Silanes refer to any molecule with a single silicon atom in the center bonded to four groups which can be either organic or inorganic. Silanes are often used as coupling agents to tie organic systems into inorganic fillers or powders such as silica. The inorganic group is usually a silanol which is to be formed from an alkoxy by hydrolysis. Genesee Polymers uses ethoxy groups as the alkoxy group. The ethoxy group presents two advantages over the methoxy group. First, the ethoxy group produces ethyl alcohol as the byproduct of hydrolysis, a much less hazardous alternative to methyl alcohol. The second advantage is the rate of hydrolysis is slowed for ethoxy functional silanes. This is useful for applications where there will be a delay between the mixing and curing steps.
Methyl / Alkoxy Silanes
Methyl / Alkoxy Silanes are useful as intermediate silanes for blocking hydroxyl and amino groups in organic synthesis reactions. This silylating step allows subsequent reactions to be carried out which would be adversely affected by the presence of active hydrogen in the hydroxyl or amine groups. Following the reaction step, hydroxyl or amine groups blocked with ethoxy functional silanes may be recovered by a hydrolysis procedure. These silanes are also used for preparing hydrophobic and release materials as well as enhancing flow of powders. GP-733 can also be useful for deactivating glass surfaces used in gas chromatographic applications. GP-49 can be used on glass surfaces to make cleaning easier.
Aminopropyl functional silanes ca be used to prepare aminopropylsiloxy functional silicone polymers. These materials are also useful as adhesion promoters in glass fiber reinforcement applications.
Epoxy functional silanes are useful as coupling agents in epoxy curing systems where fillers such as silica are used to strengthen the composite. Genesee Polymers offers one product of this type listed in the table below: