, silicone oils create a physical barrier between the microbe-infested environment and the tools. A new combination of nitric oxide-releasing silicone oils has been prepared for utilizing both properties of nitric oxide for antibacterial effects and the physical barrier and lubricating effects of silicone oil.
  • Anti-Flatulence Drugs: Silicone oil is used as a component for making drugs that reduce flatulence and it often comes in handy for such situations. Such drugs absorb gas formed inside the intestines.
  • Anti-Dermatitis Drugs: Certain silicone oil-based ointment preparations have been made for providing comfort to dermatitis patients having a burning sensation as silicone oils hold water and keep a check on the skin from getting dry. Silicone oils have also shown some anti-coagulation effects.

WHERE TO BUY SILICONE OIL?

Silicone oil is not a rare entity as it can be found online and in stores all over the U.S. and the same is for other countries, but the problem arises where to buy it in bulk for industrial use. The answer is pretty simple, the country where it produced most abundantly and yes, you guessed it right, Its China. China produces more than half of the silicone oil produced in the world and this is the best place to get your hands on the best quality silicone oil while paying an absolutely rare cost.

 

where to buy silicone oil

Now you might be thinking, why not buy it locally, the answer is pretty simple. High labor costs and pretty denting tasks to produce silicone oil make it pretty expensive and local companies sometimes are not capable of large-scale production.

The next question that might be coming to your mind is where to find these Chinese silicone oil companies. Again, the answer is in your hand. Alibaba might provide you with a lot of companies to buy silicone oil from, but the problem is some of these apparent sellers on Alibaba may not be manufacturers rather they are middle people trying to charge you more than the actual costs and an inexperience buyer may end getting fraud so the best choice to go around looking for silicone oil is Manufacturer companies’ websites.

HENG YI TEK is one of the suppliers of silicone fluids in China and provides its customers with the best quality with authority and truthfulness.

We provide a variety of silicone oil and related products; you can check by clicking down below on the list:

● SILICONE OIL SILICONE FLUID HY201

● VOLATILE SILICONE OIL HY-101, 2 CST DIMETHYL SILICONE OIL

● SILICONE DEFOAMER HY-8208

● SILICONE DEFOAMER AGENT HY8201

● SILICONE LEVELING AGENT HY1284

 

 

You can contact Heng Yi Tek for quotes and further details through email, WhatsApp, or phone number. Our sales will get in touch with you about our products and delivery time-related information.

silicone coating

Where and How Silicone can be used?

Silicone is one element that is very abundant and is top second on Earth, which is 25.8% on the earth’s surface. Most people know the function of metal silicone. Silicon semiconductor materials have boosted the development of the modern electronic industry. In addition, silicate-based inorganic silicon compounds are widely existing in nature, which is very convenient to use. Over thousands of years, people use silicone-related materials to produce cement, glass, ceramics, and other products.

Inorganic silicone compounds have been applied very early to produce products such as glass and ceramics. But organic silicone compounds do not exist in nature. It is mainly by synthesis and was synthesized around 50 years ago. Since industrialization in the 1940s, organic silicone compounds have developed rapidly.

Organic silicon, also known as silicone or siloxane, is a siloxane organic polymer cross-linked from silicon and oxygen. It has good characteristics with excellent heat resistance, cold resistance, oxidation resistance, and electrical insulation, which are not available from other general organic polymers. Among the organic silicon compounds, Poly siloxane has wide applications with its special structural characteristics.

 

Silicone materials are mainly divided into silicone oil (Dimethicone/PDMS/ Dimethyl Silicone Fluid, silicone defoamer, silicone leveling agent, polyether-modified silicone oil), silicone rubber, silicone resin, and silane coupling agent, etc. And there are various silicone material-related products. For example, Dow Corning has more than 4000 kinds of types of silicone materials.  If converted into Poly siloxane, the total global consumption of various silicone products is about 650,000 tons, which accounts for 0.65% of the global total output of different synthetic resin products. In addition, the sales amount of silicone products is as high as $6.5 billion, which accounts for 7% of the global total sales amount of different synthetic resin products.

Silicone can be widely used in the production of silicone fluid, agriculture silicone adjuvant, advanced lubricants, adhesives, dielectric oil, adhesives, paint, anti-foaming agents, gasket, seals as well as spare parts for rockets and missiles. In recent years, silicone material has been applied gradually from military or national defense to people’s daily life. Products for daily application include conductive buttons for computers, mobile phones, and electrical keyboards; contact lenses, swimming glasses, and swimming caps; nipple; silicone sealants for curtainwalls; finishing agent for high-end leather or fabric; silicone oil for shampoo. Silicone material has become a necessary part of people’s daily life. It also becomes a new chemical material with development on its rise.

 

silicone coating

With the prospects of silicone material, many developed countries put silicone materials as one of the most important new materials for the key development of the new century. Organic silicon is new material itself, meanwhile, it is also the new material foundation for the development of related industrial areas. Given the changing nature of organic silicon material and with the characteristics of small volume wide application, it is reputed as the catalyst for scientific and technological development. In the silicone industry, only a few upstream enterprises are on a large scale and most of them are small and medium-sized private enterprises engaged in the production of consumer products and additives.

Main silicone products and their applications

Silicone materials are mainly grouped into four categories: silicone oil with its secondary processing products, silicone rubber, silicone resin, and silane coupling agent. It is known as industrial MSG as silicone products have the properties of electrical insulation, corrosion resistance, radiation resistance, flame resistance, high and low-temperature resistance as well as physiological inertia. They are widely applied in building materials, electronic and electrical products, light industry, textile, plastics, rubber, machinery, transportation, medical and other industries. At present, the global annual production capacity of silicone products has reached more than 1.2 million tons. There are around 5,000 to 10,000 products, and the total market sales can reach US $7 billion.

Among the more than 10,000 kinds of silicone products can be roughly divided into three categories: raw materials, intermediates, and products. Silicone monomer refers to organic silicon polymer monomers synthesized by organic chlorosilane, such as raw materials like benzene chlorosilane, methyl chlorosilane, vinyl dichlorosilane, and some other materials.

Organic silicon intermediates refer to line-type or ring-type siloxane oligomers, such as octamethyl cyclotetra siloxane (D4), hexamethyldisilane (MM), dimethyl cyclosilane mixture (DMC), etc. Silicone products are the products produced by the polymerization reaction with add of inorganic fillers or modified additives. It mainly includes silicone rubber (high-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber and room-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber), silicone oil and its secondary processing products, silicone resin, and silane coupling agent. And through the sulfur molding process, silicone rubber can be made into conductive keys, seal gaskets, swimming caps, and many other consumer products.

Silicone monomer

Although there are many varieties of silicone products, its starting raw materials for production are limited to a few organic silicon monomers. The top amount is trimethylchlorosilane, followed by phenyl chlorosilane. In addition, trimethylchlorosilane, ethyl and propyl chlorosilane, vinyl chlorosilane, etc., are also necessary raw materials in the production of silicone products.

The production of silicon monomers is not complicated. The main raw material for silicon monomer is silicon block, methanol, and hydrogen chloride. At present, methyl hydrochloride monomer is synthesized in a boiling bed reactor. Silicon powder and chloromethane are reacted under a catalyst at a high temperature which makes a methyl hydrochloride mixture. And through efficient fractionation, the target fraction is obtained. Silicone monomers are made by hydrolysis, lysis, and condensation to get different products. With silicon monomer as the raw material and using different polymerization means and processes, different silicone products can be produced by adding various fillers and additives. The basic raw materials for the production of silicone oil, silicone rubber, silicone resin, and silane coupling agent are different kinds of organic silicon monomers. From these basic silicone monomers, thousands of organic silicon products can be produced. Organic silicon monomers mainly include methyl chlorosilane (methyl-monomer), phenyl chlorosilane (benzene-monomer), methyl vinyl chlorosilane, vinyl trichlorosilane, ethyl trichlorosilane, propyl trichlorosilane, γ-chloropropyl trichlorosilane, and fluor silane monomer. Among them, methyl chlorosilane accounts for the top amount, which is 90% of the total monomer, followed by phenyl chlorosilane.

