India: Functional Silicone Fluids Wacker Expands Silicone Production in India
Wacker is expanding its existing silicone production at its Amtala site near Kolkata with a new hydrosilylation plant for manufacturing functional silicone fluids. The plant has an annual capacity of over 6,000 metric tons.
Munich/Germany and Amtala/India — The expansion is the company’s response to growing regional demand for specialty silicones for use in the textile, personal-care, rigid and flexible polyurethane foam and agrochemical sectors. The investment for the plant amounts to around $ 7.4 million.
According to Christian Hartel, Executive Board member at Wacker Chemie, this expansion is broadening our production the company's product portfolio and thereby allows them to open up new markets in the growth regions of India and Southeast Asia.
Hydrosilylation is a chemical process in which organofunctional groups, such as glycols, olefins or ketones, are “docked” onto the periphery of silicones. This is done in order to modify the properties of the end product and render a silicone fluid, for example, hydrophobic (water-repellent) or hydrophilic (water-attracting).
Hydrosilylation silicone products reduce the incompatibilities between oils and water, thereby improving the compatibility with organic systems. The second application area of the new products manufactured in Amtala are polyurethane foams, in which functional silicone fluids serve as additives for adjusting the cell structure. Such foams are used in car interior trim and insulation materials. Silicone fluids and emulsions are also used in personal care products (e.g. shampoos), in softeners for the textile industry and in agricultural applications.