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When Harry Kloepfer, a chemist at Degussa AG, the predecessor of Evonik’s Chemical Business Area, invented a process for producing an extremely fine silica in 1942, he had no idea that this would mark the first chapter of an extraordinary success story that is still continuing to this day. Silica, marketed under the trade name AEROSIL® since 1943, is now produced in a large number of variants and supplied to almost 100 countries worldwide. Kloepfer had originally developed the substance as an alternative to carbon blacks as a reinforcing filler for car tires. Kloepfer made his breakthrough in 1942. He developed high-temperature hydrolysis, which made it possible to produce an extremely fine-particled silica. In the same year Degussa obtained the first patent for the process, starting industrial production of AEROSIL® in 1944.
Since then the product has been continuously developed and many new variants have been added to the product range. AEROSIL® is now used to optimize products in many different sectors of industry from tires to pharmaceuticals. For example it improves the material properties of technical rubber articles, improves the flow of a wide variety of powders, hardens lacquers against scratches, optimizes the flow properties of toothpaste and can even be used as a polish for microchips. AEROSIL® is produced worldwide at eight sites of Evonik Industries in Germany, Japan, China, Thailand, and the United States.