Organo chlorosilane (methyl chlorosilane, phenyl chlorosilane, vinyl chlorosilane) is the basis of the whole silicone industry, and methyl chlorosilane is the pillar in the organic silicone industry. Most of the silicone polymers are Poly dimethyl siloxane made from trimethylchlorosilane. After adding other groups such as phenyl, vinyl, chlorophenyl, fluoroalkyl, etc., the product can meet special needs. The production process of methyl chlorosilane is very long and difficult for production technicians. This industry is technology-intensive and capital-intensive. Therefore, the basic manufacturing site of the major foreign companies is on a large scale and under centralized construction.  While the manufacturing of the downstream product is distributed as per their use and market conditions.

The key to the development of any polymer material is monomer technology development. The feature of the silicone industry is that the monomer production is concentrated, and the further process of silicone products are in different places. Therefore, the production of monomers plays an important role in the silicone industry. And the level of monomer production is a direct reflection of the development of the silicone industry. 

Silicone intermediates

Organic silicon monomers can be made into different silicone intermediates by hydrolysis (or lysis) and lysis. Silicone intermediates are the direct raw material to form silicone rubber, silicone oil, and silicone resin. Silicone intermediates include hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane(D3), octa-ethyl cyclic tetrasiloxane (D4), hexamethyldisilane (MM), dimethyl cyclosiloxane mixture (DMC), and other linear or cyclic dioxide series.

 Silicone rubber

Silicone rubber is one of the important products among silicone polymers. Among all rubber, silicone rubber can work under a wide temperature range, from -100℃~350℃. It is excellent in high and low-temperature resistance. According to its ionization mechanism, silicone rubber has three categories: organic peroxide-induced free radical crosslinking type (High temperature vulcanized silicone), condensation reaction type (Room temperature vulcanized silicone), and addition reaction type. High-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber (HTV): thermal vulcanized silicone rubber is also called high-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber. All the direct chain siloxane with molecular weight between 500,000-800,000 is grouped as high-temperature vulcanized rubber. Usually, gum can be made with octa ethyl cyclo tetrasiloxane (D4) as the main raw material and get polymerized under the catalysis of acid or alkali. Then with oxides as a crosslinking agent and combined with different additives (such as reinforcing filler, thermal stabilizer, structural control agent, etc.), it can be made into homogeneous rubber additives. Various rubber products can be vulcanized by molding, extrusion or calendaring, etc.,

Room temperature vulcanized silicone rubber (RTV) and addition reaction silicone rubber (LSR). Room temperature vulcanized silicone rubber refers to the one which uses low molecular weight active Poly Organo siloxane as the base material and can be formed with the crosslinker and catalyst at room temperature.

Addition reaction silicone rubber refers to the silicone rubber which is made under the addition reaction with the platinum compound as catalyst. It has no by-products during the reaction. Usually, it is composed by vinyl terminated polydimethylsiloxane, silicone resin, low molecular weight polymethyl hydro siloxane, a platinum catalyst, and reaction inhibitor, etc., It is also known as liquid silicone rubber or LSR. Usually, additional reactive silicone rubber is also vulcanized at room temperature (medium temperature), so it is also classified as room temperature sulfide silicone rubber. The above two of these are referred to as room-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber.

 

Room-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber has a low molecular weight (from 10,000 to 80,000), and it is a viscous liquid. As per different package forms, it can be divided into single-component RTV silicone rubber and two-component RTV silicone rubber. Single-component RTV silicone rubber mixes the raw rubber evenly with filler, crosslinker, or catalyst in anhydrous conditions. And it will react with the moisture in the atmosphere after opening. While two-component RTV silicone rubber usually puts the raw rubber and crosslinker agent or catalyst in separate packages. They will link together when mixed in a certain ratio. Its reaction is not related to moisture.

Silicone Oil or Silicone Fluid

silicone oil is a kind of Poly siloxane liquid oil with different viscosity. It is not toxic, not corrosive, has no smell, and is not easy to burn. According to the chemical structure, silicone oil can be divided into methyl silicone oil, phenyl silicone oil, ethyl silicone oil, methyl hydrogen silicone oil, methyl chlorophenyl silicone oil, methyl phenyl silicone oil, methyl ethoxy silicone oil, and methyl trifluoro propane, etc., Among them, methyl silicone oil is the top item. By changing the polymerization degree of Poly siloxane and the type of organic group, or making Poly siloxane polymerized with other organic compounds, silicone oil with different properties can be made, such as waterproofing, anti-adhesion, demolding or defoaming. Silicone oil can also be grouped into linear silicone oil and modified silicone oil.

Silicone oil has many special properties. Its features include low viscosity-temperature coefficient, antioxidant resistance, good resistance to high and low temperature, high flash point, excellent insulation, low volatility, low surface tension, no corrosion to the metal, non-toxic, etc., With these properties, silicone oil has excellent effects in different applications. Among all kinds of silicone oils, methyl silicone oil is the most widely applied and is the most important type followed by methyl phenyl silicone oil. Different functional silicone oils and modified silicone oils are mainly used for special purposes.

 

silicone potting

Silicone resin

Silicone resin is a semi-inorganic polymer with silicon-oxygen-silicon as the main chain and with silicon atoms cross-linked with organic groups. It emerged along with the silicone monomer produced by the silicone monomer. Its production is a half year ahead of silicone oil and silicone rubber.

Silicone resin has outstanding weather resistance, which is better than any other organic resin. Even under strong ultraviolet irradiation, silicone resin still has good yellowing resistance. Silicone also has superior dielectric properties. The property can remain stable in a wide range of temperatures, humidity, and frequency. In addition, it also has good oxidation resistance, irradiation resistance, smoke resistance, waterproof, mildew prevention, and other characteristics.

 

Silane coupling agent

The general formula of the silane coupling agent can be Y-R-SiX3. X and Y are two active groups with different reaction characteristics. X is easy to bind strongly with clay, glass, silica, metal, and metal oxides, while Y is easy to bind with resin and rubber in organic material. With both functional groups that can have a good reaction with organic and inorganic material, a silane coupling agent can bond organic and inorganic material together to reach satisfactory bonding. According to the number of hydrolyzed groups (X groups) connected to silicon atoms, the silane coupling agents can be divided into two groups: trifunctional and difunctional types. In recent years, the production of silane coupling agents is controlled by several giant companies. To form a monopoly, every company has named its product types, and for the same product, there are various names and types on the market. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) is the world’s largest silane coupling agent manufacturer and has the largest number of product varieties. Silane coupling agent was first developed as a glass fiber treatment agent for glass fiber-reinforced plastics. The silane coupling agent has improved the adhesion between the glass fiber and the resin, thus the mechanical properties of the reinforced plastics are significantly improved. With the rapid development of composites, silane coupling agent also develops rapidly both in variety and output. In recent years, silane coupling agent has adopted some specific functional groups and this can improve the surface properties of materials, which get new properties such as antimildew, antistatic, anticoagulation, and physiological inert. This has become a new application for silane coupling agents. Along with the new development, silane coupling agents become an important branch of organic silicone.

Development history of silicone

All compounds containing Si-C bonds are generally called organic silicon compounds. Those that connect organic groups like oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen to silicon atoms are also regarded as organic silicon compounds. Among them, the Poly siloxane composed of silicone oxygen bond (-Si-0-Si-) accounts for the top amount in silicone compounds. It is the most studied and widely applied type in silicone compounds, which is more than 90% of the total. Silicone material has both properties of organic materials and inorganic materials. It has many good properties such as high and low-temperature resistance, ozone resistance, electrical insulation, radiation resistance, flame retardant, water resistance, non-toxic and physiological inertia, and other excellent characteristics. The silicone material is widely applied in electrical, electronics, construction, chemical, textile, medical and other industries. The main functions of silicone include sealing, adhesion, encapsulation, lubrication, coating, lamination, surface activity, releasing, anti-foaming, crosslinking, waterproofing, penetrating, insertion and filling, etc. With the continuous development of the quantity and varieties of silicone material, it has become one of the most important materials in the new chemical material field. Many varieties of silicone are unable to be replaced by other chemicals.

