Wacker has completed the expansion and relocation of its technical laboratories and offices in South Korea, and inaugurated the upgraded technical center, with integrated training facility, near the capital Seoul. The regional competence center now houses under a single roof both research and development (R&D), applications technology, and a facility for basic and advanced training in silicones and polymers applications. A new silicone laboratory has been built to research, in particular, high-tech products for the electronics industry, while the technical center for polymeric binders will concentrate primarily on applications for construction chemicals. The integrated Wacker Academy training facility will additionally offer a platform for market -specific networking among customers, distribution partners and Wacker specialists.
The expanded technical center is located in Pangyo Techno Valley in a suburb of the South Korean capital, Seoul. Occupying an area of more than 3,600 square meters, the site houses the new offices of Wacker Chemicals Korea Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the R&D laboratories for silicone and polymer applications.
One focus of the local R&D in the newly established Center of Excellence Electronics will be on silicone products for electronics applications. This will help Wacker to serve the fast-growing demand for high-quality silicones for the electronics industry in Korea and other Asian countries.
The technical center for polymers has been expanded, too. It will concentrate on formulations for dispersible polymer powders and dispersions for modern building applications, e.g. as binders in mortars for energy-saving external thermal insulation composite systems, or for low-odor and low-emissions paints.
The reason for expanding the technical center and setting up an in-house silicones R&D laboratory is the strong growth of the Korean economy, especially in construction and electronics.
A further highlight is the integrated training facility for polymer and silicone chemicals: the Wacker Academny. The facility’s mission is to promote the transfer of knowledge to local customers and business partners. Its seminar program is accordingly designed to address the particular needs of the markets in South Korea, and provides customers and business partners with an opportunity to learn about all relevant aspects of modern polymer and silicone chemistry and their applications.
Wacker has been supplying chemicals to Korea since the mid-1980s, and Wacker Chemicals Korea was set up in 1996 as a local subsidiary. The Wacker facility in Ulsan, south-east Korea, has been operating since early 2008, producing vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and providing local support for its customers and partners through its technical center for research and applications technology. In 2010, Wacker acquired the Korean brand Lucky Silicone, under which silicone sealants for the construction sector are produced and sold.