The long-term stability of condensation curing silicone elastomers can be affected by many factors such as curing environment, cross-linker type and concentration, and catalyst concentration. Mechanically unstable silicone elastomers may lead to undesirable application failure or reduced lifetime. This study investigates the stability of different condensation curing silicone elastomer compositions. Elastomers are prepared via the reaction of telechelic silanol-terminated polydimethylsiloxane (HO-PDMS-OH) with trimethoxysilane-terminated polysiloxane ((MeO)3Si-PDMS-Si(OMe)3) and ethoxy-terminated octakis(dimethylsiloxy)-T8-silsesquioxane ((QMOEt)8), respectively. Two post-curing reactions are found to significantly affect both the stability of mechanical properties over time and final properties of the resulting elastomers: Namely, the condensation of dangling and/or unreacted polymer chains, and the reaction between cross-linker molecules. Findings from the stability study are then used to prepare reliable silicone elastomer coatings. Coating properties are tailored by varying the cross-linker molecular weight, type, and concentration. Finally, it is shown that, by proper choice of all three parameters, a coating with excellent scratch resistance and electrical breakdown strength can be produced even without an addition of fillers.
Bibliographical noteCopyright: © 2020 by the authors. LicenseeMDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CCBY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- Silicone elastomers
- Network structure
- Condensation curing
- Reinforcing crosslinker domains