 

silicone factory

Different phases of silicone chemistry

Beginning period: In 1863, French scientists Fiddle and Kraft heated silicon tetrachloride and zinc diethyl to 160℃ in a sealing tube and synthesized the first silicone compound, which is tetraethyl silane with Si-C bonds. Since then, much more tetraethyl silane derivatives have been synthesized. The forty years from 1863 to 1903 was the founding period of silicone chemistry, which was also referred to as the first phase

 

Growing period: From 1904 to 1937, there are many simple silicone compounds were synthesized. Meanwhile, some ring and linear Poly siloxane (with-Si-0-Si-bonds as the backbone). From the theoretical aspect, the synthesis of asymmetric silicon atomic compounds has been started, which created circumstances for the study of silicone photoactive isoforms. These 30 years were referred to as the growing period of silicone chemistry, which is also called the second phase.

Development period: Chemist Hyde from Corning as well as Patnode and Rojo from General Electronics realized that silicone polymer would have a good future, and they have actively improved the synthesis of silicone monomer. This helped the industrialization of silicone. In particular, Rojo invented the direct synthesis method for methyl chlorosilane in 1941. This was a revolution in the production of silicone and was a good foundation for the large-scale production of silicone compounds. In the 1940s, when some of the major countries realized industrialization, the equilibrium reaction methods of Poly organic siloxane were invented. And a complete system of industrial technologies was established. Different types of silicone oil, silicone rubber, silicone resin, and silane coupling agent with excellent performance have emerged. The development of the silicone industry was accelerated. The period from 1938 to1965 was called the third phase.

Boom period: Since 1966, further, consolidating, developing, improving, and utilizing the existing achievements, silicone was also developing in the new field. Some compounds which were impossible to make can also be synthesized. One of the groups with the fastest development is silicon —— metal bonding compounds. Especially chemical products formed by silicon and transition elements, and this has more practical value. And silicone chemistry has yielded fruitful results. So, the period from 1966 has been called the fourth phase.

 

The development of science has promoted the development of production and construction. And the production in turn has new requirements for scientific research. In many industries, thermal resistance is needed. But normal organic polymers cannot meet the demands. Natural silicate is long known but its -Si-0-Si- bond is fragile. Therefore, chemists introduced silicon atoms with an organic group, which can make them a linear structure or low-degree crosslinked polymer. Thus, the silicone material can form flexible or elastic material, and the application would be further enlarged. The study on Organo Poly siloxane also started. Chemist Hyde from Corning Glass first combined silicone and polymer chemistry and gained experience in silicone polymerization. Under his guidance, silicone resin was produced for electronic insulated glass cloth. From 1938 and 1941, Hyde and his collaborators developed many more Poly organic siloxane products. Meanwhile, Dow Chemical also started the study and production of Poly organic siloxane. In 1942, a dimethyl silicone oil and toluene silicone pilot plant was established.

In 1943, Dow combined with Corning glass and established the world-famous Dow-Corning Chemical. They built the synthetic Poly siloxane factory in Midland. And soon they developed DC4 ignition sealing material, which was applied on aerial aircraft in World War II. Then Dow Corning Chemical gradually became one of the world’s largest professional manufacturers of silicone products.

In the past 20 years, the application of silicone technology has achieved a brilliant level. Room temperature vulcanized silicone rubber and silane coupling agents got comprehensive development. Silicone polymer for biological and medical use also emerged. Now, many more silicone compounds were invented for a wide application. Many impossible things can be realized now due to the development of silicone material

 

From an annual output of 10,000 tons in 1997 to about 850,000 tons per year in 2015, methyl chlorosilane has a rapid development, which is top among all the monomers. In the future, with methyl chlorosilane production capacity increasing, the organic silicon industry will have further development in technology, with both capacity and quality getting onto a new level.

Organic Pigments

What are the basic information about organic pigments

As suggested by the name, coloring agents are the material that can provide people the color they need. Color agents have their own specific colors, which includes a variety of colors such as white, black, as well as gray.

Colorants are grouped into two categories: dyes and pigments. The main differences between dyes and pigments are:

Solubility: In the using process, dyes can be dissolved in the application(some dyes such as disperse dyes are partially dissolved), but pigments are not soluble or its solubility is very low. Solubility is a very important item that determines the performance of pigments such as migration and color penetrating. Sometimes, to improve the application properties of certain pigments, the solubility of pigments should be improved in the application.

In the using process, pigments have particle form and crystal shape. These play important roles in the color and application properties of organic pigments. Dyes dont have requirements on this aspect.

The color of pigment almost represents its using color in the substrate. With the dilute proportion, only the shade of pigments changes, but the basic color is not changing. This is to say that the color of the colored substrate is the color of pigment itself. While for dyes, the tone of the color will be changed when there is chemical reaction. They dyeing color is different with the color of dye.

Different Properties of Pigments    

Color shades of Organic Pigments

For a long time, visual judgement is the basic color evaluation way, which relies on the well-trained and professional color judge personnel. But it is difficult to judge whose eyes can be the standard judge. Along with the development of color evaluation judgement, a more  scientific evaluation system is established. The use of color tester can make the color description qualitatively and quantitatively.

The definition of color cannot be easily described orally. For example, what color can be called red? No matter how many modifiers are added, it is still not so accurate. Such as magenta, brick red, poldo red. But if we can make a color sample or a color card, the color is defined more obviously.

In the actual application, people like to choose a standard pigment as per their demand. And then they will test the new sample against their standard sample in certain testing system. A sample color will be made from standard sample and new sample and the shade difference will be compared. The common color system used is CIE*LAB system, and the XYZ three-stimulus value system that can be interconverted.

Organic Pigments color cards

Coloring strength

The concept of color strength has absolute color strength and relative color strength. Absolute color strength is based on pigment absorbance of lights, which is the maximum absorption wavelength or the overall absorption coefficient of the whole visible spectrum (the latter can be depended on the components of the different spectra).

Relative coloring strength is the relative value obtained from comparing the light absorption coefficient between the sample and the standard pigment. The ratio of the number of sample pigments matched to the number of standard pigments when reaching the same color depth.Accurate matches are not always found, because there are inherent differences in color light between the two, which cannot be eliminated by quantity alone, and whose color differences can be formulated through the CIE*LAB system.

The color force of the pigment will have different results according to its application conditions, that is, different color exhibition methods, as well as different measurement methods, and evaluation methods.

 

Opaque or transparency

It refers to the ability of pigment substrate to cover the color of the target layer. This is to define the covered area by paint colored with pigments, or it can refer to the the minimum thickness of the layer needed to cover the substrate.

To effectively cover the substrate, the coating must scatter. The amount of scattering is related with the coating thickness, the light absorption inside the coating, as well as the color difference of the substrate

Solvent resistance and various fastness

According to the definition of pigment,it should not be soluble in the application. but the absolute insolubility is not possible.There is certain solubility as per different application or different processing conditions. So if the solvent in in the carrier reach certain amount, recrystallization, color penetrating, or overflow will happen. It is very important to prevent the dissolution of pigment.The factors that can control the solubility of pigments include solvent, the particle size, the chemical structure of the pigment, as well as the processing temperature.

This is a testing method to judge pigment resistance to some solvent: put the pigment powder into filter paper, put it into a tube with solvent. The weight of the solvent and pigment should be determined. After a set at room temperature for the hours, the solvent resistance of pigment can be judged from the stained situation of solvent. This method may not fully represent the actual application, but the result is similar. If the pigment is vert dissolved , it could be problem for organic pigments to use in the application containing this kind of solvent. Problems such as color penetrating,  fastness or flow will occur.

 

Water resistance, soap washing resistance, alkali resistance, acid resistance:

For the above resistance, there are two aspects, one is about pigment’s chemical stability in these solvents and the other is the solubility in these solvents.

This resistance is mainly about pigments’s resistance situation in the processing and application stage. For example,in the water transfer process of pigment filter cake, it needs pigments to be good resistant to water. In the application of printing ink, it requires pigments to be resistant  to water or alkali water. In the application of exterior wall coating, it requires pigments to be resistant to the alkali in cement or lime resistant. During car washing, it requires organic pigments in automotive paint to be resistant to alkali water or detergent, etc.

