This article outlines silane chemistry and the preparation and characterization of a low-modulus SMP sealant. The article also reviews the impact of various aminosilane adhesion promoters on the sealant's shelf life, cure rate, physical properties, and dry and wet adhesion.
Oligomeric diaminosilanes, such as DYNASYLAN 1146 silane, offer multifunctionality, a low volatility and a reduced amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the formulator. An increase in elongation and a decrease in modulus of the SMP sealant are realized. Primerless adhesion generated by DYNASYLAN 1146 silane outperforms commonly used monomeric aminosilanes due to better wetting/film formation.
Construction sealants based on SMPs have been used successfully in Japan for several decades. More recently, SMP or other hybrid systems have achieved reasonable market penetration in regions such as Switzerland, Benelux, Germany and Scandinavia.
However, these hybrid sealants are becoming more widely used in all sectors, with double-digit growth rates in the sectors they are used. They are particularly useful for applications where their non-staining characteristics and excellent adhesion provide long-term use without significant changes in properties. These new hybrid sealants are expected to seriously challenge other sealant types in the future.
Silane adhesion promoters act as molecular bridges between two chemically different materials. Adhesives and sealants are based on organic polymers, while the substrates they hold together are often inorganic in nature, for example, glass, metal or concrete. Silanes improve adhesion by chemically bonding to both types of materials simultaneously, forming a molecular bridge that is strong, durable and resistant to the negative effects of moisture and temperature.
Silanes open the door to such performance benefits as:
The properties and effects of silanes are defined by their molecular structure:
The nature of the substrate surface also plays an important role in achieving good adhesion. The more chemically active sites the substrate has -- preferably hydroxyl groups -- the better the adhesion will be.
A further improvement in adhesion can be achieved by applying a silane primer prior to adhesive or sealant application.
To achieve optimal adhesion, the functionalities of the silane must be carefully matched to the type of polymer matrix used and the physical properties desired. While the exact amount of silane required for property enhancements must be determined empirically for an individual formulation, one percent (1%) based on sealant weight is a good starting point. Unlike with traditional polyurethanes, aminosilanes are typically used as adhesion promoters in SMP sealants to obtain good adhesion to various substrates.
Crosslinking occurs in the presence of ambient moisture, and the rate can be varied by adjusting the pH of the system. SMP is endcapped with methyldimethoxysilane. In the presence of moisture, the methoxy groups can be hydrolyzed to the silanols. The use of an appropriate catalyst leads to the formation of a durable siloxane network.
Silane crosslinking technology offers fast, room-temperature cure. The resulting siloxane (Si-O-Si) crosslink is very strong, imparting mechanical, chemical and weather resistance to the polymer. The final polymer can be thought of as a polyether cured through siloxane groups.
Another aspect of using an aminosilane is the intrinsic change of pH that results in fast hydrolysis and condensation reactions of the SMP. To guarantee a certain shelf life, SMP sealants are generally formulated with vinyltrimethoxysilane, DYNASYLAN VTMO, as a water scavenger.
The goal of the research reported here was to determine the effects of various silane adhesion promoters on the curing characteristics and mechanical properties of a standard SMP sealant.
ExxonMobil supplied the plasticizer selected for this study. JAYFLEX DIUP (di-iso-undecyl phthalate) is commonly used in sealants and mastics because of its permanence and product stability. In addition to increasing the service and shelf life of the product, these characteristics can reduce costs and optimize performance.
The filler -- CARBITAL 110S (specific surface area 5 m2/g; mean particle size 2.0 mm) -- is a fine, stearate-coated, ground calcium carbonate from Imerys. The crosslinking catalyst, METATIN 740 di-(n-butyl)tin bis-ketonate was supplied by Rohm and Haas. This tin compound works best as a crosslinking catalyst and is widely accepted and used to cure SMP.
The Cray Valley rheology modifier employed was CRAYVALLAC SL, a micronized amide wax. When activated, it imparts excellent dispersion, aiding both extrusion and application.
The two key concerns in producing a single-component SMP sealant are to eliminate moisture from fillers (e.g., CaCO3, TiO2) and to avoid moisture contact. Therefore, the filler was pre-dried in an air-ventilated oven at 120degC for 12 hours prior to compounding. Pre-drying may also be achieved chemically with DYNASYLAN VTMO during compounding. The moisture content may be checked by a Karl-Fischer titration and should be less than 2,000 ppm.
The simplified sealant formulation (Table 1) was used to evaluate the performance characteristics of a SMP sealant. (A "good" commercial sealant needs to be formulated with additional UV stabilizers and pigments.)
