Silicon-based materials have long been used in applications to provide foam control and to promote adhesion. As silicon materials readily combine with the polymers found in modern paints, manufacturers are able to blend their paints to achieve very high performance levels.
Although the idea of silicon based coatings is not new, the last decade has seen a huge number of new applications for silicon-based materials develop, as well as refinements of existing uses of silicon materials in paint.
The specific type of silicon material used in a coating affects its final characteristics. Silicon has a very flexible chemical profile, which means that a paint manufacturer can dramatically alter paint performance by using a slightly different kind of silicon-based material.
Depending on the formulation, a silicon-based paint may exhibit superior heat and abrasion resistance, resistance to oil and water, improved weathering characteristics or stain resistance. Since silicon is an inorganic compound, the material can be used to boost a paint’s performance without adding to the VOC content of the coating. When applied to concrete, masonry and tile, silicon-based paints exhibit incredible adhesion characteristics while offering a water resistant finish.
This flexibility has led to paint manufacturers turning out coating products that are fine-tuned to specific niches within the commercial painting industry. So long as the paint is properly matched to the application, silicon-based coatings can yield excellent results.