BURGHAUSEN, Germany—Wacker Chemie A.G. said it will invest $1.53 million to expand its plant in Burghausen to increase production capabilities for its HDK pyrogenic silica.
Wacker said the plant's capacity will increase by 40 percent. Work will begin early next year and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2017.
Wacker produces HDK pyrogenic silica at Burghausen and Nuenchritz, Germany, plants as well as in Zhangjiagang, China. The Munich-based chemical company said it is the world's third largest manufacturer in this sector.
Hydrophobic, or water-repellent, specialty silicas are used in toner powders for printers, enhancing the stability of the product, as well as its flow and charging properties. Used in specialty adhesives and paints, these kinds of silicas permit optimum adjustment of rheological and mechanical properties.
“The expansion enables us to meet rising customer demand for high-quality specialties and tailored solutions from Wacker,” said Auguste Willems, executive board member, said in a statement. “This project is part of our strategy to achieve further profitable growth through cost-effective expansions at existing plants and to increase the proportion of specialties in our total business.”
Ultrapure powder-form amorphous silicon dioxide is used as a filler in silicone elastomers and as a rheology-control additive in paints, adhesives, unsaturated polyester resins and plastisols. It also serves as a flow aid in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food-processing industries.