Evonik boosts capacity for special silicas at its Rheinfelden site
- New production line for surface-treated AEROSIL® fumed silica
- Global production capacity to increase by 25 percent
- Strengthening the leading market position for specialty fumed oxides in attractive markets
Beginning in October 2014, Evonik Industries (of Essen, Germany) officially opened a new production line to manufacture surface-treated fumed silica under the AEROSIL® brand name. The new line will be located at Evonik’s Rheinfelden, Germany site, which will boost their global production capacity for these products by 25 percent. AEROSIL® specialty silica grades enhance the properties of high-performance adhesives, sealants and industrial resins, as well as varnishes and paints. The key driver behind the soaring demand for these products is the development of resource efficient products and technologies. Market trends, including the development of renewable energy sources, and the automotive industry’s trend away from mechanical fasteners in favor of higher performance bonding will be supported by this expansion. Other significant applications using the specialty silica grades include defoamer, plastic and toner products.
Dr. Johannes Ohmer, head of the Inorganic Materials Business Unit in the Resource Efficiency section, sees the investment helping to further consolidate the specialized nature of the silica business: "Our new facility for surface-treated specialty silica will reinforce our commitment to maintain the leading position we enjoy in the market for special oxides."
Andreas Fischer, head of the Silica division, also commented on the official opening: "Our developments allow our customers to bring innovative products onto the market. Namely, they pave the way for them to produce high-performance adhesives with optimal properties or unsaturated polyester resins for lightweight construction applications with minimal consumption of raw materials."
Among other qualities, fumed special silica grades made by Evonik optimize rheology, viscosity and thixotropy of liquid and gel-like formulations as well as suspension properties of pigments and fillers they contain. They also boost the flow rate of powdery products and prevent caking during production and storage.
Evonik is the world leading silica manufacturer with the most diverse product portfolio. In addition to AEROSIL® fumed silica, the specialty chemicals company also manufactures other fumed metal oxides, including titanium and aluminum oxides under the trade name AEROXIDE®. Evonik also produces SIPERNAT® and ULTRASIL® precipitated silica for many high growth markets such as low rolling resistance tires. With this new capacity on stream, Evonik’s global annual production capacity for precipitated and fumed silica, metal oxides and matting agents now exceeds 550,000 tons, with many more projects in the planning and implementation phases to continually support the global customer base.