21. Dec 2020
In Europe, Wacker has launched a new sustainable silicone sealant based on renewable raw materials.
The Munich-based chemical Group therefore can now offer products manufactured using bio-based methanol to silicone sealant suppliers. The new brand is based on the REDcert2 standard, which confirms the traceability of renewable raw materials across Wacker’s entire production process – from the initial upstream process to the ready-to-use silicone sealant.
To qualify, the purchased biomethanol has to be obtained from certified sustainable sources. Raw material volumes needed for manufacturing undergo regular audits as part of an annual recertification process.
“Wacker offers a comprehensive carefree package and thus the chance to be a first-mover supplying a sustainable silicone sealant in the market”, says Axel Schmidt, responsible for the company’s sealants & adhesives business.
Currently, acetic and alkoxy curing silicone sealants containing 100 percent silicone are available as Elastosil eco products. Acetoxy curing sealants have a long shelf life and are frequently used for professional construction applications. Alkoxy curing grades exhibit outstanding adhesion and elongation in glazing and window applications as well as selected industrial applications. Both are equally available as versions for professional sanitary applications.
The Elastosil eco portfolio also includes a chalk-filled alkoxy-curing silicone sealant. With its matt appearance and outstanding adhesion profile, it is a grade found in weather-seal applications.
“The performance of the standard and fossil-free grades is completely identical”, Schmidt emphasizes. “We deliberately selected our premium quality sealants for the start in order to show our customers that we accept no compromise on quality.”
Silicone sealants primarily consist of several components: a silicone polymer that cures at room temperature to form a rubber-like elastomer, plasticizers, fillers and additives.
Apart from silicon, which is manufactured by reducing quartzite with coke, an important raw material for manufacturing the polymer used for silicone sealants is methanol. Wacker uses methanol derived from fossil raw materials and from biomass. If methanol from both plant- and fossil-based sources is used within an integrated produc-tion system, the portion of raw materials derived from biomass can be determined and explicitly allocated to individual sales products.
Wacker already uses this officially certified method for manufacturing biomethanol-based silicone products for the textile, paper and consumer goods industries and for producing vinyl acetate ethylene copolymer binders based on bio-based acetic acid.