Munich, Germany - Wacker Chemie AG is investing €100 million to increase its annual silicone-rubber production capacity by a total of 40 kilotonnes by 2021, Wacker announced 18 Dec.
The global programme includes expansion projects at Wacker’s production sites in Burghausen, Germany; Adrian, Michigan; and Zhangjiagang, China in 2019.
Products involved include liquid silicone rubber (LSR), high-temperature and room-temperature vulcanising (RTV) silicones and thermally conductive silicone compounds
The Munich-based company is also evaluating plans to add a solid silicone-rubber production unit at its US site in Charleston, Tennessee.
According to Wacker, the capacity increases will “significantly improve” silicone-rubber availability in market sectors, such as the automotive, electronics and medical industries.
Compounders and end-users have reported a tight supply-situation and rising prices for many silicone rubber grades throughout this year.
Wacker is starting up a manufacturing plant for pyrogenic silica, a filler used in high consistency silicone rubber (HCR) at the US site next year.
In April, the company started up a new production site for silicone sealants and thermally conductive silicone compounds in Jincheon, South Korea.
Wacker has also started the production of RTV silicones and LSRs in Amtala, India – where it manufactures silicones in a joint venture with Metroark.