Some pigments or lake pigments contain free alkaline or acid groups, will form salt in alkali or acid and this will cause color change, etc.

Threre are standard testing methods to test this properties. And the evaluation is according to level 1-5,grade 5 is best. A suitable testing method should be selected to test pigments. The test results are not same when pigment is directly exposed to acid and alkali or when pigments are made into coating and then exposed to acid or alkali.

Printing of package

Due to different packaging materials and the items packaged, there are different fastness requirements, such as oil resistance, wax resistance, cheese resistance, drug resistance, disinfectant resistance, steaming resistance, thermal sealing resistance (including the color change of coating and physical damage to the film, adhesion to the instrument) etc.

Organic Pigments

 

Textile fastness

Textile fastness refers to the colour maintaining ability of dyed filaments or dyed textile during processing or application.Such as water resistance during washing, peroxidation resistance, bleaching resistance of chlorine acid, friction resistance, sweat resistance (including enzyme),  ironing resistance, acid and alkali resistance, solvent resistance, dry washing resistance, and sodium hydrosulfite resistance, etc.

 

Migration resistance

Migration resistance efers to the occurrence of bleeding and frosting phenomenon.

Frosting means that the dissolved pigment will migrate to the surface again after it is erased. Bleeding means that the color will migrate to the similar material when get in touch.

The degree of migration is related to the particle distribution, chemical structure and content of the pigment.Migration is also related to all components of the material being colored, such as polymers, plasticizer, and stabilizers.

 

Effect on the pigment processing during application

Plate-out(ductility):During mixing or rolling, the pigment is deposited on the surface of the processing equipment or the system surface. Once the film is erased, it will not appear again.The reason is that the compatibility between lubricants, plasticizer, stabilizers and PVC is not good. And it is easy to migrate to the system surface, and bring out the pigment particles at the same time.  The method to avoid this is to reduce the pigment content or the processing temperature or adding hardener.)

Chalking(powder ization or pigment overflow): it mainly refers to the situation that the pigment carrier cannot completely wrap the pigment, and when it exceeds the critical volume concentration, the organic pigment will tun to the surface of the paint film. The reasons for chalking can be follows: high pigment content and less resin content; problem in the processing and pigments are not wrapped; large surface area; poor light and weather resistance of resin; poor light and weather resistance of pigments.

With the long time under UV and weathering time increasing, the pigment separated from the medium and the paint surface is damaged. The poor weather resistance of pigments or carrier materials promote pulverization.

 

Light resistance and weather resistance

light resistance: pigment’s ability to maintain the original color after long time sun exposure. The testing is based on the pigment dispersion system, not only the pigments. Most inorganic and all organic pigments will change color after long time light exposure.

The factors sensitive to light include the physical parameters (particle distribution, crystal type), the chemical structure of the pigment, and the properties of other components in the system.The xenon lamp is the standard test instrument for light resistance test.Pigment volume concentration,paint material, substrate, layer thickness, and other additive all have an influence on the test results.

Weather resistance: Light is not the only reason for the color change of the pigment. Other factors such as atmospheric water (or even the trace),industrial emissions, gas or climate changes also cause damage to the color of pigment. The test of weather resistance requires specific environments like temperature,light intensity, humidity, oxygen content, precipitation, air as well as the latitude and longitude and the proximity with the industrial zone. All these aspects will affect on the test result. Thus, industrial standards are formed in several countries.

The test will adopt accelerated aging instrument, which has similar condition with the outdoor environment. But for pigments with similar colors and different chemical structures, the exposure to xenon lamps or sunlight will vary due to the sensitivity of the pigments to the spectrum, especially in the UV region.

Thermal stability

The temperature resistance in the plastic industry and in the coloring of fiber raw pulp requires 260-320℃. This is a fatal natural defect for organic pigment as most organic pigments have a temperature resistance between 100 and 200℃. The thermal stability of the pigment is depended systematically. It not only depends on the chemical composition of the substrate, but also dispersion degree, processing conditions and pigment content.

In the coloring system, the reasons for thermal discoloration are: heat decomposition of pigments, chemical reaction of pigments with the substrate, the change of physical properties of the pigments, such as particle size change and the crystalline transition.

 

Fluidity

The viscosity of a system is determined by the overall component, including the actions between different components, dispersion conditions, and selection of components. The dispersion condition is most important such as wetting of the substrate, the opening of the aggregate, , dispersion degree and surface relationship. The influencing factors of pigment are as follows: concentration, particle shape, specific surface area, and surface structure.

Organic Pigments

Particle distribution and the property of substrate

Color strength: within certain range, The smaller is the pigment particles, the higher is the coloring strength of organic pigments. But after reaching the translucent point, the color strength will not further increase.(In the transparent system, there are pigments not following this rule).

Color shade: with the particle size increasing, the color will change as per some rules.The yellow color will shift to red; The orange color will shift to red shift, yellowish red  color will shift to blue, bluish red will shift to yellow, brown color will shift to red, purple color color will shift to blue, blue color will shift to red.

Light resistance and weather resistance: the larger the pigment particles, the better the light weather resistance.

Dispersion: pigment particles with narrow distribution is easier to disperse than wide distribution. Pigment with large particle size is easy to disperse. But dispersion is a complex process, disperison is also related with other factors.

Gloss: It is related with the dispersion of pigments and distribution of pigments. Bigger particle size has less gloss

Solvent resistance and migration resistance:  with the bigger particle size, solubility will decrease , and migration resistance will increase

Fluidity: the bigger the particle size, the better the fluidity and the less the viscosity.

 

Dispersion of pigments

The dispersion of pigment powder is related with many factors:

First are pigment related characteristics: chemical composition, particle distribution, crystal form, particle shape, surface structure, and the process of the pigment powder production, especially the drying and grinding process.

Second are physical and chemical properties of chemical components, which include molecular weight, polarity,  viscosity and compatibility of different components.

 

Popular Pigment Items for different application     

The manufacturer shall provide the pigment users certificates of analysis of pigments. But this is not enough for the application. End users should test organic pigments in their own paint, ink or palstic systems to confirm on if the organic pigments are suitable in their own product system.

Organic Pigments popular for paint include:Pigment Yellow 1, Pigment Yellow 3,  Pigment Yellow 17, Pigment Yellow 65, Pigment Yellow 74, Pigment Yellow 83, Pigment Red 2, Pigment Red 8, Pigment Red 22, Pigment Red 112, Pigment Red 122, Pigment Red 146, Pigment Red 170, Pigment orange 13,Pigment Orange 34,Pigment Orange 64, Pigment Violet 19, Pigment Violet 23

Organic pigments popular for Ink include:Pigment yellow 1, Pigment Yellow 12, Pigment Yellow 13, Pigment Yellow 14,  Pigment Yellow 83,  Pigment Red 81, Pigment Red 122, Pigment Red 254, Pigment Violet 3, Pigment Violet 27

Organic Pigment popular for Plastics: Pigment yellow 83, Pigment yellow 110, Pigment Yellow 180, Pigment Yellow 191, Pigment Red 53:1, Pigment Red 48:2, Pigment Red 122, Pigment Red 170, Pigment Red 254,  Pigment Orange 64, Pigment Violet 19

Silicone Adjuvants for fruits and vegetables

Why are silicone agriculture adjuvants important in agrochemical?

Pesticides play a significant role in the production of stable crops output and are  important in agricultural production. The application of pesticides is a common in agricultural production.With the improvement of people’s living standards and the development of society, food safety, production safety and environmental safety has get more and more attention from different parties. Like in China, government has carried out a plan of zero growth in pesticide use.

The zero increase in pesticide is mainly in two aspects. On one side, the using amount of pesticide has dropped, and one the other side the pesticide utilization rate has improved. Early, manual sprayers were mainly used in China for single farmers, and the amount of spary was large, but the prevention effect was not so good and the utilization rate was only around 25%, as most of the pesticides are lost to the air or soil.

