DETROIT (March 10)—Wacker Silicones has increased its sales of liquid injectable silicone to Ford Motor Co. and is talking to several other potential customers about gaskets made from the material. Ford last year began purchasing Wacker's Elastosil brand liquid silicone to seal the oil pump on the Winstar minivan as well as the Mustang. To date, about 450,000 vehicles model years 2001-2003 are equipped with liquid injected silicone oil pump seals, said Gerald Coulter, corporate account manager for the Wacker Chemical Corp. elastomer business unit. Ford applies the gaskets at its Essex, Ontario, engine plant through an automated process it patented. The auto maker had good incentive to go to the LIS process for that particular gasket; the oil pump gaskets presented the single, largest warranty problem on that engine because of misalignment, downtime and leaks, Coulter said. Ford now is considering LIS for some of its 2005 and later model year transmission programs, Wacker said. The silicone supplier also is working on separate LIS projects with Visteon Corp., Delphi Corp., DaimlerChrysler A.G. and General Motors Corp. As part of its licensing agreement with Ford, Wacker can sublicense the injection process to customers of its liquid silicones.
Automotive interest in Wacker's liquid injectable silicone on the rise
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