The auto market also continues to be an area of strength for Momentive's LSR products, with demand up by double-digits so far in 2014, Franssen said. The materials can offer weight, cost and process savings in pressure hoses, connector assemblies and other auto applications.
Increased digitization in vehicles also is creating demand for more sensors that use LSR, he added.
“Our automotive customers are investing in molds and machinery,” Franssen said. “Our top 10 customers are all positive.”
High LSR demand also is leading Momentive to increase capacity for the material at production sites in Leverkusen, Germany, and Rayong, Thailand. The capacity increase in Thailand should be completed by the end of the year, according to Franssen, while additional capacity should be online in Rayong by mid-2015.
Other products highlighted by Momentive at Fakuma include:
• Silplus 30 AS anti-static silicone rubber, which can help remove static charge without the use of carbon black fillers. Officials said this enables manufacturers to create products in a variety of colors, as well as translucent products. Applications include keyboard covers, elastomeric keypads and buttons, soft-touch features on devices, as well as other consumer electronic applications.
• Silopren LSR 3376/50, which is the first member of Momentive's new low-volatile, self-lubricating LSR family that aims to meet increasingly stringent safety specifications for automotive electrical systems. This material can address the critical need of manufacturers in Asia for connector seals that have very low levels of volatiles, according to officials, and do not require post-curing to achieve this.
Machinery firms Engel, Wittmann Battenfeld and Dr. Boy also are running Momentive materials on their equipment at the show.
Momentive was formed in 2006 when private equity firm Apollo Management LP bought the GE Advanced Materials unit, including silicone and quartz production, from General Electric Co. In 2010, Apollo merged Momentive with Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. — a thermoset plastics leader also majority-owned by Apollo — to create a specialty chemicals company with annual sales of $7.5 billion.
Momentive operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy for several months this year before exiting in August. The firm was able to restructure and eliminate $3 billion of debt, while launching a $600 million rights offering.