Removing silicone

Silicones (polysiloxanpolymers) are generally resistant to almost all solvents. Furthermore, the have a very low surface energy. Thus, they are very well capable of wetting almost all surfaces excellently while not being wetted themselves by most liquids. For this reason, they are very widely used as separating agents and lubricants. Problems occur when it comes to painting, coating or gluing substrates which had been in contact with silicones. Surfactants are used to remove silicones. However, they rarely achieve a completely clean surface. Often, plasma cleaning is required to remove all traces of silicones. In particular by cleaning in an oxygen plasma, the silicone polymers can be transformed into monomers or short-chain polymers which can then be extracted via the vacuum pump.

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