ESSEN, Germany - Evonik Industries, Essen, Germany, officially opened a new production line to manufacture surface-treated fumed silica under the AEROSIL® brand name. The new line is located at Evonik’s Rheinfelden, Germany, site. It will boost the company’s global production capacity for these products by 25%. AEROSIL specialty silica grades enhance the properties of high-performance adhesives, sealants and industrial resins, as well as varnishes and paints.

The key driver behind the increasing demand for these products is the development of resource-efficient products and technologies. Market trends, including the development of renewable energy sources, and the automotive industry’s trend away from mechanical fasteners in favor of higher-performance bonding will be supported by this expansion. Other significant applications using the specialty silica grades include defoamer, plastic and toner products.

Dr. Johannes Ohmer, head of the Inorganic Materials Business Unit in the Resource Efficiency section, sees the investment helping to further consolidate the specialized nature of the silica business. “Our new facility for surface-treated specialty silica will reinforce our commitment to maintain the leading position we enjoy in the market for special oxides,” Ohmer noted.

Among other qualities, fumed special silica grades made by Evonik optimize rheology, viscosity and thixotropy of liquid and gel-like formulations as well as suspension properties of pigments and fillers they contain. They also boost the flow rate of powdery products and prevent caking during production and storage.