The Sweet Smell of Success - Wacker Chemie AG


The Sweet Smell of Success

The Lisson test and Vettermann drum test (see below) are used to simulate the daily stress a carpet is submitted to, such as through footsteps and rolling office chairs.

When WACKER’s Robert Tangelder first approached the European carpet market, he’d had no prior contact with producers in this industry. Yet Tangelder found Edel extremely receptive right from the start. “Edel is a company that understands a great deal about chemistry and its work is very much based around finding solutions,” he says. “That is why they understood the special characteristics of VAE so fast and adapted them to their own processes.”

Initially, Dr. Mike de Lange certainly had his doubts. When he used SBL and VAE in parallel, the inherent differences in the flow propertiesof the two binders became apparent. So, the VAE formulation had to be customized. “Wow, we’re really charting unknown territory,” de Lange thought at times. Once the formulation had been optimized and following six months of intensive carpet testing, Edel was ready to change its technology. “From the moment we switched production entirely over to VAE, everything was fine,” he recalls, adding that, today, the in-factory processes were more stable and uniform with VAE than in the past, and didn’t have to be modified as often. “So, the production staff also see the positive effects of VAE during processing,” says de Lange.

Vettermann Drum Test

Successful Partnership

That’s something Feike van der Heide likes to hear. The Dutchman is responsible for VAE dispersions in WACKER’s EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). “The European carpet industry is quite a large, strategically important market for us,” he explains. “We have focused our efforts on penetrating this market by means of VINNAPAS® CA 55, our dispersion specifically designed for carpets. We’re now glad that we made the breakthrough.” What’s more, van der Heide was very proud of the close cooperation with a first mover such as Edel, which had been the first manufacturer to switch over its production entirely to VAE – both for the precoat and the secondary coat.

“That was a huge step for us, too,” adds Edel’s Willem van der Meer . “But we took it, because we trust WACKER as a reliable and major partner with a wealth of experience – and because we were given a great deal of support.”