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New Silicone Antifoam from Dow Corning Offers Solution for Next-Generation Automatic Dishwashing Detergents


A breakthrough in antifoam technology from Dow Corning allows automatic dishwashing detergents to be formulated with surfactants that improve cleaning performance. The new technology may also help lower energy consumption.

Dow Corning® GP 4503 Powdered Antifoam enables formulation of detergents with foaming surfactants known for their excellent cleaning, but which could not be used in automatic dishwashing applications. Under current operating conditions, the surfactants produce significant amounts of foam, which can impact the efficiency of the cleaning mechanism.

“Until now, there hasn’t been an effective way to control foam levels,” said Yan Cortes, Dow Corning Household Care global marketing manager. “Surfactants that produce excessive foam slow the rotation of spray arms and reduce cleaning and spraying efficiency. The new antifoam solves that problem.”

Dow Corning® GP 4503 Powdered Antifoam is formulated with a water-soluble carrier to limit residue on dishes and dishwasher parts. It was developed to perform in extreme conditions, especially under high pH and high agitation, which typically generate excessive foam. The new silicone antifoam provides effective foam control throughout the entire dishwashing cycle with no noticeable buildup on dishes.

The silicone antifoam is easy to incorporate into detergent tablets and powders. Free-flowing, noncaking white granules simplify mixing, and they do not collect in the matrix of the detergent structure.

Automatic dishwashing tablets are the largest and fastest growing segment among automatic dishwashing products, and consumers appreciate their convenience compared to liquids and powders. As automatic dishwashers become affordable to more consumers, the market for effective cleaning products will continue to grow.

“The availability of an adequate foam control product opens new perspectives for automatic dishwashing formulators,” said Cortes. “Products can be developed for use at lower wash temperatures, with a possible reduction in energy consumption, as well as use of milder detergent components.”

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® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated.
More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

To help manufacturers create products that clean and protect clothes, homes, and offices, Dow Corning offers a wide range of Household and Cleaning solutions. Among these are foam control products to manage, prevent, or eliminate foam that occurs during the production or consumer use of powder and liquid detergents. Automatic dishwashing detergents in powder and tablet forms benefit from Dow Corning’s specialty silicone materials for foam control, as do fabric softeners and laundry additives that help keep clothes looking new and maintain their freshness. A variety of other specialty silicones such as fluids, emulsions, resins, waxes, polyethers, aminofunctional fluids and emulsions provide formulating solutions for polishes and hard surface applications.

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