Greener Business for Manufacturing with Silicones

Table of Contents

Are you looking to achieve completely sustainable manufacturing? In this article we explore how you can create a greener business through utilising the unique technology of silicone.

renewable energy sources illustration
(Image: Smart Energy)

Why Are Greener Businesses Important?

The UK government has committed to being carbon-neutral by 2050, as part of a plan to tackle climate change. Carbon neutrality means zero greenhouse gases would be emitted from manufacturing, transportation, housing, and farming processes. This means that British manufacturers have 30 years to become fully emission-free, if they are to keep up with current legislation. Although certain industries may struggle to meet this demand, the focus towards sustainable manufacturing is essential for creating opportunities for future generations.

The main way to achieve greener business and sustainable manufacturing is through using 100% renewable energy sources for all processes. Since that is not an immediate option for many businesses, it can be worked towards by increasing efficiency and reducing waste. Other approaches include recycling, cutting energy usage, and commuting less frequently or by greener transport options.

How Silicone Help Towards Sustainable Manufacturing

On average, silicone products generate 9 times less greenhouse gases than were emitted during the manufacturing and disposal of that product. Silicone can pave the way towards a carbon-neutral future through:

  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Increasing durability and therefore reducing lifecycle costs
  • Increasing reliability and therefore reducing frequency of maintenance
  • Reducing environmental impact
  • Reducing energy demand
  • Inspiring innovation

Silicone in Different Industries

Silicone adhesives and sealants are extremely versatile as they can be used in many different applications, ranging from wind turbines and trains to prosthetic joints and baking trays. Here we explore their uses in various industries and how they advance sustainability.

Silicons & Energy

solar panels and wind turbines which use silicone products

Silicone is used in 90% of all solar panels and help towards reducing their manufacturing and maintenance costs; tailoring the focus towards sustainable manufacturing and greener business.

Additionally, wind turbines use silicone to increase durability and strength; reduce weight; and increase efficiency through reducing friction in turbine blades by dampening vibrations. Due to silicone’s functionality in extreme temperatures, they are widely utilised for wind turbines in harsh weather conditions; allowing for a more sustainable performance in the long term. Silicone is also used in electricity power lines to increase the durability of transformers by up to 20 years. Silicone is also able to be used as insulation in buildings and electronic devices, where they reduce energy transmission and wastage.

To learn more about wind energy, read our article “Frequently Asked Questions About Wind Energy“.

Silicone & Transport

Virgin Trains East Coast Super Express Train Using Silicones

Silicones are used in the transport industry as they reduce fuel consumption and increase fuel efficiency by reducing component weight. In the manufacturing of motor parts, 86 tonnes of CO2 is saved for every tonne of CO2 emitted during the production of silicone rubber. Overall, silicone allows the automotive industry to step towards a greener business model. In the marine sector, silicones reduce the buildup of dirt and film on boats and ships; improving fuel efficiency and assisting more sustainable manufacturing in the industry. Additionally, silicones are used in airbags, ABS sensors, and lightweight doors as they ensure safety through their extreme resilience to harsh conditions such as those endured by EV Charging Stations.

Silicone & Health

medical devices with silicones

Silicone is used in the health industry to create a greener business model in the production of medical devices such as; pacemakers, prosthetics, ventilators and bandages, due to their limited environmental impact. Due to being resistant to bacterial growth, silicone is easy to sterilise and can be used in highly demanding apparatus such as respiratory tubes. Additionally, silicone is hypoallergenic and therefore don’t react with other materials. This enables the technology of medical devices to be more efficient and effective; contributing towards greater sustainability and more sustainable manufacturing.

Silicone & Technology

electronic technology

Silicone is used extensively in various electronic technologies that we interact with on a day to day basis. Smartphones, laptops, LEDs and batteries utilise silicone to improve efficiency, performance and sustainability. A prime example is Silicone LEDs, which use 90% less energy than other lighting alternatives. Furthermore, silicone enable smaller technologies to be used, which increases the connectivity and productivity of devices. Consequently, the processing power and storage capacity of smartphones are now 100 times higher than computers of 20 years ago.

Silicone is also used in battery protection thanks to their temperature controlling and heat dissipating properties. Due to the stability of silicone across extreme temperatures, they are perfect choices of materials to be used in electronics.

Silicones and Food

silicone baking moulds

Silicone is used in the food industry in the form of baking moulds, oven mitts, spatulas and food containers; amongst other things. Their heat-resistance, flexibility and bacteria-proof properties make them an ideal choice for the food sector. Additionally, their ability to remain soft and pliable enable high durability and ease-of-use in baking products. The smooth surface of silicone also allows the easy removal of food products, giving them a non-stick property. As a result of all these unique properties, the sustainability of a manufacturing business in the food industry can be greatly improved beyond what’s possible without silicone.

Our brand DOWSIL offers high performance silicone sealants with decades of proven experience in improving efficiency and sustainability. Click here to see their range of products.

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If you have a problem with industrial adhesives, sealants, or electronic protection products and require advice, you can contact our technical support service. Our team can help you to optimize your processes and applications.

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