Wacker Chemie AG


The Fascination of Chemistry

WACKER'S AUDIO MAGAZINE

Once a month, our "Fascination of Chemistry" podcast shows you how chemistry ensures perfectly functioning products in all areas of life.

Chewing gum and chewy candy used to be two different worlds. Now, as part of the “Candy to Gum” project, WACKER is launching CAPIVA® C03, a ready-to-use compound for candy manufacturers. It allows manufacturers to offer a new candy treat that behaves like chewy candy in the mouth at first, but after a while an aromatic gum base provides a longer lasting sensation.

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Food

Mangoes are sensitive. At least a fifth of them spoil before they reach consumers in Europe or the US. That’s why the Dutch company Liquidseal has developed a protective coating for such fruit. A VAE dispersion is sprayed on the mangoes immediately after they’ve been picked. This soon dries to form an ultrathin film that prevents the fruit from spoiling so quickly.

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Food

Graffiti and stickers are a real headache for municipalities and railway operators. WACKER has now developed the first silicone-based product that protects bridges, underpasses and utility boxes from this kind of damage for a long time to come. Tests under real-life circumstances have shown that tough times are ahead for these wannabe artists.

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Coatings & Paints

The Lascaux Cave - this richly painted World Heritage Site - is threatened with destruction due to visitors. For display in a new museum, the cave was therefore faithfully copied by a French company and painted by artists true to the Stone Age original. ELASTOSIL® M silicone from WACKER was used to make the molds.

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Elastomers & Plastics

Crude oil is a finite resource. This is one of the reasons why the chemical industry is looking for new raw materials. Plastics can also be manufactured from plants, for example. However, these only become attractive when additives from WACKER’s VINNEX® product range are added. Only then are the properties of bioplastics as good as those of crude-oil-based materials. Processing problems can also be solved thanks to these additives.

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Elastomers & Plastics Sustainability

They actually don’t like each other: wood is polar, while polymers such as polypropylene are non-polar. In order to process them into a homogeneous composite, they need a matchmaker: GENIOPLAST® from WACKER. Wood plastic composites are used to make interior trim for cars, for example. And Pinuform uses them to produce durable, easy-care decking boards, among other things.

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Composites

Fork lift trucks in the industrial warehouse, hospital beds in patient wards – these have a considerable effect on concrete floors. In addition to mechanical stress, over time the accumulating dirt also becomes a problem. WACKER now has a solution to both of these issues: the PRIMIS® SAF 9000 series, aqueous acrylate-based dispersions. They make flooring more resilient and dirt repellent and are also ideal additives to make washable wall paints.

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Coatings & Paints

When you step out of the shower in the morning, you want to wrap yourself in a towel that is comfortably soft and that dries you off quickly. Treating the fabric with a new WACKER auxiliary is what makes that possible. When developing this product, researchers had to combine two conflicting requirements in a single product: while silicone fluids may make a fabric soft and fluffy, they are also water repellent. Listen to the solution that the developers came up with.

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Life Science Textiles, Leather & Nonwovens

Sand, cement and water: for a long time, that was all that a mortar needed. But expectations are rising. As a result, polymeric binders are now added to the dry-mix mortar blends used in many applications.These binders include VINNAPAS®, a dispersible polymer powder from WACKER. VINNAPAS® makes mortar more pliable yet stronger, so that construction workers do not have to use as much of it – a welcome development, especially in places where construction is booming. Like India.

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Construction

Cream fillings without unhealthy solid fats? Or baked goods with a reduced egg content? That’s possible. Thanks to cyclodextrins from WACKER. They have excellent emulsifying properties, stabilize sugar foam and creams, and can replace hardened fats. This makes them beneficial for a slim figure and cholesterol levels – and all that entirely without animal constituents, as cyclodextrins are derived from corn starch. With this synergy between biotechnology and chemistry, WACKER supports innovative small businesses in the food industry.

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Food

Aluminum composite panels can increasingly be found on building exteriors. In order to keep the thermoplastics used here from compromising the fire safety, manufacturers incorporate fire-retardant fillers.Developed by WACKER, GENIOPLAST® Pellet S is a silicone additive that is suitable for a diverse range of thermoplastic polymer blends. It makes such flame-resistant blends easier to manufacture, even when added at a concentration of only one percent.

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Elastomers & Plastics Electrics & Electronics Construction Composites

Everywhere, people want to be beautiful, but Brazil, in particular, is the third-largest market for beauty products worldwide. WACKER presented a new ingredient for the cosmetics and personal-care industries there – nature-identical hydroxytyrosol, or HTEssence®. This is a highly effective antioxidant that can help to maintain the beauty of skin and hair for longer.