While in recent years, the application of silicone adjuvant has taken changes in the pesticides formulation and application technology. With its outstanding effect in permeability, expansion, wetting, foaming, foam suppression, bubble stabilization and good compatibility performance, the utilization rate and prevention rate has been improved significantly. Thus, the using amount of pesticides can be reduced by 30%-50%. The add of silicone adjuvant in agriculture pesticides also save water, lessen pesticide residues, and reduce laber cost. And now agriculture adjuvant are widely applied in the agriculture production.

 

Today, from the characteristics and application of silicone adjuvants, it is hoped that the users can have a deep understanding of silicone adjuvants and to make reasonable use of it. This can help reduce agricultural production costs and improve the effectiveness.

adjuvants for fruits

Excellent performance of silicone adjuvants

The properties of agriculture silicone adjuvants mainly include the following three aspects: wetting, expansion and permeability.

1. Excellent wetting properties

Moisture resistance structure of composition is very normal in plant leaves, plant stems and insect epidermis. And on the surface of leaf, there is a negative charge, which makes pesticide liquid repellent and not easy to wet. Normally, when the pesticide spray has lower surface tension than that of leaf, the spray can moisten the leaf surface easily. On the contract, the pesticide spray will gather on the plant surface if its surface tension is higher, thus, the droplets of spray will concentrate on the leaf and roll down.

Silicone adjuvant has very low surface tension. After adding it into pesticide, it can make the pesticide spray moisten all the leaf surface and insect epidermis very easily. It can largely increase the contact surface of pesticide liquid to the target organisms, lessen the loss of pesticides and improve the utilization rate

 2. Superior expansion

The agriculture silicone adjuvant has superior expansion performance. After adding the silicone adjuvant into pesticide liquid, the area of expansion is around 10 times of the one without the silicone adjuvant. This superior expansion can make the pesticide liquid attached on the foliar and even make it onto the pests hidden in the fruit gap. Thus there can be direct contact of the spray liquid and pests may be killed.

3. Prime permeability

Stoma is one of the main approaches where the pesticide liquid spray permeate into the plant. Silicone adjuvants can help the pesticide liquid penetrate into the epidermis through the stoma easily. Also the absorption rate can be faster. Some studies show that silicone adjuvant has effective synergism on veramycin. It can take the pesticide liquid into the microscopic hiding place of pests. Then the pesticide liquid with silicone adjuvant will be absorbed by the leaf surface and get into the plant epidermis. It can also prolong the staying period of pesticide liquid, which is longer than pesticide liquid with mineral oil adjuvant.

Application of silicone adjuvants in pesticides

 

Silicone adjuvants can be used in pesticides as spray amendments, foliar absorptive aids or activators, etc. And it can be applied together with pesticides, herbicides, foliar fertilizer,or growth regulators.

1.Application in pesticides or herbicides

Silicone adjuvants are added into pesticides or herbicides. The herbicide solution is sprayed onto the leaves and stems of weeds, it will quickly penetrate into the cuticle and cytoplasmic membrane, and then transmitted to all the other parts of plant. After weeds get injury, the leaves and stems will deform and get dead. This can effectively improve the grass killing rate and prevention efficiency. This also contribute to the water saving and labor saving.

2.Application in foliar fertilizer

Foliar fertilizer is an efficient and fast way to supply nutrients to the plants. But foliar fertilization is not easy to penetrate into plants due to the impermeability of the plant epidermis to inorganic nutrient ions. So the infiltration through stoma is a good way for foliar fertilization. The adding of silicone adjuvants can improve the absorption of plants through stoma permeability and thus strengthen the fertilizer utilization rate.

3.Application in growth regulators

Silicone adjuvants can reduce the using amount and improve the using effect. For example, eryamycin is widely applied in citrus, but can easily antagonize with citrus. The use of agriculture silicone adjuvant can largely improve the function of  eryamycin and the using amount can be reduced to 10%. The adding of agriculture silicone adjuvant to enolazole can improve its efficacy and moisture, as well as reduce the using amount and cost of enolazole.

4. Application in insecticide and mite killer

The stoma of insects is extremely similar to the foliar ones.The silicone adjuvant can reduce the surface tension of the insecticide solution, help the spray solution penetrate into the insect trachea. This is very meaningful for the insecticide aid and synergist.For example, with the add of silicone adjuvant, the effect of 45g /hm2 20% buthiok budweiser emulsion is same as that of 75g/hm2. This can significantly lessen the field dose of buthiok budweiser emulsion by 20%.

How to use silicone adjuvant efficiently

1.Suitable dosage of silicone adjuvant

At the condition of normal temperature of 25℃ and moisture 60%, The add of 0.5% -0.1% silicone adjuvant into herbicide solution, the using amount of silicone adjuvant can be decreased by 30%, but with similar effects as conventional dosage of herbicides. Under drought conditions, The adding of 0.1% silicone adjuvant into herbicide solution can obtain stable herbicide effect.

In pesticides and fungicide spray, the adding amount of silicone adjuvants is around 0.025% to 0.5% -0.1%. The spray with silicone adjuvants can increase droplet retention time, improve droplet dispersion and absorption. Thus the efficacy can be improved.

The adding amount of silicone adjuvant into plant growth regulator is 0.025%-0 .05%. And the amount of fertilizer and trace elements are 0.015% -0.1% of the growth regulator spray. This can help improve efficacy and fertility.

2.Using Principles (Scope of Use) of silicone adjuvants

The silicone adjuvant have good work in the formulation. But its price is also higher than other adjuvants The global brand of silicone adjuvant sells at high price and the cost from China brand is like half of Momentive or Dow. So, during the use, users have to pay attention on the using principles to have good effects with less cost.

 

1.Apply to the crops that is difficult to wet and less use on the easy moistened crops

For crops easy to be wet, such as celery, rape, spinach, beans, tomato, pepper and other fruits and vegetables, there is no need to use silicone adjuvant. As the use of conventional adjuvants can meet the requirements of wetting crops.For wax crops that are not easy yo be wet, silicone adjuvants are encouraged to be used. Wax crops include rice, wheat, cabbage, finch wheat and weeds without leaves. The use of silicone adjuvants can improve the effect of the spray.

adjuvants for vegetables

2.Suitable for crops with hidden insect pests and diseases

For fruits like litchi, longan and grapes or vegetables like broccoli with hidden pests or germs, the adding to silicone adjuvants can make the pesticide spray better penetrating and spreading on the fruit gaps and leaves. So it can achieve the effects of eliminating pests or controlling germs.

 3.Suitable for crops in rainy areas

In the rainy areas, the use of silicone adjuvants can maximize the wetting and spreading of pesticide spray. Also, it can enhance surface permeability, improve its resistance to rain washing, and greatly reduce possibility of the loss of expensive pesticide as well as  decrease agricultural costs.

4.Suitable for UV sensitive pesticides or spray under strong summer light

For pesticides such as amimectin and methine amimectin benzoate, they are sensitive to ultraviolet light. The silicone adjuvants have super and rapid spreading capacity and can make almost instant stoma absorption. This can avoid photolysis, rapid evaporation and drying of the pesticide spray, and help in promoting the absorption of silicone adjuvants.

5.Pay attention to reasonable mixing

The use of some agriculture additives suppresses silicone effects; there are different additives used in the pesticide formulation. Some emulsifiers are antagonistic with silicone adjuvants and can not be used together. For example, acid compound emulsifiers such as 2201 # and 0206B# are suggested not to use together with silicone adjuvant as it is unfavourable to silicon-oxygen bond stability.

 

Notes for Use of Pesticide Silicone Adjuvants

The concentration and using amount should be strictly controlled. The appropriate concentration of silicone adjuvants with different kinds of pesticides is: herbicide 0.025% -0.15%, insecticide 0.025% -0.1%, fungicide 0.015% -0.05%,  plant growth regulator 0.025% -0.05%. The using amount with some powerful pesticides and herbicides should be reduced to prevent pesticide damage.

The spray cannot be used under high temperature conditions. If the temperature is over 30℃, it is better not to add silicone adjuvants when spraying pesticide. At this moment, the crop stoma is highly open, and the silicone adjuvant activity is very strong. And this strong permeability can cause harm to crops. If to spray the pesticide on the fruit trees, do not spray it directly on the fruit. To prevent rust points or rust spots, it is better to spray the pesticide after the fruit is bagged.

