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May 12, 2015

Honoring legacy behind modern industrial production of silicones

WATERFORD, N.Y. (May 12, 2015) –Momentive Performance Materials Inc. (Momentive) is celebrating the invention of the process enabling the industrial production of silicones. In May of 1940, GE research chemist Eugene G. Rochow’s monumental discovery of the direct reaction process began the journey of scientific innovation that has led to the application of silicones in thousands of products that touch almost every aspect of daily life.


Today, that legacy division of GE is the thriving, diverse silicones company Momentive Performance Materials. “For 75 years, this business has proudly built on Dr. Rochow’s foundation to become a global leader in market firsts for silicone products,” said Jack Boss, President and CEO of Momentive. “From the silicone rubber soles that enabled man to walk on the moon for the first time to our cutting edge developments in the medial, aerospace, electronics and construction markets, Momentive’s history is marked by the invention of products and technologies that impact industries around the world.”

“The application of silicones is far-reaching,” said Dr. Kenrick Lewis, Corporate Research Fellow with thirty-eight years of tenure at Momentive. “Silicon-containing compounds (silanes and silicones) are present in, or used to process, a wide variety of industrial, medical and consumer products that satisfy basic human needs in modern society. For example, most fabrics are washed with silicone emulsions to improve softness. The food dispensing valve in the cover of some tomato ketchup bottles is a silicone elastomer. Other examples are body lotions, antiperspirants, hair shampoos and conditioners, catheters, plastic grocery bags, polyurethane foams, paints, consumer electronics and automobile tires.” Dr. Lewis recently received the 2015 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Westchester Chemical Society for his significant contributions to the understanding of the synthesis and performance of silicones.

In addition to silicones, Momentive is also an industry leading manufacturer of silanes and urethane additives.

Image:Dr. Eugene Rochow at workbench in the GE Research Laboratory


About the Company

Momentive Performance Materials Inc. is a global leader in silicones and advanced materials, with a 75-year heritage of being first to market with performance applications for major industries that support and improve everyday life. The Company delivers science-based solutions by linking custom technology platforms to opportunities for customers. Momentive Performance Materials Inc. is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of MPM Holdings Inc. Additional information about Momentive and its products is available at www.momentive.com.


Media Contact:
Ashley Conger


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