WACKER is increasing its global production capacities for silicone rubber.
With expansion measures at several sites, WACKER plans to gradually raise its capacities by a total of 40,000 metric tons per year by 2021.
Approximately €100 million has been earmarked for this capacity expansion.
With these measures, WACKER is responding to the high demand for silicone rubber in key sectors such as the automotive, electronics and medical industries.
“Silicones are high-performance materials. They are essential for novel product solutions and belong to the innovation drivers in key industry sectors such as automotive, medical, and electronics,” said Robert Gnann, head of the WACKER SILICONES business division. “Above-average growth is being driven by the trends toward hybrid cars, electromobility and digitalization, as well as decentralized alternative electricity generation using wind and solar power.”
In April 2018, WACKER brought a new production site for silicone sealants and thermally conductive silicone compounds on stream in Jincheon, South Korea.
The production of room-temperature-vulcanizing silicone elastomers and liquid silicone rubbers has also started in Amtala, India, where WACKER manufactures silicones in a joint venture with Metroark.
For 2019, the chemical group is planning further capacity enhancements for liquid silicone rubber, high- and room-temperature- vulcanizing silicones and thermally conductive silicone compounds at its production sites in Burghausen, Germany; Adrian Michigan; and Zhangjiagang, China.
WACKER is currently also evaluating the option of building a plant for solid silicone rubber at its US-based site in Charleston, Tennessee. WACKER has been producing polysilicon there since 2016. A plant for manufacturing pyrogenic silica, an important filler for high consistency silicone rubber HCR, will come on stream at this site next year.