|Mauro Gregorio, CEO & President|
|Products||Speciality chemicals, silicon derived polymers|
|Revenue||$6.12 billion (2012)|
Number of employees
Dow Corning is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Originally established as a joint venture between the Dow Chemical Company and Corning Incorporated, it is now owned by DowDuPont and specializes in silicone and silicon-based technology, and is the largest silicone product producer in the world.
Dow Corning was formally established in 1943 as a joint venture between the American conglomerates Dow Chemical and Corning Glass to explore the potential of silicone and was a manufacturer of products for use by the U.S. military in World War II. The company began operating its first plant, in Midland, MI, in 1945. Dr. E. C. Sullivan was named president, and Dr. William R. Collings was named general manager in 1943. Dr. Collings later became president from 1954 until 1962. It expanded into Canada and Europe in 1948, and into South America and Japan in 1961.
A large, majority-owned subsidiary of Dow Corning Corporation is the Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation. It is one of the world's largest producers of high-purity polycrystalline silicon, which is sold in varying purity grades for use in both semiconductor silicon wafer manufacture and photovoltaics applications as solar cells.
In 2002, the company created the Xiameter brand as an online-only distributor. As of 2011, Xiameter offers 2,100 of Dow Corning’s 7,000 products.
On November 13, 2014, Dow Chemical's CEO Andrew N. Liveris revealed in a presentation to investors that Corning Incorporated intended to exit the joint venture of 71 years, citing other priorities. Following the December 11, 2015 announcement that it would merge with DuPont, Dow also announced that it had reached a deal to acquire Corning's stake in Dow Corning in exchange for $4.8 billion in cash and Corning gaining a roughly 40% stake in Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation. Dow Chemical assumed full ownership of Dow Corning on June 1, 2016.
Dow Corning markets over 7000 products include various sealants, adhesives, rubbers, lubricants, silicon oils and solvents. Around 2,100 of these are available through the Dow Corning online-only distributor Xiameter, including fluids, gels, resins. The range of industries targeted by Dow Corning products spans from electronics and automotive to construction, healthcare and others. In recent years, the company has expanded production of solar cells, particularly through its majority stake in Hemlock, which accounts for a polysilicon franchise worth over $1 billion. In 2011, then-CTO Gregg Zank explained that the company tries to focus its product development on societal “megatrends” (e.g. energy scarcity and urbanization).
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, class-action lawsuits claimed that Dow Corning's silicone breast implants caused systemic health problems. The claims first centered on breast cancer and then migrated to a range of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and various neurological problems. This led to numerous lawsuits beginning in 1984 and culminating in a 1998 multibillion-dollar class action settlement. As a result, Dow Corning was in bankruptcy protection for nine years, ending in June 2004 during which time it largely withdrew from clinical markets.
A number of large, independent reviews of the scientific literature, including the Institute of Medicine in the United States, have subsequently found that silicone breast implants do not cause breast cancers or any identifiable systemic disease. On March 21, 2017 the FDA came out with a statement acknowledging that silicone and saline breast implant are linked to a rare form of cancer called anaplastic LaRoche cell lymphoma or (ALCL) thus far it is proven to have caused 9 deaths . These findings have caused an uptick in breast implant removal surgeries.
- Dow Corning fast facts (June 13, 2013)
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- Robert Westervelt (June 24, 2011). "Dow Corning". Chemical Week. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
Dow Corning, a 50–50 jv between Dow Chemical and Corning, is the world’s largest silicones producer and has a controlling 62.5% stake in Hemlock Semiconductor (Hemlock, MI), the world’s leading producer of polysilicon used in semiconductor and solar wafer production. ...
- "Michigan-based Dow Corning: Timeline of a global success story". Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Kaskey, Jack (13 November 2014). "Dow Says Corning Wants to Exit 71-Year-Old Venture". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
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- independent.co.uk – $2.4bn breast-implant offer, 1997-08-26
- Chronology of silicone breast implants. Frontline
- Reisch, M. (2004). "Out of the Woods". Chemical & Engineering News. 82 (15): 5. doi:10.1021/cen-v082n015.p005.
- Reisch, M. S. (1993). "Dow Corning Moving Back on Track Following Breast Implant Controversy". Chemical & Engineering News. 71 (2): 13. doi:10.1021/cen-v071n002.p013.
- Gina Kolata (June 21, 1999). "Panel Confirms No Major Illness Tied to Implants". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
An independent panel of 13 scientists convened by the Institute of Medicine at the request of Congress has concluded that silicone breast implants do not cause any major diseases.
- Colas, André; Curtis, Jim (2004). Biomaterials Science, Second Edition: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine (PDF). Elsevier, Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-582463-7.
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