Our divisions’ overall range of products and services remained unchanged. In several application areas, we expanded our portfolio during 2012. Our WACKER SILICONES division provides customers with our broadest offering of over 2,800 products – ranging from silicone-based fluids, emulsions, resins, elastomers and sealants, to silanes and pyrogenic silica grades. The division manufactures both specialty products tailored to customers’ specific needs, and standard products primarily used as starting materials in the production of silicones.
WACKER POLYMERS manufactures state-of-the-art binders and polymeric additives (such as dispersible polymer powders and dispersions). These are used in diverse industrial applications or as base chemicals. Customers include the paints, coatings, paper and adhesives industries. Last year, business expanded strongly in the carpet industry, where our dispersions are increasingly replacing styrene-butadiene. The main customer for polymeric binders is the construction industry, which uses them as additives in tile adhesives, dry-mix mortars, self-leveling flooring compounds, and EIFS (exterior insulation and finish systems)/ETICS (external thermal insulation composite systems).
WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, our smallest division, supplies customized biotech and catalog products for the fine-chemical sector. Products include pharmaceutical proteins, cyclodextrins, cysteine, polyvinyl acetate solid resins (for gumbase), organic intermediates and acetylacetone. The division focuses on customer-specific solutions for growth areas, such as food additives, pharmaceutical actives and agrochemicals.
WACKER POLYSILICON produces hyperpure polysilicon for the semiconductor, electronics and – above all – solar sectors. Most of this polysilicon is sent to external customers. Internally, we supply both Siltronic and its Siltronic Samsung Wafer joint venture.
Siltronic supplies leading semiconductor manufacturers with silicon wafers. These wafers form the fundamental basis for virtually all semiconductor products – whether for discrete semiconductor components (e.g. transistors and rectifiers) or microchips (e.g. microprocessors and memory chips).
Integrated Production System – WACKER’s Main Strength
The WACKER Group’s key competitive advantages include the highly integrated material loops at its major sites in Burghausen, Nünchritz and Zhangjiagang. Basically, integrated production involves using the byproducts from one stage as starting materials for making other products. The necessary auxiliaries, such as silanes, are recycled in a closed loop and waste heat from one process is utilized in other chemical processes. The result is lower specific production costs compared to open production processes. At the same time, integrated production cuts energy and resource consumption, improves the use of raw materials in the long term, and integrates environmental protection into our processes. WACKER’s integrated production sites also have other benefits, including outstanding infrastructure, well-trained personnel, and reliable raw-material and energy supplies.