Munich, Germany – Munich-based chemicals group Wacker has expanded its technical center in Moscow, Russia. Auguste Willems of Wacker’s executive board and Dr. Christian Hartel, head of Wacker Silicones, dedicated the new service lab in the presence of several customers. The facility will serve as a test lab for silicone elastomers and
ready-to-use silicone compounds and will cater to the energy, electrical and automotive industries. This investment aims at further enhancing services to key customers in Russia and Eastern Europe and spurring Wacker’s silicone business in the region. The lab is located south of downtown Moscow, right next to the technical center, which has supported customers of polymeric binders for construction and dry-mortar applications since 2003. The new lab, which opened today, is entirely geared to silicones customers. It will formulate and test high- and room-temperature-curing silicone rubber and ready-to-use silicone compounds. "The silicones lab makes it possible for us to adapt our products to customer needs and local industry requirements" said Dr. Christian Hartel during the official opening ceremony. "Providing quicker and more flexible support to key industries such as the cable, energy, and automotive industries will strengthen our position as one of the leading silicones manufacturers in the region and provide a basis for future growth." Silicones are extremely versatile and are used in numerous Russian industries. Mid-term, Wacker anticipates rising silicones demand in the transmission and distribution industry, for example. Currently, Russia is making great efforts to modernize the country’s transmission and distribution systems. "In the course of time, ceramic and glass insulators get polluted and don’t insulate properly when wet. If that happens, flashovers and power outages are quite common," explained Wacker executive board member Auguste Willems. Insulators with silicone rubber coatings could solve the problem. “Silicone is not only a good insulator. It also has water repellent properties. Even in rain, silicone coatings insulate reliably," Willems continued. "Wacker’s Powersil products can make a substantial contribution to minimizing power losses and improving the availability of the power grid.” Wacker also expects mid- and long-term business growth from the Russian automotive industry. Silicone rubber is increasingly used in cars because of its unique set of properties and because it meets the industry’s ever more complex requirements better than other plastics. "We are confident that we will be able to grow our business in Russia significantly over the next few years," Willems stated. The Moscow silicones lab will play an important role here. "Our lab expansion for silicone rubber is an integral building block in our strategy. Now, we can provide first-class service to our Russian customers. That is a unique selling point for us."
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