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RAG Subsidiary Degussa Launches New Project House for Functional Plastic Surfaces

Published on 2007-01-19. Author : SpecialChem

Degussa GmbH, Dusseldorf, launched its new Functional Films & Surfaces Project House in Hanau-Wolfgang on January 1, 2007. About 20 employees will work there, for three years, on technology for finishing polymer films and semifinished products with nanoscale and microscale surface coatings.

"The Functional Films & Surfaces Project House will focus on markets that are commercially very attractive," says Dr. Alfred Oberholz, deputy chairman of Degussa's Management Board, who is responsible for research and development. "The market for flat screens, for example, is growing by 15 to 20 percent annually, and photovoltaics are registering annual growth of about 15 percent. We want to develop these markets with our novel polymer products." The new functional plastic films and semifinished products should, among other things, make it easier and more cost-effective to manufacture solar cells and improve the light efficiency and picture quality of flat screens, not to mention support the trend toward miniaturization in electronics as regards flexible polymer circuit boards.

The new project house has set itself ambitious goals. Prototypes for a number of attractive applications are expected to be developed by the end of 2009, which the participating Degussa business units will then rapidly bring to market readiness.

"We analyze selected markets and applications, and develop for them customized plastic surfaces with new functionalities," says Dr. Jochen Ackermann, who heads the new project house. This work is based on the expertise of Degussa, the world's leading specialty chemicals company, in the manufacture of polymer films and semifin-ished products - by extrusion, for example - as well as in the formulation of coatings.

Innovative concept for strategic research

Using the innovative "project house" concept, Degussa develops promising and cross-disciplinary technology platforms to application readiness. Recent project houses have worked in the areas of, for example, biocatalysis, fermentation, functional polymers, catalysis, and nanomaterials. The Process Intensification Project House is currently researching new process strategies and reactor concepts that will make production plants for specialty chemicals more flexible and allow new products to be developed. The distinctive characteristics of all the project houses are that their work is performed in interdisciplinary teams and is restricted to three years. The newly developed products and technologies are then commercialized within a Degussa business unit or in an internal startup.

Degussa - a wholly owned subsidiary of the RAG Group - is the global market leader in specialty chemicals. Our business is creating essentials - innovative products and system solutions that make indispensable contributions to our customers' success. In fiscal 2005 around 44,000 employees worldwide generated sales of 11.8 billion euros and operating profits (EBIT) of 940 million euros.

Source: Degussa

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