(From the Sept. 5, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
ALBANY, N.Y.—Momentive Performance Materials Inc. is boosting its silanes production capacity and adding equipment at two plants to help meet growing global demand for the products, particularly in China.
Its facilities in Sistersville, W.Va., and Termoli, Italy, are undergoing the capacity increases, the firm said. Its diverse range of silicones—marketed under the trademarks Silquest, CoatOSil, NXT and XL-Pearl—are involved in the expansion, according to Rich Owins, Momentive Performance Materials' global business director for silanes.
The expansions have been launched with completion expected in 2012. Capacity figures weren't released.
Momentive's silanes are used in a number of industries, including tire, automotive, coatings, adhesives and sealants, construction, durable goods and electronics.
The expansions involve the addition of equipment and a physical expansion, Owins indicated. No further details on that end of the project were released.
It's unlikely Momentive will add personnel, he said, since the work forces at the two plants should be able to handle the additional capacity.
In addition, Momentive will resume production of trimethoxsilane, Silquest A-187 epoxy silane and Silquest A-174 methacryl silane at the Sistersville site before the end of the year. “That operation was shut down during the recession and we're cranking it back up again,” Owins said.
Albany-based Momentive also produces silane additives at its facility in Waterford, N.Y., along with sites in Japan, Germany and Brazil.
The investments in additional manufacturing capacity “will enable us to bring innovative silane technologies and products to the industry more quickly and better serve our customers' growing needs for these materials,” Owins said.
Silanes are used as coupling agents, crosslinking agents and surface modifiers with the aim of improving physical properties in specialty products and applications, which range from fuel-saving silica tires and high performance coatings to adhesives, sealants, and wire and cable jacking and insulation.
They are also used in numerous organic materials to bond adhesives, coatings and sealants, silica, fiberglass and others to a variety of surfaces, including rubber, glass, metal, stone and plastic.
Owins said the producer of silicones and advanced materials will continue to evaluate other expansion opportunities in key global regions to match demand. Momentive has been in a growth mode and actively looking for opportunities to grow externally for the last year.
In mid-August, it extended its reach with the expansion of a pact with Chem-Point.com to include Momentive's elastomer materials, including general purpose and custom products, for distribution throughout North America.
Previously, ChemPoint distributed urethane additives, silicone resins and organofunctional silanes for Momentive.
In late June, Momentive Performance Materials and Momentive Specialty Chemicals unveiled plans to open a new regional business headquarters and global research and development center in India, with completion expected in 2012.