Evonik Industries is making an investment in the double-digit-million euro range in a new research center at the Rheinfelden site. Starting at the beginning of 2016, research into silanes will be carried out in modern laboratories in the four-story building.
Silanes are used in the electronics industry, in the tire industry, for the production of adhesives and sealants as well as plastics, and in the construction industry. Application engineering, analytics, and quality management will also be located in the new research center in the future. The center fits in with the integrated silane chemical production network in Rheinfelden, which encompasses research, development, application technology and production.
Ralph Marquardt, head of innovation in the Inorganic Materials Business Unit, explained the importance of silane research. “Evonik is the global market leader for functional silanes,” Marquardt said. “We make target-oriented investments to build on this position. In this context, first-class research and application engineering are a key factor for further positive development.”
The new research center will house up 70 employees at ultra-modern workstations on an area of approximately 3,500 square meters.
“The silanes we are researching into here make chips in smartphones faster and more efficient, protect buildings from corrosion and dirt, and enable fuel-saving tires or longer-lasting paints,” said Peter Dettelmann, head of the Rheinfelden site. “We are delighted to construct a building using sustainable techniques for this.”
Evonik produces silanes at its sites in Rheinfelden (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), Rizhao (China), Mobile (Alabama) and Weston (Michigan). The specialty chemical company also operates laboratories for application technology support and regionally specialized research for silanes in China, India, Germany and the U.S.. Evonik’s silane portfolio comprises chlorosilanes and organo-functional silanes with an overall annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons.