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What is Silicone Surfactant

Nov 15, 2013

Surface active agents, or surfactants, are products that, at very low concentrations, markedly reduce the interfacial surface tension of liquid-gas, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces. Depending upon their behavior, at such interfaces surfactants can function as wetting agents, emulsifiers, detergents, dispersants, foaming agents, solubilizers etc. and are therefore useful in many industrial applications.

Silicone Surfactants have two distinct components in their molecular structure: a hydrophobic (water-repelling) portion and a hydrophilic (water-attracting) portion. The combination of these distinct hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts within a single molecule accounts for the reduced surface tension and the other important properties that are characteristic of this group of chemical compounds.

Traditional surfactants have carbon chains as the hydrophobic portion of the molecule. The hydrophile that is added to the carbon chain will determine the solubility and the general class of surface active agents as anionic, cationic, nonionic or amphoteric.

SILIBASE specializes in the creation of unique silicone-based surfactants, where the hydrophobic portion of the surfactant comprises a siloxane backbone. As a result, SILIBASE's silicone surfactants now mirror the wide range of existing fatty chemistry surfactants. The introduction of silicone surfactants offers the user many enhancements and unique features that are not available with traditional surfactants. By adding various organic or inorganic functional groups, which by their nature may be nonionic, anionic, cationic or amphoteric (then referred to as organo-silicone compounds) to various siloxane chains or networks, SILIBASE can offer a truly endless variety of products with unique and desirable properties. See the table on Properties and Applications for a cross-referencing of some of their functions in selected

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