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Silanes as Cross-linking Agents for Polyethylenes: Techno Brief

Crosslinking is a type of polymerization reaction that branches out from the main molecular chain to form a network of chemical links and cross-linking agents are added to resins to enable this process. This Cross-linking Agents guide is designed to help you understand more about the use of silanes as cross-linking agents in polyethylenes, focusing on the benefits and main applications.

Better Tensile and Impact Performance with Silane

In general, Crosslinking of a polymer reduce slightly its impact performance. Silane crosslinked polyolefins are linked through a Si-O-Si moiety instead of the C-to-C bond created via peroxide or radiation cure. Siloxane bridges are less rigid than C-to-C bonds and give flexibility to the crosslinked polymer, as shown in the figure below.

Consequently, PEX crosslinked with Silane technology demonstrates superior impact resistance and tensile strength than PEX cured by peroxide or irradiation.

C-to-C bond: rigid
Si-O-Si bond: flexible
Structure of PE crosslinked
by Peroxide or Radiation
Structure of PE crosslinked
by Silane Technology

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