It is better spay the pesticide once after the silicone adjuvant is mixed together with it. silicone adjuvants are easily to be decomposed in both acid and alkali conditions and most pesticide preparations are obviously acidic. So, it is suggested to use pesticide on spot after mixed with silicone adjuvants.

Add certain volume of defoaming agent,.The silicone adjuvant is relatively active and easy to produce excessive foam. During the application, it is suggested to be added to the pesticide bucket of the sprayer at last to avoid excessive mixing. This can reduce the foaming amount. Also the adding of defoaming agent also helps.

 

Summary of silicone adjuvants in agriculture

There are different silicone adjuvant products available in the market. We should choose the silicone adjuvants that have trisiloxane active ingredient higher than 90% to ensure its excellent performance.

The silicone adjuvants have very low surface tension, super spreading ability and rapid absorption through stoma.Reasonable use of silicone adjuvants can reduce the using amount of pesticide, improve the utilization rate of pesticides, reduce production costs, and lessen the environmental pollution of pesticides.

However, everything has two aspects. With improper use of silicone adjuvants, it can cause drug harm to the crops. For example, the wax layer of some leaves is thin, if the using concentration is increased to get better penetrating effect can cause drug harm. In addition, the silicone surface tension is very low and has strong permeability. After entering into the water, it is toxic to the fish and easy to damage the gill function. So it better to prevent the flow of farm water into the breeding pond, thus the fish in the pond can be survived from the drug harm from the improper use.

Therefore, in the use of silicone adjuvants, we must bear in mind the using amount, the using note, and the using principles of silicone adjuvants. We should apply the silicone adjuvants as per its characteristics, and play its important role in the formulation. With the right instruction of silicone adjuvants, it is believed that they can have good performance in the controling of pests, lower farmer’s cost as well as protect the environment. The different supplying choices from China silicone adjuvant producers also make the cost lower but with the similar application effects.

 

crop

What is a pesticide silicone surfactant or silicone adjuvant?

 

Agirculture additive has a strong potential market increase in recent years. By 2023, The growth of the global agricultural additives market will come from USD 3.13 billion in 2018 to USD 4.04 billion, and the compound annual growth rate is 5.24%. The market increase is due to the the popularity of global integrated pest management,the improvement of pesticide quality, the development of green additives solutions, and the limit requirements on crop residues. Surfactant accounts the biggest market share in agricultural additives and among the surfactant, silicone agriculture adjuvant is the top increasing group. As per some datas, the silicone agriculture adjuvant will have highest increasing till year 2023. The development of silicone agriculture adjuvant has changed the situation of agriculture additive field.  In the past few years, there are more than 50 different items got registration in USA and Canada. The demand and good feedback on silicone agriculture adjuvants also stimulated the global market demand on it. The crop protection company is also considering the use of silicone raw material in the developing of new products and biological acaricides, etc.

 

The North America market is the biggest market for agriculture additives, with the participation of top global brands like Dupont, Huntsman, Helena, and Momentive. In the Asia pacific market, with more investors in China, India and Thailand, the agriculture additive and silicone agriculture adjuvant will have high compound annual increase in Asia pacific market.

 

Why agriculture adjuvant is need in the crop protection?

In the crop growing process, pesticides and herbicides are necessary. But there is certain side effects in using them. One is environmental pollution, and the other is the cost. In the using of pesticides in large scale, it will lead to environmental pollution with pesticides residue. This wil affect the eco enviroment as well as health of people. If the dosage is too low, the insecticidal effect will not be good. If the dosage is too high, it will easily cause phytotoxicity and pollution to the environment.

 

So, in the use of pesticides, agriculture adjuvant is often used. They are inactive, but can increase the utilization rate of pesticides. And silicone adjuvant is widely applied in pesticides among all the agriculture additives for better effect. What would be the feature of pesticides mixed with silicone adjuvant?The excellent wetting ability of silicone adjuvant enable the liquid pesticide to spread fast on the surface of leave, strengthen the adhesion of the liquid pesticide, improve the utilization rate of the pesticide, lessen the loss of the liquid pesticide, and stop the pesticide from infiltrating the earth and leading to water pollution.

 

The application of Silicone Adjuvant in pesticides

 

In the 20th century, silicone surfactants are started to use as pesticide, and in the 1980s, the commercial promotion in agriculture industry began. In 1985, Monsanto New Zealand was the first in launching silicone surface agent L-77 ( Silwet M) . Extensive indoor chemical tests and field trials are made.

 

There are more than 5000 types and more than 10000 brands of silicone products in the market. The total global sales amount of silicone products is around 12 billion euro and the sales amount of Dow Corning has accounted for one third of the total amount. The second company is Momentive, which is also the top in the agriculture field. Silicone has many different properties such as good electrical property, good weather resistance, excellent air permeability, safety in touch with people, and low surface tension(which is related with agriculture industry).

 

Silicone surfactant has different types, and the most applied types are Polyether silicone oil, emulsified methyl silicone oil and amino silicone oil. The main functions are used as defoamer(for paint, ink and agriculture), wetting agent(for agriculture), leveling agent(for paint), hand feel agent(for textile and leather), and dispersing agent(for the dispersion of powder in water or oil). Besides, one of the biggest market is in cosmetics area. The global market share is around 3 billion Euro.

 

The structure and property of silicone surfactant

Silicone surfactants are grouped into four categories: cationic, anionic, nonionic and zwitterionic.  The hydrophilic part of silicone surfactant is various ionic groups or polyoxyalkylene ethers and the hydrophobic part of the silicone surfactant is polysiloxane. If classified according to their structure, organosilicon surfactants can have hydrophilic group on both ends or on side chain as well as block copolymer structure.The structure of non-ionic silicone surfactants is grouped into type A and type B, type A side chain is composed of polyoxyalkylene ether, and type B end group is polyoxyalkylene ether;

structure

 

The main function of silicone surfactant applied in agriculture area is for wetting and defoaming. The most popular function at present is wetting. The adding of silicone adjuvant in agriculture is very effective with low dosage. Generally speaking, 0.1% can have a good wetting ability. And 0.02% can achieve good effect. Organic fluorine has lower surface tension, but its wetting ability may not be as good as silicone product. There are various types of silicone surfactants, but those applied in agriculture area is limited. Its application in agriculture industry is not so long, but the effects are very obvious. Like around 10 years ago, Momentive has cooperated with agriculture department, which have promoted the development and application of silicone adjuvant in agriculture area.

Comparing with non-silicone surfactant, the obvious feature of silicone surfactants is low surface tension, high temperature resistance and good microbial resistance. The surface tension of non silicone surfactant is over 30mn/m, and the surface tension of silicone surfactant is 20mn/m. with the lower surface tension, the contact angle of water solution and solid surface will also be lower.

The surface tension of surfactant solution

Types of surfactant Mass fraction in water/% Surface tension(25℃)/mN.m-1
Alkyl polyoxyethylene ether(TX-10) 0.1 31.6
Alkyl polyoxyethylene ether(EO=4) 0.1 34.1
Sodium dodecyl sulfate 0.1 41.7
Non-ionic silicone surfactant 0.1 20.0
Ionic silicone surfactant 0.1 21.3

 

With the lower surface tension of silicone surfactant, the contact angle of hydrophobic surface is smaller. So, the wetting speed on the hydrophobic surface(like PU film) is faster and the wetting diameter is bigger.