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Life Science Health

Everybody is familiar with functional clothing for sports nowadays. However, future clothing will be able to do much more: smart textiles will be able to notify us if we’re moving the wrong way or point out how we can exercise even more efficiently. Sensors that are designed with the aid of WACKER’s ELASTOSIL® Film make this possible.

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Electrics & Electronics Textiles, Leather & Nonwovens

Whether jam jars or fabric-softener bottles – countless everyday products bear labels. They are not applied by hand, of course, but with labeling machines. These can manage up to 18,000 labels in an hour. For this to work at such rapid speeds, WACKER has developed DEHESIVE® SFX silicone coatings. They ensure that the label reliably bonds to the backing material, but easily peels off when needed.

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Elastomers & Plastics Adhesives & Sealants

Wood is one of the oldest building materials known to humans – and remains very popular to this day. A coating is used to provide wood with long-term protection against weathering. With SILRES® WH, WACKER has developed a wood preservative which is perfectly suited to this role. SILRES® WH is a silicone resin which covers the surface of the wood with a flexible, elastic film. This means that no moisture can penetrate the wood, even after years of exposure to sunlight and rain.

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Coatings & Paints Construction

Bonding has several advantages over clamping, riveting, and screwing. Whether in a car or on a patio: bonds need to be flexible, but at the same time resistant to tearing or shearing. GENIOSIL® XT - a new product range which does not require organotin catalysts or the addition of solvents - helps to meet these requirements.

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Coatings & Paints Construction

Gypsum construction elements and materials have many advantages: they are environmentally friendly to manufacture and can be rapidly and inexpensively processed. But, when used in damp locations, gypsum must be made water repellent.
In SILRES® BS Powder S, WACKER now has an active substance which achieves this water repellency more efficiently and reliably than those previously used.

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Coatings & Paints Construction Sustainability

Fabric softeners not only make laundry super soft but also make ironing easier. Fabric softeners are designed to make textiles more comfortable and give them a fresh smell. Modern silicone fluid emulsions from WACKER can do much more.

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Textiles, Leather & Nonwovens

Automotive interiors are expected to have an attractive, high-quality finish. The interiors of lower-priced and smaller car models often feature talc-filled polypropylene rather than high-end foamed plastics. WACKER has developed GENIOPLAST® Pellet S, an additive that stops plastic surfaces from looking scratched and worn even after years of use.

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Automotive & Transport Electrics & Electronics Adhesives & Sealants

Hydroxytyrosol is an olive-based active ingredient intended to prevent a great many diseases, boost the immune system and inhibit inflammatory processes. It is therefore used in skin creams and functional foods. WACKER has now found a way to make this active ingredient synthetically. Manufacturers are thus less dependent on the availability of olives and can use the substance in a highly pure form.

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Food Life Science Health

A combination of high resolution and bright colors is an essential feature of state-of-the art displays. But these displays have a weakness: they are almost completely unreadable in sunlight. In collaboration with VIA optronics – a supplier of enhanced displays – WACKER has developed a silicone gel which, when combined with a special production technology, ensures that displays are perfectly with hardly any reflections, no matter how strong the background light.

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Life Science Electrics & Electronics

The “Smart Grid” is the power network of the future. Each part of this grid always knows exactly what the other parts are doing. Silicone composite hollow-core insulators fitted with integrated measuring instruments are one possible component of this grid. As a result, you get lower installation and maintenance costs, fewer malfunctions and, consequently, a more reliable power supply.

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Electrics & Electronics

The Ironman is one of the greatest sporting challenges in the world: contestants swim 4 kilometers, cycle 180 kilometers and then run 42 kilometers (i.e. a marathon). This event puts an athlete’s entire body under enormous strain. Irritated or damaged skin is unavoidable, but help is on hand with WACKER’s wafer-thin SILPURAN brand silicone film.

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Health

Wave power plants might be able to produce more energy than people currently consume. One of the biggest problems facing such wave parks is that they must be made of materials that can withstand huge forces during storms – and only a very few materials can do so. WACKER’s ultrathin ELASTOSIL® silicone film is an ideal candidate here. This film is being tested in an experimental-scale plant – and offers enormous potential.

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Energy Elastomers & Plastics Sustainability

Everyone is familiar with the smell of new carpeting. That might soon change, thanks to a new process based on VINNAPAS brand VAE dispersions. This process is more stable than previous ones and produces higher quality. What is more: carpets made with these dispersions release hardly any volatile substances – which means the carpeting is odorless.

