The expansion has focused on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions used as binders for low-odor indoor paints, durable outdoor coatings and sustainable water-borne adhesives. This measure will help WACKER to further bolster its position as a globally leading producer and supplier of VAE dispersions.
“Latin America is a promising market for WACKER. Demand is increasing steadily for our high-quality dispersions. Our sales in the region have grown significantly over the recent years and we are encouraged by the regions’ potential. This new facility will help foster the development of our products and support the needs of our local customers”, explained John Fotheringham, vice president of Dispersions at WACKER POLYMERS.
The enhanced technical center will now also support customers in the paints, coatings and adhesives sectors to develop new products and applications for the regional markets with regard to locally available raw materials, climatic and environmental conditions, and regional requirements. The new labs are equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation meeting international standards: Test are ranging from optical and rheological property measurements of VAE-enhanced paints such as gloss, reflectance, viscosity or sag resistance to physical qualities of paints and adhesives like density, solids content or thermal stability. Additionally, the technical center has installed a new UV chamber to analyze color fading and weathering behavior of polymer-modified exterior coatings.
“Our aim is to support our local customers by realizing their individual requirements directly on the spot, and to develop and test innovative VAE binder applications together with them”, said Alfonso Valcarce, head of Wacker Mexicana. “Our technical center here in Mexico City is highly equipped and we are setting new standards in service, advice and transfer of expertise, offering our customers and business partners considerable added value.”
WACKER is thus helping to ensure and expand the availability of high-quality VAE binders in Latin America. Moreover, WACKER’s local experts are assisting to formulate quality standards as well as to introduce environmentally friendly technologies in the region.
WACKER in Latin America
WACKER has been supplying the Americas with basic chemicals since as early as the mid-1960s. The company laid the foundation for its presence in Latin America with a separate sales office in Mexico in 1972. The local subsidiary Wacker Mexicana S.A. was founded in Mexico City in 1975. To meet increasing sales and service demands in Latin America, WACKER set up a technical center in Mexico City in 2012 for polymer applications, mainly in the construction industry. At the same time, WACKER established a local branch of its international training centers, the WACKER ACADEMY, at the Mexico facility. The technical center in Mexico supports customers from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, the Caribbean, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia.