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Silanes - Strong reducing agent used in construction industry
What are silanes and how are they made?
Silanes are chemical compounds based on silicon and hydrogen. Organ silanes, which are formed by partial substitution of hydrogen atoms by organic compounds, are used for surface functionalization.
Silanes are the silicon homologues of carbon-based alkanes. They have similar physical properties, such as melting point, boiling point, and dipole moment, to the corresponding alkanes.
Silanes appear as a colorless gas and have a repellent odor.
Silanes have different applications in different industries. Since silanes are strong reducing agents, they are – amongst others – used in the construction industry. Here, silanes are added to both cement and hydrated lime-based dry mortars, to reduce water absorption.
Silane itself has only one major field of application. As a precursor to elemental silicones, it is majorly used within the semiconductor industry.
Additionally, Silane can be also used as an adhesion promoter, e.g. in paints and coatings. Moreover, silanes can change resin properties (from thermoplastics to near thermosets) as well as dispersing pigments/fillers.