From Instant Coffee to High-Tech Powder

WACKER’s VINNAPAS® dispersible polymer powder has been setting benchmarks in the construction industry for 60 years. Over three million metric tons have been distributed globally to date, and new applications are still being found. This pioneering product has become a world-famous all-rounder.

VINNAPAS® is a German baby boomer. Amid the country’s rebuilding and growing prosperity, the development of dry-mix mortars was particularly important for the construction industry. The overriding concern at that time was to build or renovate as fast as possible. Growing prosperity also raised quality expectations. In both cases, VINNAPAS® provided the answer, as dispersible polymer powders paved the way for faster, more efficient working, while enhancing the quality of construction. This holds true to this day and sales volumes of the powders have risen continuously. Over three million metric tons of VINNAPAS® have now been sold worldwide. That makes WACKER not just the pioneer, but also the world’s biggest supplier of dispersible polymer powders used for modifying mortars.

At the start of the 1950s, WACKER embarked on initial tests in Burghausen to convert its liquid vinyl acetate dispersions into powder that only redisperses when processed. This process was masterminded by WACKER chemist Dr. Max Ivanovits. The story goes that he got the idea from instant coffee. He would always take some Nescafé with him on his frequent visits to customers. While making his coffee one day, he had the brainwave of turning dispersions into powder, and simply reconstituting them on-site as needed. Once the idea had taken root, it would not let him go. Previously, liquid dispersions had been delivered to construction sites in small drums, and construction workers performed the painstaking job of mixing them with other components (cement, sand and additives) in defined mixing ratios to prepare the finished mortar. If, however, the dispersion could be provided as a finished dry-mix mortar, it would need to be mixed with water on site – just like a cup of instant coffee. These ideas were quickly followed by actions.

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