Evonik Industries is an international industrial group with a workforce of approximately 39,600 ( in 2009) and subsidiaries in more than 100 countries worldwide. The focus of Evonik lies on specialty chemicals that find application in the most diverse products and industries, from automotive to pharmaceuticals. Working closely with customers, innovative, custom designed products and solutions are developed.
The core competencies of Evonik Industries’ Inorganic Materials Business Unit are particle design, surface chemistry, and process technology for production of chlorosilanes and organosilanes. The business unit generated sales of about €1.8 billion in fiscal 2009. Evonik products supply tire, rubber, and paints & coatings industries, and producers of adhesives and sealants. Products are also used in photovoltaics, foodstuffs and animal feeds, and print media. The silicon-based product portfolio, the only one of its kind in the world, includes the AEROSIL ® fumed silicas and the precipitated specialty silica Sipernat ® as well as pyrogenic specialty oxides and chloro – and organofunctional silanes. Siridion® chlorosilanes form the base for production of polycrystalline silicon, which in turn is the basic material for solar cell production.
MAIN TASKS IN THE PROJECT
Evonik will contribute to the project by developing molding procedures, utilizing multiple component molds, suitable for manufacture complex shaped Secondary Optical Elements (SOEs) in pure silica glass according to partner design specifications. The molding procedures developed should meet the challenging task of being implementable at an industrial mass production scale. Evonik will use the developed procedures to manufacture prototype SOEs in sufficient quantities to permit adequate testing by partners.
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE AND PUBLICATIONS/PATENTS
Evonik, through its business unit Inorganic Materials, detains a patented sol-gel process, known as the SiVARA™ Process (39 patents filed), which permits room temperature molding of pure silica glass components. Evonik has already successfully implemented this process to an industrial production of LED lenses and is now preparing to start production of simple shape SOEs. Current technology for industrial mass production is however limited to relatively simple one component mold designs.