ADRIAN, MI - Wacker Chemical Corp. recently highlighted technology innovations for a variety of automotive applications at a North American press briefing in Ann Arbor, MI. Among the applications showcased were technologies designed to help automakers cut vehicle noise, reduce weight, enhance safety features, and make vehicles more attractive to consumers.

The briefing featured remarks from executives from each of the company's automotive product lines, as well as market overviews, and future trends and enhancements. The featured speaker was North America CEO Dirk Funke, who gave an overview of the company's automotive technologies and discussed the impact of silicones on the automobile.

"Several trends are emerging that make today the perfect time to be involved in silicones," Funke said. "Silicone prices have come down in recent years, while automakers are constantly re-evaluating product selection based on best prices."

The keynote speaker, Chevrolet Special Vehicles Manager Herschel Hicks, offered perspectives on automotive color design and gave high marks to WACKER's new HELICONE® HC liquid crystal pigment technology, which produces optically variable color effects. He called the silicone-based technology "the next generation in paint innovation for the automotive industry." Hicks said Chevrolet has applied coatings using the pigments to numerous show cars and several NASCAR pace cars.

Recent product developments discussed during the press briefing also included friction-enhancing coatings designed to reduce physical limitations by increasing torque or shear loads across joints by up to 300%.

Wacker Chemical Corp. is the North America-based corporate parent for the WACKER SILICONES and WACKER CERAMICS business divisions of Wacker-Chemie GmbH, Munich, Germany.