Annual Report 2021

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Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Key Products, Services and Business Processes

Overall, the range of products and services at each of our divisions remained unchanged in 2021. In several application areas, however, we expanded our product portfolio.

WACKER SILICONES is the business division with the broadest range of products. Two raw materials – silicon metal and methanol – are the basis for making over 2,800 silicone products in seven product groups: silanes, siloxanes, silicone fluids, silicone emulsions, silicone elastomers, silicone resins and pyrogenic silica. Silicones have numerous chemical, mechanical and tactile properties that can be precisely adjusted and newly combined time and again. No other synthetic material offers this kind of versatility and range of applications. Silicones are extremely durable, stress-resistant, water-repellent and UV-resistant. They are just as indispensable in everyday applications as they are in developing innovative, new technologies.

WACKER POLYMERS makes state-of-the-art binders and polymeric additives (such as dispersible polymer powders and dispersions). They are used in diverse industrial applications or as basic chemicals. The main customer for polymer binders is the construction industry. Other customers include the paint, coating, paper and adhesive industries.

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS supplies customized biotech and catalog products for fine chemicals. Products include pharmaceutical proteins, vaccines, cyclodextrins, cysteine, polyvinyl acetate solid resins (for gumbase) and acetylacetone. The division focuses on customer-specific solutions for growth areas, such as pharmaceutical actives, food additives and agrochemicals.

WACKER POLYSILICON produces hyperpure polysilicon for the semiconductor and solar sectors.

Integrated Production System – WACKER’s Greatest Strength

A key competitive advantage for WACKER is the highly integrated material loops at its major production sites in Burghausen, Nünchritz, Charleston and Zhangjiagang. The basic principle of integrated production is to use the byproducts from one stage as starting materials for making other products. The auxiliaries required for this, such as silanes, are recycled in a closed loop. Waste heat from one process is utilized in other chemical processes. Integrated production cuts energy and resource consumption, lastingly improves raw-material use and makes environmental protection an intrinsic part of the production process.

Cyclodextrins belong to the family of cyclic oligosaccharides (i.e. ring-shaped sugar molecules). They are able to encapsulate foreign substances such as fragrances and to release active ingredients at a controlled rate. WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS produces and markets cyclodextrins.
Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. It belongs to the non-essential amino acids, as it can be formed in the body. It is used, for example, as an additive in foods and cough mixtures. Cysteine and its derivatives are a business field at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.
Dispersible Polymer Powders
Created by drying dispersions in spray or disc dryers. VINNAPAS® polymer powders are recommended as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for tile adhesives, self-leveling compounds and repair mortars. They improve adhesion, cohesion, flexibility and flexural strength, as well as water-retention and processing properties.
Binary system in which one solid component is finely dispersed in another. VINNAPAS® dispersions are vinyl-acetate-based copolymers and terpolymers in liquid form. They are mainly used as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for grouts, plasters and primers.
Polymers that exhibit almost perfectly elastic behavior, i.e. they deform when acted upon by an external force and return to their exact original shape when the force is removed. While the duration of the force has no effect on perfectly elastic behavior, the temperature does.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 degrees Celsius.
Silanes are used as monomers for the synthesis of siloxanes or sold directly as reagents or raw materials. Typical applications include surface treatment, agents (medically active substances) in pharmaceutical synthesis, and coupling agents for coatings.
Silica, Pyrogenic
White, synthetic, amorphous silicon dioxide (SiO2) in powder form, made by flame hydrolysis of silicon compounds. Variously used as an additive for silicone rubber grades, sealants, surface coatings, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
After oxygen, silicon is the most common element in the Earth’s crust. In nature, it occurs without exception in the form of compounds, chiefly silicon dioxide and silicates. Silicon is obtained through energy-intensive reaction of quartz sand with carbon and is the most important raw material in the electronics industry.
General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.
Systematic name given to compounds comprising silicon atoms linked together via oxygen atoms and with the remaining valences occupied by hydrogen or organic groups. Siloxanes are the building blocks for the polymers (polysiloxane and polyorganosiloxane) that form silicones.