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WACKER's team presented numerous silicone innovations at the K 2019 Preview Press Conference.
WACKER's team presented numerous silicone innovations at the K 2019 Preview Press Conference.

WACKER, the Munich-based chemical group, recently announced numerous silicone innovations at the K 2019 Preview Press Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The Munich-based chemical group will be showcasing its innovations under the motto “Thinking Beyond”. On an area of 300 square meters, a multitude of novel products will be awaiting visitors, ranging from thermally conductive silicones for battery cooling in electric vehicles, flame-retardant silicone rubber for rolling stock and self-adhesive silicones with low-friction surfaces to electroactive silicone laminates for actuators and sensors.

This year, WACKER’s booth will cover eight topics. One of these will focus on the advantages of liquid silicone rubber that contains very few volatile components.

Since early 2019, this applies to ELASTOSIL LR 3xxx, ELASTOSIL LR 6xxx and SILPURAN 6xxx silicones manufactured in Europe. Thanks to ultra-modern process technologies, WACKER has managed to slash the content of volatile Dx siloxanes in its liquid silicone rubber by at least 90%. By upgrading the LSR portfolio in this way, the company is enabling manufacturers of silicone parts to meet regulatory requirements and industry as well as customer needs more readily and reliably than ever before.

Solid silicone rubber for new fire-safety standard

Profile made from flame-retardant solid silicone rubber.WACKER’s existing product portfolio includes solid and liquid silicone rubber solutions already certified for a large portion of the applications mentioned in EN 45545-2 – especially those subject to the standard’s R22 and R23 requirement sets.

Now, to allow manufacturers to produce large-format bellows and profiles in compliance with the new fire-safety codes, the Munich-based chemical group has added a new grade of flame-retardant solid silicone rubber to the product portfolio. ELASTOSIL R 771 meets today’s fire-safety codes and enables the manufacture of rolling-stock components in accordance with the R1 requirement set.

Self-Adhesive liquid silicones with less friction

WACKER has expanded its portfolio of self-adhesive liquid silicone rubber with two further product lines: ELASTOSIL LR 3671 for applications in food technology and ELASTOSIL LR 3675 for automotive applications.

The company has combined in these products two technologies that are firmly established in the silicone compounding industry, with a proven track record in numerous applications: silicones with self-adhesive properties and grades featuring intrinsically low-friction surfaces.

Silicone laminate for sensors and actuators

At the K 2019, WACKER will present NEXIPAL for the first time. NEXIPAL consists of electroactive silicone laminates.NEXIPAL is a novel silicone laminate with electroactive properties. It consists of several ultrathin precision silicone films that are coated with electrically conductive material prior to lamination. The result is an actuator that creates movement, as soon as electrical voltage is applied.

The laminates can furthermore be used to measure mechanical deformation electrically. Thus, NEXIPAL can also serve as a sensor. The product is wear-free, compact and energy saving, and ideal for use in innovative applications.

GENIOPLAST Pellet 345

WACKER’s new silicone additive GENIOPLAST Pellet 345 lowers the hardness of thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers, while simultaneously boosting their surface properties.GENIOPLAST Pellet 345 complements WACKER’s portfolio of silicone-based additives for the compounding of thermoplastic polymers. The product has been specifically developed with thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) in mind, but can be used for modifying other thermoplastic elastomers as well.

Adding GENIOPLAST Pellet 345 boosts the surface smoothness of thermoplastic polyurethanes, thereby enhancing their scratch and abrasion resistance.

Moreover, the surfaces become more resistant to contamination by foodstuffs and cosmetics. In Europe, the product is authorized for food-contact applications as well.

3D printing with silicone

At this year’s K, WACKER will present its latest innovation in the field of 3D printing with real silicone: the ACEO Imagine Series K2.

With its multiple printing nozzles, the new printer can print up to four different silicone materials simultaneously, allowing entirely novel designs to be realized. 3D objects can now be printed in different colors and with different degrees of hardness.

The new technology also benefits the printing of objects, which require support material. For such cases, up to three different materials or colors are available.

Another highlight is ACEO’s new auto-control technology. It measures the silicone layer applied with each printing operation and compares it with the target value specified in the CAD model.

If the program detects any discrepancies, they are automatically corrected with the next layers. In this way, the new printer produces extremely precise and detailed 3D prints, which are even suitable for difficult industrial applications.

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