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“We Help Innovate – With Product Know-How and Applications Support”

Coating producers always want to supply higher-performance formulations and to provide fresh impetus through regular product innovations. At the same time, the products have to comply with increasingly stricter environmental demands. How can the experts at Wacker Chemie be of assistance here? An interview with the Industrial Coatings team.

WACKER is a leading development partner and supplier for producers of industrial coatings that contain silicone resins as binders. Which raw materials do you offer your customers and what makes the WACKER product range so special?

First of all, the sheer size of our product range is exceptional. It runs from silicone resins to ethyl silicates and organofunctional silanes to siloxanes through to our silica product HDK®, which is used as a rheology modifier. We are a global supplier of silicone resins, in terms of both market share and the breadth of our product range.

What are the properties and performance benefits that make silicone resins from WACKER so compelling in practice?

It is the chemistry that makes all the difference: our SILRES® products are characterized by extremely stable molecular structures, whose inorganic silicon-oxygen chains hold the key to coatings that possess excellent properties. They make it possible, for example, to formulate heat-resistant coatings. Given the right choice of pigment and filler, such coatings can withstand temperatures of up to 650 °C.

SILRES® silicone resins can also impart outstanding weatherability to a coating – the resins are resistant to solar UV radiation and also protect against corrosion. The coating has a longer service life as a result. They can also be used to prepare high-solids formulations that contain less solvent than conventional coatings.

Not only that, but we make our silicone resins in a number of different forms that broaden the available options even further: water-borne and solvent-borne products as well as solids for powder coatings. The product range thus covers all the possible ways to apply a coating.

“We are a global supplier of silicone resins, in terms of both market share and the breadth of our product range.”

Are the broad product portfolio and the outstanding product properties WACKER’s only unique selling point in relation to industrial coatings?

Our customers want to set themselves apart from the competition by developing innovative coatings. And WACKER actively supports them in their endeavors. This support can take the form of innovative silicone raw materials. However, a faster and much more common way to get results is to use a combination of existing silicones and applications support. You see, what makes us so different and establishes our credentials as an innovation partner – aside from the broad selection of products – is our comprehensive product and applications know-how. This is backed up by a well-equipped applications laboratory where we can, for example, produce, apply and test coatings, including powder coatings.

Could you elaborate a bit more on the benefits for customers? How exactly do customers benefit from the applications support you just mentioned?

Our applications support gives makers of silicone-resin-based coatings engaged in product development access to the expertise of a silicones producer and so enables them to find the right binder more quickly. As a result, they can make substantial savings on development costs. Costs are just one aspect, however. Development times are often very much shorter as well.

It’s all about time to market: the sooner customers are able to launch a product innovation onto the market, the greater is their competitive advantage. For that reason, we don’t just offer our customers high-performance silicone resin binders – we also provide examples of how to transform them into coating formulations. Coating producers can then build on these and incorporate their own specific expertise, e.g. in terms of coloristic properties and application.

“The sooner customers are able to launch a certain product innovation onto the market, the greater is their competitive advantage. For that reason, we offer our customers not only high-performance silicone resin binders, but also examples of how to transform these into coating formulations.”

On the topic of market share: just how large is the economic development potential for silicone-based coatings?

There’s still ample potential left. At present, only about one percent of all industrial coatings around the world are formulated with silicone resins. But the demands imposed on the paints are rising across almost all application segments – and that is an excellent starting position for coating raw materials that are capable of delivering more.

From the underlying chemistry to product solutions through to applications testing – WACKER pursues an all-round approach to industrial coatings. For more information, see our PDF file: