Engineering News

Wacker Opens US Tech Center for Polymer Apps
October 22, 2009

Wacker Chemie AG inaugurated its new technical center in Allentown, Pa., Thursday.

Equipped with lab facilities, the center will develop and test polymer products chiefly for applications in the construction, adhesive, engineered fabrics and architectural coating industries. Through its new addition, the Munich-based chemical company is promoting international quality standards and the exchange of expertise with regional customers and partners.

The technical center is located at Wacker Polymers' new US headquarters, which was also opened Thursday. Alongside research and applications labs, the 6,200 m2 HQ building houses sales, marketing, customer-service and administrative functions. The move to Allentown is a major milestone in Wacker's integration of its two former joint ventures -- Air Products Polymers and Wacker Polymer Systems -- into the Group. Wacker acquired full ownership of these two companies last year.

"We've consolidated all our North American functions under one roof at our new US headquarters," said Arno von der Eltz, president of Wacker Polymers. "The move will streamline coordination and enhance operational efficiency. Another key advantage is the technical center's proximity to our sales function. This will broaden cooperation between product-development and sales teams, enabling us to optimize customer support."

von der Eltz added that there were imminent plans to set up an Allentown training center, offering application-related seminars to construction customers. The Munich-based Group already operates Wacker Academy locations in Germany, Russia, China and as of November 2009 also in India. The training programs range from basic information on polymer chemistry, to formulation expertise in dry-mix mortars, to innovative applications such as exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) and self-leveling compounds. Seminars are held by Wacker experts, local construction-industry specialists and university lecturers.

Wacker Polymers is a leading producer of state-of-the-art binders and polymer additives in the form of dispersible powders and dispersions, polyvinyl acetates, surface coating resins and polyvinyl alcohol solutions. These products are found in the construction chemicals, binders, printing inks, surface coatings, paper and automotive sectors. In 2008, Wacker Polymers generated sales of EUR868 million, accounting for 20 percent of Wacker Group sales.

Source: Wacker Chemie AG

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