The Lubrizol Corporation used the K show to promote its extended Isoplast ETP engineered thermoplastic polyurethane portfolio.
Lubrizol said its Estane Engineered Polymers platform, Isoplast ETP is a tough material that combines a high modulus with good chemical and heat resistance. Impact strength is high too, the firm said, adding that this makes it a replacement for metal in some applications. When considering polymer transparency, Isoplast ETP offers outstanding optical performance in comparison to standard rigid transparent plastics. Isoplast can be over moulded which allows for enhanced design flexibility.
Lubrizol said the range can be used in highly demanding end-uses such as automotive components, industrial pump systems, connectors, power tool casings, marine boat propellers and scaffolding fittings.
“We are excited about the growth and possibilities of the Isoplast ETP portfolio. One of the top grades, Isoplast 302EZ, combines a set of unique properties such as chemical and corrosion resistance, light weight and dimensional stability. This makes it the material of choice for diverse end uses such as highly durable transparent fuel filter bowls and eyewear frames,” said Arnau Pano, European business director, Lubrizol Engineered Polymers and LifeScience Polymers.
Bayer MaterialScience unveiled new sustainability targets for 2020 at K 2013.
“Sustainability has grown to such a level that it equates to better life,” BMS executive Richard Northcote said at an Oct. 15 press event at the show. Northcote serves as the unit’s head of communications, public affairs and sustainability.
The new targets include reducing the impact of BMS’ manufacturing operations. These steps include reducing specific carbon dioxide emissions by 40% compared to 2005 levels and increasing energy efficiency by 30% compared to 2005. Leverkusen, Germany-based BMS also wants to continuously drive its safety culture to zero accidents.
Other 2020 sustainability goals for BMS include driving initiatives that identify cost-effective, renewable and bio-based raw materials. The unit also wants to ensure that transportation of finished products made from its materials is as environmentally-friendly and safe as possible.
The BMS motto for K 2013 was Sharing Dreams, Sharing Value — Be Part of It. The firm’s three key themes of Safe, Free and Happy also were embedded in its K show stand.
Another K 2013 focus for BMS was Cello 2.0, a musical instrument made from the firm’s aliphatic polyurethane. BMS officials said that PU components used in the cello prototype are lighter than other materials and can incorporate a number of design features. The ergonomic shape of the instrument was developed with Teams Design Co.
Other polyurethane highlights included infusion resins to make rotor blades for wind turbines. Using a polyurethane matrix for such components makes the blades sturdier, longer lasting and lighter weight than those produced with epoxy resins, said Bayer.
Bayer added that the low viscosity and short cure-time also makes polyurethane attractive for such applications. It could be possible to “reduce cycle times from 16 to 24 hours currently to 7 to 8 hours,” said Kim Harnow Klausen, head of the firm’s global wind power competence centre.
Bayer MaterialScience also outlined the role that polyurethane foam can-play in making automotive structural composites (see K collaboration article). On the stand, Bayer showed how continuous glass fibre reinforcement embedded in a polycarbonate matrix could be used for the outer surfaces of an automotive component supported with a
polyurethane foam. The foam is low density, stiff and sticks well to the outer layers.
Parts made in this way are lightweight, resist damage and can have antennae for car radios embedded in them.
Within BMS, first-half year sales of polyurethane grew almost 3% to E3.02 billion (US$3.93 billion), while sales of polycarbonate in that six-month period dipped 7% to E1.33 billion
Elsewhere, Polyurethane aerogel insulation materials with very high insulation values were unveiled by BASF at K2013.
Marc Fricke, laboratory leader, BASF said the aerogels allow insulation lambda values of 16 mW/m.K to be achieved. This is very much better than polystyrene foam with a typical lambda of 32 or conventional cyclopentane-blown rigid polyurethane with lambda ranging from 24 to 30.
He added that it is possible to increase the insulation level of the foam further by laminating foils onto both sides. BASF literature said that if it is used as a vacuum insulation panel “a further reduction in thermal conductivity by a factor of three is possible.”
BASF said the material could achieve equivalent insulation to conventional materials with a 25-50% reduction in insulation thickness. The company added that it has compression resistance of more than 300kPa, which is about twice as high as conventional panels used in construction. Panels can be sawn, drilled, milled and bonded, the firm added.
The material is called Slentite. Fricke
explained that aerogels are unlike conventional foams. “They are produced with an isocyanate and a polyol in a solution in a patented process,” he said.
When the polyurethane reaction is complete, the resulting polyurethane precipitates out of the solution in a mass and the pores within the foam are filled with solvent. “Pore size is very small,” he said, indicating that it can be around 100 nm. At this size, capillary forces within the foam, which is open-celled, are very high so extracting the solvent needs a novel approach, he said.
BASF uses supercritical-liquid carbon dioxide to replace the solvent, which is then recycled back into the process. The carbon dioxide can then evaporate out of the boards, Fricke explained.
Although the foam is open-celled, because the cells are very small and because the internal structure of the foam is composed of many cell struts – gases can only diffuse slowly through the foam. This makes it highly insulating, he said. The material’s slow diffusion properties allow it to regulate moisture in buildings, according to BASF literature.
Fricke said that BASF has started building a demonstrator plant for the material at its Lemförde, Germany location, scheduled to be complete in 2014. It will be capable of producing panels that are 40cmX60 cm (15”x24”). BASF expects there to be samples available from the middle of 2014.
In 2010, BASF Venture Capital invested in Aspen Aerogels, which makes slica aerogels
Into the machine halls
Tecnoelastomeri used the K 2013 show to display its latest low pressure polyurethane dispensing equipment.
The firm’s Castech DB9 machine can dispense between 150g – 6kg/min through four mix heads, which allows the customer to produce a wide number of formulations using combinations of prepolymer and polyols, said Ermes Gramellini, president at the K show.