Wacker-Chemie GmbH, one of the world's largest silicone producers, and several of its subsidiaries used SAE 2001 to tout a range of silicone materials and gasket materials.

The parent company, based in Munich, Germany, exhibited at SAE with a variety of other German companies. At a news conference, officials of Wacker Silicones Corp., a subsidiary based in Adrian, MI, explained how the company is adapting a variety of its silicone elastomers to provide more flexible sealing and gasketing technologies for the auto industry.

These include:

-- Formed-in-place gasketing (FIPG) materials for wet assembly, providing adhesion to both flanges.

-- Cured-in-place gasketing (CIPG) for dry assembly providing adhesion to one flange and sealing by compression.

-- Formed-in-place foamed gasketing (FIPFG) materials for dry assembly providing adhesion to one flange and sealing by compression.

-- Cured-in-place gasketing (CIPG) materials for dry assembly providing adhesion to one flange and sealing by compression.

Wacker officials say silicones are good for many under-hood applications because they can withstand continuous temperatures of + 482 F, and protect against very aggressive chemicals.

Other key materials and technologies displayed include new HTV silicon rubber grades that are more environmentally friendly and cure about 50% faster than comparable silicones that use peroxides. Wacker also displayed a range of self-adhesive liquid silicone rubber materials called the Elastosil LR series that are said to be ideal for over-molding thermoplastics and metal parts. Applications include automotive cable connectors.