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Dow Corning Materials Give New Life to Historical Building Facades

Published on 2009-05-05. Author : SpecialChem

MIDLAND, Mich.-- Silicone sealants and coatings from Dow Corning are working behind the scenes to help construction engineers combat and repair weather damage to large, stately building facades. Silicone sealants and coatings are used to repair failed weatherseals and revitalize a building's appearance, ensuring durable, leak-proof structures that are UV-stable and remain virtually unaffected by extreme weather conditions.

"Our region has numerous monumental buildings with beautiful facades, but many of them now have hair-line cracks and failed joints that are further damaged by high humidity, extreme temperatures and monsoons," said John Church, Dow Corning Construction Americas Manager. "Silicone sealants are able to protect the region's historic buildings and architecture because of their excellent weathering properties and resistance to sunlight, rain, snow, and temperature extremes," added Church.

Restoring, renovating and adapting historic buildings and landmarks to current and future needs present challenges for workers who must maintain the underlying structure of these buildings. The use of silicone products provides a long term solution by preventing water, air, and contaminants from entering the structure. Failure to properly seal structures can result in premature life, internal damage, and deteriorated aesthetics.

Dow Corning's expertise has been used to protect world famous U.S. landmarks, including:

-- Statue of Liberty - New York, USA

After enduring punishing, wind-driven salt water for 100 years the penny-thin copper-skinned Statue of Liberty was not only showing its age, but was leaking. To restore the landmark and prepare it for future generations, historical architects selected Dow Corning silicone sealants for its superior adhesion capabilities to copper, flexibility in extreme weather conditions, long life, and compatibility with residual coal tarthe original sealant used when the statue was erected in 1886.

-- Mount Rushmore - South Dakota, USA

For nearly its first 50 years, Mount Rushmore received annual facelifts from maintenance personnel who filled cracks of varying sizes with a patching compound of granite dust, white lead, and linseed oil. But because the cracks returned as soon as the linseed oil dried out, the National Park Service switched to high performance Dow Corning silicone sealants in the early 1990s. This was in part due to their long-lasting performance, watertight bond to granite joints, as well as its ease of application in temperature extremes.

-- Washington National Cathedral - Washington, D.C., USA

The sixth-largest cathedral in the world and second-largest in the United States, Washington National Cathedral is a solid masonry structure built from high-grade limestone blocks that average 300 pounds. Because construction took 83 years, parts of the cathedral were already being renovated even before construction was completed in 1990. As part of the ongoing renovation/preservation efforts, deteriorating mortar is replaced with silicone sealants from Dow Corning. About Dow Corning

Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning(R) and XIAMETER(R) brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.

About Dow Corning Construction

For more than 60 years, architects, building consultants, contractors and construction material providers around the world have turned to Dow Corning for its expertise and its silicon-based, performance-enhancing materials and additives for glazing, sealing and weatherproofing new and existing construction projects.

Source: Dow Corning


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