Sealants were prepared in a Molteni LABMAX using a one-liter, double planetary mixer equipped with an oil-heated-jacket mixing vessel. Typically, the plasticizer was charged at room temperature (approx. 20degC), and an equal amount of filler was added slowly with intense stirring to facilitate thorough dispersion. When the desired level of dispersion was obtained, the MS Polymer binder, two thirds of the DYNASYLAN VTMO drying agent, the rheology modifier and the rest of the filler were added. The resulting suspension was mixed and stripped under full vacuum (< 5 mm) at 90degC for 120 minutes to achieve full rheological activation and dispersion (pasty consistency). The sealant was then cooled to 50degC. In the absence of vacuum, the last third of the DYNASYLAN VTMO drying agent, the DYNASYLAN aminosilane adhesion promoter and the crosslinking catalyst were added and the mixture was stirred for an additional 30 minutes at 50degC. With all the components thoroughly mixed, the sealant was deaerated by applying vacuum (< 5 mm) for five minutes. The finished sealant was removed and packaged in cartridges.
Physical properties were evaluated using standard DIN or ASTM specifications. The sealants were filled into Teflon molds to form homogeneous test pieces of comparable thickness. The specimens were then moisture cured and conditioned at 25degC and 50% relative humidity for 14 days before mechanical-property testing. The hardness of the cured sealant samples was measured by Shore A. Shelf life at 50degC was determined for a maximum of 21 days. Tack-free times were determined by finger touch under ambient conditions.
For adhesion testing, the substrates were first wiped with either methyl ethyl ketone (aluminum, glass, concrete, wood) or methanol (PVC), then washed with detergent, rinsed with distilled water and allowed to air dry prior to preparation of the test specimens. Specimens were cured for 14 days at ambient conditions and then immersed in water for 14 days (20degC).
The new oligomeric diamino/
alkylfunctional DYNASYLAN 1146 silane has the following beneficial characteristics:
Sealants incorporating typically two parts per hundred parts resin (phr) loading of DYNASYLAN DAMO-T adhesion promoter are known to offer good adhesion to glass, aluminum and primed concrete. Increasing the loading does not improve the adhesion performance, but does change the sealant's physical properties. An increased loading of DYNASYLAN DAMO-T leads to an increase in crosslink density. A lower elongation-at-break performance and a higher modulus reflect this. Decreasing the silane concentration results in poor adhesion.
It is evident that the aminosilane adhesion promoter has a significant effect on the crosslink density of the SMP sealant. The replacement of DYNASYLAN DAMO-T with oligomeric DYNASYLAN 1146 silane results in improvements in elongation-at-break performance. Oligomeric diaminosilanes such as DYNASYLAN 1146 silane provide more-flexible crosslink sites, resulting in a more-flexible sealant.
This principle can be further extended by the use of secondary aminosilane 3-N-(n-butyl)-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane, DYNASYLAN 1189. However, the cure profile of sealants made with secondary aminosilanes is slower.
Because of its unique oligomeric structure, DYNASYLAN 1146 silane exhibits good wetting on substrates and achieves weather- and moisture-resistant bonds to substrates with difficult adhesion properties. Clearly, when added as adhesion promoter, DYNASYLAN 1146 silane represents the best choice when trying to formulate a low-modulus SMP sealant having good overall flexibility and wet-adhesion performance.
Depending on the final application, formulators need to choose the "right" silane or silane blend to achieve the desired physical characteristics of the final sealant.
The Japanese construction industry consumed around 100,000 metric tons of elastomeric sealants in the year 2000. MS Polymer sealants (45%) dominate the market followed by polyurethanes (25%) and silicones (25%).
The European sealants market has been characterized by overcapacity for some time. The problem of a severe drop in prices caused by severe competition was exacerbated by poor overall performance in the building and construction industry, which the sealants market is largely dependent on. The total European market for sealants in 2000 is estimated at around 230,000 metric tons, with a total estimated value of 1.3 billion euros. Overall growth is moderate, with growth of no more than 2% a year expected up to 2002. However, growth rates vary greatly between countries, end-use sectors and product types. Germany (30% of total consumption) is the largest market for sealants followed by France (15%). The building and construction industry accounts for 40% of the volume, followed by the glazing/double glazing (30%) and transport (20%) sectors. Silicones (40%) continue to dominate the market followed by polyurethanes (18%) and polysulfides (10%). There is a continuing decline of two-component sealant systems, especially in the construction sector, due to perceived handling difficulties.
This article is based on a presentation made at the Spring 2001 Adhesive and Sealant Council Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Additional information about DYNASYLAN silanes is available from Degussa Corp., 379 Interpace Parkway, PO Box 677, Parsippany, NJ 07054-0677; call toll-free 1-877-748-3686; visit the Web site www.sivento-silanes.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Circle No. 71.