The wetting speed and wetting diameter of surface surfactant on PU film

Surfactant types Wetting Speed Wetting Diameter/mm
Without surfactant 1 1.0
OP-10 2.6 3.0
Silicone surfactant 1 6.4 23
Silicone surfactant 2 7.8 32
Silicone surfactant3 12.6 40

 

The function of silicone adjuvant in agriculture pesticides

Pesticides are the necessary chemicals used in the growing process of crops, vegetables and fruits. They are applied to kill various germs, pests, and weeds. The reason is that most pesticides (including herbicides) are soluble in oil but not soluble in water; therefore before using them, pesticides need to be emulsified into an oil-in-water emulsion. Later water also need to be added to dilute them into very low concentration. The diluted emulsion will be sprayed onto the leaves, stalks and stems of crops, fruits, vegetables as well as weeds to inhibit or kill the growth of various germs, pests, and weeds. Generally, the surface tension of the aqueous solution with other surfactant is above 30 mN/m; but the surface tension of the aqueous solution of silicone surfactant is mostly around 20 mN/m. The surface tension of aqueous solution is related with its wetting ability and wetting speed on the solid surface. The lower the surface tension, the faster the wetting on the solid surface and the larger of the wetting area. On the surface of leaves and stems, there is a thin hydrophobic wax film. When the leaves and stems are sprayed with pesticide emulsion with normal surfactants, the spreading area is small and the wetting speed is slow. Because of the capillary effect, the pesticides cannot penetrate into many small pores. And those pests can still survive where it is not wetted by pesticides. The situation is similar on herbcides as the weeds cannot be removed if herbicides cannot penetrate into the pores of the weeds. If the herbicide formulation can be added with a small amount of organic silicone adjuvant, the using amount of of herbicide can be lessened to one third. As with the very low surface tension of silicone surfactants, the pesticide emulsion can have rapid wetting and penetrating into every small part of the leaves, stalks and stems of plants. And the effectiveness  of the pesticides can be strengthened and the effect of time can be prolonged.

The effect of herbicides added with silicone adjuvant on weeds control rate(%)

Without use of herbcides 0
Herbcides+normal surfactant 40
Herbcides +silicone adjuvant 1 80
Herbcides +silicone adjuvant 2 76
Herbcides +silicone adjuvant 3 81

From the data, it can be seen that the control rate on weeds has been improved by 100% comparing with silicone adjuvant and non silicone adjuvant.

 

Adding silicone surfactants into Avermectin pesticides, the initial lethality of red spider mites can be 100% and some can still reach 65% after 21 days

The effect of silicone surfactant on lethality on red spider mites

Types Start 7days 14 days 21days
+Water 10 5 0 0
Pesticides(0.12g/L))+non silicone surfactant 100 85 55 45
Pesticides+ silicone surfactant 100 80 95 65

 

The use of silicone adjuvant in pesticides and herbcides is very significant with its low surface tension. With the lower surface tension, the contact angle with the hydrophobic solid surface is smaller, and the wetting speed is faster, and the wetting diameter is large. Thus, the amount of herbicides can be decreased by more than one-third but with the same control rate of weeds. Also the amount of pesticides can be reduced, as well as get better killing effect on pests and longer function time.

 

Silicone adjuvant can greatly improve the spreading force and adhesion of the liquid pesticide on the surface of plants or pests, increase the utilization rate of pesticides, speed up the pests’ absorption of pesticides, and get a better insecticidal effect, thereby reducing the amount of pesticide spray.Silicone adjuvants can promote the penetration of systemic pesticide liquid through stomata, and strengthen the resistance to rain erosion. Further spray is not needed after rain.Silicone adjuvant can also reduce the using amount of pesticide and water, lower down pesticide pollution, and decrease pesticide residues. It can be used together with fungicides, insecticides, and plant growth regulators.

 

Top Global company in Silicone Agriculture Adjuvant

Momentive is the top 2nd company in silicone field, and its shanghai based agriculture department has set up agrochemical laboratories for indoor biological activity determination and formulation development. Its agriculture silicon adjuvant products are applied in agricultural fields in large scale such as pesticides,plant growth regulators, foliar fertilizers, etc., and the effects are very outstanding. Momentive’s Silwet series of agricultural synergists have good market reputation around the world. The Silwet series can be used in field sprays, as well as be added into pesticide formulations. Its performance in improving pesticide effect, lessening water consumption, reducing labor intensity, and saving average costs is very significant. Silwet 408, Silwet L77 and Silwet 618 are the popular types in the agriculture markets.

 

What should be the using amount of silicone adjuvant in agriculture products?

Silicone adjuvants are very efficient and eco friendly non-ionic surfactants. Its application in agriculture industry has changed the pesticide formulations and application techniques greatly. Because of its good wettability, permeability, expandability , good compatibility, foaming, foam suppression and foam stabilization, it can improve the utilization and application effect on a significant scale, as well as decrease the using amount of pesticides by 30%-50 %.

 

Although silicone adjuvant has significant effect in the use with pesticides, attention should be paid in its use to ensure a better function. While use silicone adjuvants together with pesticides, the concentration and the dosage should be strictly controlled. The recommended concentration of silicone adjuvants mixed with different kinds of pesticides is: herbicide 0.025%-0.15%, fungicide 0.015%-0.05%, insecticide 0.025%-0.1%, and plant growth regulator 0.025%-0.05%. The using amount together with powerful insecticides or herbicides should be decreased to prevent phytotoxicity.

 

With the development of silicone adjuvant products from different companies, farmers will have more choices to choose the top quality silicone adjuvant to improve the out yield of their crop products with less cost.

agriculture pesticide

What is Agriculture Adjuvants for Plants?

Agriculture adjuvants are one member in the pesticide products. It is used together with pesticides in certain conditions and improves the effects of pesticides. When mixed with pesticides raw materials in the production process or mixed with pesticides, these substances can improve the physical and chemical properties, improve the pesticide effects and become easy to use. They are grouped as pesticide additives or agriculture adjuvants. In general, pesticide adjuvants have no biological activity, but the selection of agriculture adjuvants will impact much on the efficiency of pesticide formulations.

The smooth surfaces of many fungi, plants, and insects make the penetration of pesticide spray solution not easy. To solve this, adjuvants have been used together with pesticide solutions. Adjuvants can help improve the function of pesticides if used suitably. Adjuvants can be any additive that is added to a spray tank that strengthens pesticide performance. For example, adjuvants can be spread stickers, surfactants, buttering agents, crop oils, compatibility agents, and anti-foaming materials. Surfactants are adjuvants that stimulate the dispersing, emulsifying, dispersing, wetting or spreading of the pesticide solution on the plants. Most pesticides need to be used together with adjuvant. If adjuvants are not added to insecticides herbicides or fungicides, pest control can only be reached less than 50%. Adjuvants can help improve the efficiency of pesticides and the right use of adjuvants on plants is very critical.

 

The types of agriculture adjuvant

 

There are various types of agriculture adjuvants. According to statistics, there are over 3000 types of agriculture adjuvants all over the world and 200 types of them are used often. The agriculture adjuvant can be grouped by using the method, function, surface activity, structure, molecular size, etc.

Different agriculture adjuvant

(Diagram 1) Different Agriculture Adjuvant

 

1. Sorted by Function

The agriculture adjuvants added in the production process of pesticides are called formulation additives. As formulation additives, agriculture adjuvants are added to pesticide formulation in the production process, and this can meet the requirement of physical and chemical stability of pesticide formulation as well as meet the requirement of commercial performance. As per the function and effect in the formulation, the adjuvants can be grouped into a diluent, solvent, dispersant, wetting agent, filler and/or carrier, emulsifier, spreading agent, penetrant, controlled release agent, Defoamer, warning pigment, dustproof agent, stabilizer, foaming agent, thickener and thixotropic agent, etc.

When the agriculture adjuvants are mixed with the finished pesticides products, they are called pray additives or tank-mix additives: spray additives refer to additives that are added to pesticide spray directly and this can help improve the utilization rate of pesticides, the performance of pesticide spray, as well as the control effect of plant diseases.  There are agriculture adjuvants with properties such as absorption promotion, sedimentation promotion, anti-drift, anti-evaporation, and rain wash resistance, as well as synergists, water quality regulators, and phytotoxicity-reducing agents. The most regular additives are mineral oil-based and vegetable oil-based synergists or silicon adjuvants, surfactants, liquid fertilizers, and polymer additives that help increase the rain wash resistance, wetting, and spreading of pesticides.

 

2. Sorted by whether it has surface activity

Since most pesticides cannot be soluble in water, different types of surfactants are added to pesticides to meet the water dispersibility and process performance requirement. Thus, agriculture adjuvants are divided into two categories: surfactants (natural or synthetic) and non-surfactants.