WACKER silicones are helping emerging economic powers such as India ensure their power grid is fit for the future. Silicone rubber is used to manufacture new composite insulators while traditional porcelain insulators are upgraded with silicone coatings ...

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Electrics & Electronics Distribution

On the coast of Japan the 340 kilometer long Tomei Highway is set to be relieved by a new expressway running alongside it. So that the concrete pillars remain resistant to to the sea air, grit salt and rain, the concrete is treated with hydrophobic silanes.

These days, car manufacturers are increasingly making use of supercharged engines with small cylinder capacity – all in the name of downsizing. As a result, the engine compartment becomes hotter. The interior of self-cleaning ovens can also reach such extreme temperatures. WACKER has specially manufactured heat-resistant silicone rubber grades so that valves and seals remain elastic despite the intense heat.

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Automotive & Transport Elastomers & Plastics Adhesives & Sealants

A road surface that allows rain and melt water to simply disappear? Thanks to a binder from WACKER, this brilliant idea is already put into practice. In Germany, the first autobahns may soon become safer and quieter with this concrete.

In theory, a fire could break out in any type of building. For buildings with a steel frame, a specialty coating is now available which can save lives in case of a fire. The protective layer’s sophisticated composition includes a binder from WACKER.

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Coatings & Paints Elastomers & Plastics Construction Distribution Composites

Composite hollow insulators with a silicone shield have a series of advantages over conventional porcelain insulators. These workpieces are produced via low-pressure diecasting, for which silicones from WACKER are the first choice.

Tom Rucker, a jewelry artist, spent 14 months sculpting a unique bust of Nelson Mandela in platinum wire, porcelain and black diamonds – and silicone moldmaking compounds from WACKER were also used.

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Elastomers & Plastics

Fiber-reinforced plastics are versatile materials that combine low weight with high stability. To optimize small-scale production in particular, WACKER is partnering with a US company to develop a production technology based on vacuum bags made of silicone.

The statue of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro is famous the world over – and by now over 80 years old. In order to reliably protect the reinforced concrete statue clad in soapstone against environmental influences for a further few decades, a tried-and-tested water repellent from WACKER comes into play.

In Northern Russia, extreme temperature fluctuations push people and materials to the limit. That’s why the extension of the power grid is relying on highly durable silicone elastomers from WACKER, used in bushings, for example.

Modern assembly adhesives make for extremely high-strength yet flexible bonds. WACKER’s award-winning alpha-silane technology helps manufacturers to formulate innovative adhesives without additional catalysts.

China is WACKER's most important growth market. This is reflected at the Nanjing site, where the company is investing €40 million up to 2013 in two new production plants for vinyl acetate-ethylene dispersions and polyvinyl acetate solid resins.

How does one construct a building whose form resembles flowing water? The blueprints drawn up by the renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, presented enormous material as well as engineering challenges. Special composite concretes formulated with a binder from WACKER solved these problems ...

Both animals and humans benefit from modern dairy equipment. Because of their durability and resistance to bacterial contamination, silicones from WACKER are ideal for teat cup liners ...

Wood veneers beautify a wide variety of objects, from bookshelves to car dashboards. A new adhesive dispersion from WACKER does away with additives. These can lead to unsightly discoloring of some veneer types.

Over five centuries of exposure to wind and weather has however increasingly left its mark on the garden’s rocks. To remedy the situation, the rocks have now been treated with an alkyl silicate from WACKER's SILRES® product family.

There are a billion cars on the world’s roads today, and the trend is upward. In Europe alone, traffic accounts for a fourth of carbon dioxide emissions. This is why ecological mobility strategies are becoming ever more important. Hybrid drives, which rely on numerous WACKER products, can help to reduce emissions.

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Automotive & Transport Energy Sustainability Adhesives & Sealants

Some nutritional supplements are good for our health, but their ingredients don’t really taste that good. Cyclodextrins from WACKER solve this problem: they encapsulate the health-promoting ingredient so that we can’t taste it, yet allow it to exert its positive effects on the body. Cyclodextrins also protect sensitive substances from environmental influences.

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Food Life Science Health

Whether PVC, linoleum, or carpeting, many floor coverings are bonded directly to the concrete floor of a house. The adhesive used has to fulfill a series of demands. A new, low-emission binder from WACKER’s VINNAPAS® product line is a big help.

A new technology for the composite dispersions in the VINNAPAS® product range combine the advantages of organic and inorganic substances. This allows the plaster to remain intact for many years despite the sun and weathering.

