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Silicones' proven innovation

A history of breakthroughs that changed our world

From the Stone Age when silica-based stones were made into tools, to moon landings and the modern use of silicone structural solutions keeping some of the world’s most prominent buildings standing, silicone has been helping make the world a better place for all.

With more than seven decades legacy as an industry-leader in silicone technology, Dow has the outstanding opportunity to combine silicone technology with its organic technologies to develop the next generation of innovation.

Silicone innovation through the centuries

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  • Glassblowing is invented by craftsmen from Sidon and Babylon between 27 BC and 14 AD.
  • During Ancient Times, Romans produced glass industrially at various locations. Silicone-based technology begins.
  • Elemental silicon is isolated during the 1800s by European Scientists.
  • Electrical insulation is the first commercially successful product using silicone in the early 1900s.
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  • Research scientists Ruth Zimmerman and Helena Corsello conducted research on Silicones with the Carnegie-Mellon research group, resulting in an industry change and the signing of a formal agreement to establish what will become Dow’s silicone franchise.
  • In our laboratories in Midland, Mich., Dr. Earl Warrick invents the first commercially viable silicone rubber.
  • SILLY PUTTY® is created, becoming one of the most successful toys.
  • A new ignition sealing compound developed by our scientists, makes high-altitude flight possible and ushers in a new age of aviation.

 

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  • Our silicone treatment for waterproofing is launched and will become the industry standard water-repellent treatment for paper and textiles.
  • Waterproof boots and shoes are developed using a silicone leather treatment.
  • We introduces the first modern silicone release coating and the foundation for a new generation of releasable tapes and labels.
  • Dr. Edwin Plueddemann develops the first commercial silicone adhesive in our laboratories.
  • Hand lotion is the first personal care product to incorporate silicones.
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  • Neil Armstrong leaves the first footprint on the moon wearing a boot made of our silicone rubber.
  • Rubber finger joints using silicone make their medical debut.
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  • The world’s first four-sided structural silicone glazing system changes the face of architecture forever.
  • Our flexible, thin-film silicone conformal coatings enable the development of smaller electronic components.
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  • The Statue of Liberty is restored using our silicone sealants.
  • Some of our newly developed silicone products prove their ability to thrive on tough performance challenges at Le Mans, France’s “Grand Prix of Endurance.”
  • 3M Corporation POST-IT® Notes are created with silicone pressure-sensitive adhesive.
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  • Our liquid silicone rubber coatings advance automotive airbag technology and improve airbag performance.
  • Our silicone technologies enable the development of two-in-one shampoos and other new classes of personal care products.
  • The face of a 10,000-year-old woman is recreated using silicone elastomers.
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  • Our silicone sealants in impact-resistant window systems help reduce injuries caused by flying glass during natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and typhoons.
  • “Intelligent” textiles are developed for impact absorption by using silicone coatings.
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  • Dow Corning Corporation becomes 100% owned by Dow – combining its silicone technology with organic technologies to develop the next generation of innovation.