Munich-based chemicals group WACKER is strengthening its presence in Middle East and Africa (MEA) by expanding the service portfolio of its technical center in Dubai. The center of excellence located at the “Dubai Silicon Oasis” (DSO) technology park now also includes a dedicated laboratory for polymer dispersions needed as binders for adhesives and carpet applications. Further, a laboratory has been established and ISO-certified for developing and testing silicone elastomers for growing industries such as energy and mold making. The technical center Dubai now comprises five laboratories to support customers in the paints and coatings, construction, energy mold making, carpet and adhesives industries. With the expansion, WACKER is increasing its local expertise in applications technology, know-how transfer and service, thereby meeting its local customers’ needs for high-quality silicone and polymer products in the strongly growing markets of the MEA region.
The region’s increasing growth potential, particularly with regard to carpet and energy applications, prompted the expansion of the local facility. “We are proud to say that our facility is the first in the region to offer both technical support and testing services for carpet manufactures, plus an ISO-certified silicones lab for high-quality, energy and mold making applications,” explained Cyril Cisinski, Managing Director Wacker Chemicals Middle East. “The expanded facility will strengthen our position as one of the leading silicones and polymers manufacturers in Middle East and Africa. With our extended lab facilities, we are adopting the international standard to local needs and conditions. Along with our sustainable and innovative solutions, we are offering our customers and partners in the region considerable added value.”
The focus of the new polymers lab is on providing technical support for formulations with vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions to meet the growing local demands of customers in the carpet and adhesives industries. VAE dispersions of the VINNAPAS® brand are increasingly being used in place of traditional latexes as binders for bonding carpet backing, as well as for high-quality wood glue and water-based flooring adhesives. The upgraded lab for silicones elastomers caters to the needs of customers of the energy, mold making and automotive industries. Due to their unique set of properties, silicone products are capable of meeting these industries’ ever more complex requirements better than other plastics. Both new labs are equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation and enable numerous tests with regard to locally available raw materials, climatic and environmental conditions, and regional requirements. The silicones lab has further been certified according to the ISO 17025 standard.
WACKER in Dubai
WACKER set up a local subsidiary (Wacker Chemicals Middle East) in Dubai back in 2000 and has been operating its own sales office there since then. A technical center has been available to regional customers and partners since 2002. In 2009, WACKER moved to the “Dubai Silicon Oasis” technology park: Spanning nearly 13,000 m2, the new location houses technical labs as well as the offices of WACKER’s subsidiary for the Middle East sales region. In spring 2010, WACKER further established a local branch of its international training and competence center, the WACKER ACADEMY, at its technical center Dubai. In 2012, an additional lab that comprises applications technology and test equipment for polymer dispersions needed as binders for environmentally friendly interior architectural paints was added. Furthermore, the technical center has extended its range of silicone additives and binders for paints and coatings applications. From Dubai, the subsidiary serves customers from the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East and Africa.