Petersburg chemists have created a silicone coating for ships and spacecrafts
The most important characteristic of the material is heat resistance. At room temperature, silicones usually remain in a liquid state. Catalysts — complex compounds of platinum — are added to make them solid. Use of such catalysts lead to instant solidification of silicones, but the material thus obtained has relatively low thermal stability — it is resistant to heating of up to 200 °C.
Members of St. Petersburg State University developed a new composition of catalysts based on organic compounds of metal iridium. The catalyst prevents instant solidification of silicones and the thermal stability of the resulting coating increases to 320 °C.
New silicones glow under ultraviolet light. It makes it possible to determine the thickness of the coating and add silicones where necessary.