Skyscrapers are often built on a steel framework. However, because steel can loose its stability at certain levels of heat, additional fire protection is needed for this kind of structure. Intumescent coatings based on WACKER's VAE copolymer dispersions can protect the steel framework against fire ...

Stone flooring is attractive, but can be chilly underfoot. Cork flooring feels warm to the feet, but is less durable. Now there is a new type of floor covering that combines the advantages of both materials. The crucial difference in its manufacture is VINNEX® powder binders from WACKER ...

Packaging made of corrugated cardboard can be found everywhere in the foodstuff industry. That's a good enough reason to take a closer look at how corrugated cardboard adhesive is manufactured. VINNAPAS® XD 05 from WACKER is an ideal starting material for formulating this kind of adhesive ...

Electricity generated from sun and wind is fed into the grid usually via underground or undersea cables. These are complicated and expensive to lay. For this reason, the cables need to work perfectly for decades on end. Electrically-conducting silicone elastomers from the POWERSIL® product line play a key role here.

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Energy Elastomers & Plastics Sustainability

Tens of thousands of vehicles pass through the Gotthard road tunnel every day. In winter, they splash a large amount of water and road salts onto the tunnel walls. In a single night, the tunnel was treated with special water-repellent silanes from WACKER to prevent the salt water from penetrating into the concrete and damaging it.

If you’ve ever done a presentation with an overhead projector, you will have come into contact with a Fresnel lens. What this is, why such lenses have potential to significantly improve solar technology, and what this has got to do with WACKER, will be revealed in this episode of our podcast.

Retinol is the parent compound of vitamin A and a key active ingredient in anti-aging preparations. For it to develop its full effect, it must be protected from external influences. Listen to this episode and find out how WACKER’s cyclodextrins “smuggle” the precious but sensitive substance safely under the surface of the skin.

Modern LEDs still pose significant challenges for researchers. But investment in development pays off, for the little lamps are significantly more efficient and have a much longer life than to-day’s energy-saving lamps. Listen and find out how a silicone produced by WACKER can help to reduce future energy requirements still further ...

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Energy Electrics & Electronics

Glass is not only a material used to produce windows and containers – it is also a substance for creating artwork. For centuries, artistic glasswork has decorated homes and been transformed into works of art. The chemical processes necessary to create this rainbow of colored glass, and the production processes employed to produce this high-quality glass, are explained in this podcast.

When groundwater began seeping into Stetten’s salt mine, normal concrete couldn’t stop the flow. WACKER used this incident as an opportunity to test a newly-developed form of shotcrete. Hear our interview with Klaus Bonin, who heads one of WACKER’s research and development labs.

Even in the world of art, you’ll find WACKER products in use. Find out how WACKER’s silicone moldmaking compounds were used to reconstruct twelve busts of Roman emperors. Listen to our talk with sculptress Anke Oltscher.

The VINNAPAS® ACADEMY seminar program offers polymer chemistry basics and key formulation expertise to construction experts from around the world.

Thermal insulation has become a hot topic in Syria. In fact, this Arab country has carried out its first EIFS project. We discuss this topic with Dimitrios Moussios, business development manager at Wacker Chemicals Middle East in Dubai.

Sealants must fulfill many requirements. In this episode, we’ll explore silicone sealants and see how WACKER innovations make the introduction of new products possible

Bonding is becoming an ever more attractive way of connecting objects. Increasingly, items are being bonded instead of being screwed, riveted or welded. In this episode, you’ll learn more about the fascinating history of adhesives and what the future holds for them.

This plaster can be found on virtually any wall, though you usually only notice it when it flakes off. Today’s plaster must meet a wide range of demands, which is why WACKER is busy researching in this field. Tune in to find out how!

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s how a lot of people see sewage and wastewater. This episode therefore focuses on sewage systems, a key invention, and the potential problems sewer maintenance involves and how to solve them.

Global warming is influencing the construction sector – and vice versa. We discuss this topic with Dr. Andreas Gerdes, professor of Construction Chemicals and hear about ways to conserve resources during construction and how this sector is changing due to global warming.

This episode is about artworks that are millions of years’ old. Listen to how Professor Dolf Seilacher creates works of art from the traces of long-extinct animals. His creations bedazzle art enthusiasts. Plus, you can learn about WACKER’s role in Paleoichnology, e.g. the study of trace fossils.

There are strict limits on electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by cellphones. Various test models exist to precisely determine whether these limits are being complied with. In this episode, you’ll learn about the advances made here – and how silicone from WACKER is used in doing so.