Surfactants can be divided into ionic surfactants and nonionic surfactants according to the structure of hydrophilic groups. Ionic surfactant molecules can ionize in water and get positively charged, negatively charged, or both positively and negatively charged ions. Positively charged ions are called cationic surfactants. And its main types are quaternary ammonium salt-type surfactants and amine salt-type surfactants. Negatively charged ions are called anionic surfactants. Its main types are sulfonates, higher fatty acid salts, phosphate, etc.

Ions with both negative and positive charges are called amphoteric surfactants. Betaine-type Amino acid type, and imidazoline type, amine oxide surfactants are the main types. Non-ionic surfactant molecules cannot ionize in water and are neutral in electrical. The main types are polyethylene glycol type and polyol type.

Non-surfactant agriculture adjuvants mainly refer to the inert substances that are added into pesticide formulation, such as fillers, solvents, and other substances which can improve the physical and chemical properties or stability of the pesticide formulation. Nonsurfactant agriculture adjuvants include fillers, carriers, fillers, or adsorbents like kaolin, white carbon black, inorganic salts, clay, urea, sawdust, starch, etc.; solvents and co-solvents such as ethers, alcohols, vegetable oils or hydrocarbons; PH regulators such as sodium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, and citric acid; Warning pigments such as rose essence, brilliant blue, and acid red.

 

3. Sorted by molecular weight

Surfactants can be grouped into two types: polymer type and ordinary type as per molecular weight. Ordinary surfactants have a molecular weight from several hundred to several thousand. Polymer-type surfactants have a molecular weight from several thousand to several tens of thousands. Polymer-type surfactants can be grouped into three categories: synthetic, semi-synthetic, natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic as per their sources. Synthetic polymers have types like polyvinylpyrrolidone, acrylic polymers, polyvinyl ether, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polyacrylamide, etc. Semi-synthetic surfactants include carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), and cationic starch; Natural polymer surfactants are mainly pectin, starch, protein, and alginic acid (sodium), etc.

How do agriculture adjuvants work for plants?

By understanding how water works, we can know better how agriculture adjuvants work. The molecule of water is bipolar, and it has a positive charge and a negative charge. The negative charge and positive charge will attract each other like a magnet.

Compared with the internal water molecules, the surface molecular of water is more attracted together. This cohesion leads to surface tension and makes the substance resistant to tensile force. And surface tension will prevent things from getting wet. But the agriculture adjuvants or surfactants can break the surface tension. The surface tension is reduced by agriculture adjuvants from two aspects. The first is to increase the unbalancing of surface molecules, and the second is to decrease the attraction among surface molecules, thus the tightness of the surface is reduced.

surface tension broken

(Diagram 2) Surface tension is broken by surfactant molecule

The agriculture adjuvants molecule help reduce the surface tension and make pesticides more spread on the plant surface and reach the target. When different substances get in contact with water molecules, different results will happen. If the two substances are different in charge, the two forces will hold together with each other. If the two substances are the same in charge, the two forces will repel. If the two substances don’t have a charge, nothing will happen. Due to the surface tension, water will drop on most surfaces of plants. But this surface tension can be adjusted by the agriculture adjuvants of pesticides.

When the pesticide solution with agriculture adjuvant has lower surface tension, the pesticide will have better spread on the leaves and the effect of pesticides will be improved. Meanwhile, it can decrease the using number of pesticides, reduce the effect of pesticides on the environment, and bring benefits to the agriculture industry. But the pesticides are very special, so it should be careful in choosing the agricultural adjuvants.  The synergistic effect of agriculture adjuvants on pesticides is a show of its effectiveness on target organisms. Agriculture can help the distribution and cohesion of pesticides on the surface of organisms better. It can also strengthen the absorption of pesticides by organisms of plants, and thereby improve the biological activity of pesticides

Different agriculture adjuvants have their function. Some adjuvants help in diluting the original pesticide; some help in preventing the beads from gathering and becoming larger; some can improve the wetting, adhesion, and penetrating of the particles. In summary, the main function of agriculture adjuvants is to improve the chemical and physical properties of pesticides and to maximize their effects with the safe application. Agriculture adjuvants are developed along with the development of pesticides. More types and series of agriculture adjuvants are innovated to meet the requirements of different pesticide products. Professional formulation and processing technique is also developed to meet the farmers’ requirements.

Which brands of agriculture adjuvants are popular in the market for plants?

Among different agriculture adjuvants, wetting adjuvants are one of the popular types that are used together with pesticides. Agriculture wetting agents can make insoluble pesticides diluted in water and make them have the wetting ability. It can help decrease the surface tension of water and make the substrate wet. And the pesticide with wetting adjuvants can be well spread on the surface of insects, crops, and weeds. Thus, the removal effect can be improved, and fewer pesticides can be used.

wetting agent with different effects

(Diagram 3) A wetting agent with different effects

Following are some popular wetting adjuvant types and their brand names

1. Pull open powder BX

This wetting agent is an old well-known brand. It is one type of sodium salt of butyl naphthalene sulfonate. Its water solubility is good and has very less bubbles. But the problem is that the original powder of BX is very difficult to get and the sold products are not original mostly. Also, the price varies due to the different content of BX. The Nepal BX Dry sold by BASF is one of the open powder series, which has good effects as well as a higher cost.

2.K12, K14 (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

K12, and K14 isotherm common wetting adjuvants. It has a very good effect and is white.  But when it is exposed to acid, it is easy to decompose. And there will be bubbles occur which are not easy to eliminate. And its cost is also low among the wetting adjuvants.

3.Akzo Nobel’s Morwet EFW

Akzo Nobel’s Morwet EFW is one type of wetting adjuvant with excellent performance. It is a mixture of an anionic wetting agent and alkyl naphthalene sulfonate. The typical property is that it has excellent water solubility as well as very low bubbles. In WDG, Morwet EFW is a good combination with dispersant D-425 for dispersing and wetting.

4. Rhodia’s Global BC/10

Rhodia’s wetting adjuvant is a liquid type of wetting agent and it works very well in the pesticide formulation.

5. Hanmok’s W-2001

Beijing Hanmok’s wetting adjuvant is fine for wax particles. Its solubility in water is normal but its cost is also not very high. WDG is a good combination with dispersants D-1001 and D-1002 for dispersing and wetting.

6.Momentive Silwet 408

Momentive Silwet 408 is used on large scale together with the pesticide in the spray. The wetting ability is a very excellent and reasonable cost. Similar silicone adjuvant from China also performs well and at better prices.

 

Benefits of agriculture adjuvants for plants

Some types of pesticides must be used together with supporting additives to ensure their effects. For example, dicamba and glyphosate must be used along with designated supporting agriculture adjuvant.

The application of appropriate agriculture adjuvants can improve the effects greatly. For example, if the insecticide malathion spray is added with the pesticide spreading agent Triton CST (0.1% concentration), and the effect of killing black beetles in 72 hours can reach 83-93% (but in single-uses of malathion, it can only reach 6%.

Supporting adjuvants need to meet the special requirements of certain application technologies, which can make them effective in the application. For example, ultra-low volume spray technology has requirements for diluents or formulation carriers or phytotoxicity reducing agents; the foaming spray method has special requirements for foam stabilizers or foaming agents; electrostatic spray technology has requirements not only for ultra-low capacity but also needs special antistatic agent system.

To keep safety, different agriculture adjuvants are needed in some pesticide applications. For example, the anti-drift agent can prevent neighboring sensitive crops, animals, and humans from poisoning by pesticide drifting. The addition of warning colors can also help warn people to keep away from poisoning or accidental ingestion. The herbicide is very active, but its selectivity is not sufficient. To protect the crop from phytotoxicity, herbicide needs to be used together with safe additives. The wetting agent is helping to improve the effects of pesticides, with a better spreading and penetration of pesticides on the surface of different plants and crops. Different kinds of agriculture also help the agriculture industry get a better environment for nearby plants, animals, and humans, especially the green agriculture adjuvants developed along with technological improvement.