Wacker expands silicone rubber capacities
Wacker Chemie AG announced that it will invest approximately EUR 100 million to increase its global production capacities for silicone rubber. With expansion measures at several sites, the company will gradually raise its capacities by a total of 40,000 t/y by 2021.
The company is planning expansions in the midstream production steps and downstream production. Wacker said all solid silicone rubber product groups will benefit from these measures.
In April 2018, the company already brought a new production site for silicone sealants and thermally conductive silicone compounds on stream in Jincheon, South Korea. The production of room-temperature-vulcanising silicone elastomers and liquid silicone rubbers has also started in Amtala, India, where the company manufactures silicones in a joint venture with Metroark.
For 2019, Wacker is planning further capacity enhancements for liquid silicone rubber, high- and room-temperature-vulcanising silicones and thermally conductive silicone compounds at its production sites in Burghausen, Germany, in Adrian, MI, USA, and in Zhangjiagang, China.
The company said it is currently also evaluating the option of building a plant for solid silicone rubber at its site in Charleston, TN, USA. Wacker has been producing polysilicon there since 2016. A plant for manufacturing pyrogenic silica, a filler for high consistency silicone rubber (HCR), will come on stream at this site in 2019.