Baule has been looking at mercury-free systems for many years and now has field-proven systems, said Philippe Jeantin, managing director of the business.
Baule wanted "to replace mercury" in its quasi-MDI polyester systems, which he said are "a kind of reference systems for mining and oil sector uses."
Hence its aim was to simply change the catalyst rather than change the system completely. Now, it has "finally found the right combination," Jeantin said.
The new system gives even better catalysis, he said, noting that BaulŽ wanted a similar ratio between pot life and demould time to that given by mercury catalysis.
"We succeeded with a mercury-free system which is even easier to process," he said.
Another development for Baule is MDI systems that are very much easier to handle and process, "which we hope could replace TDI/MOCA systems. They have a very long pot life and fast demould time," Jeantin said. Customers at the show have been very interested in that system, which is quite new, he added.
Discussing where demand for PU elastomers is high, Dr Wilhelm Lamberts, new president of Baule, said mining uses are strong in China and EMEA. In China there is now a trend for parts that used to be imported to now be made locally, he added.
One aspect of the deal in which Bayer MaterialScience has taken control of Baule is that in trying to categorise the business, Baule has realised how hard it is to give an overview.
"It's a fragmented business. We are examining this at the moment," said Lamberts, trying to cluster it wisely, with a focus on the growth segments.
Baule has many innovative customers, but these are often small enterprises with small volume uses and so are "a little below the radar," Jeantin said.
"Versatility is one aspect in [PU's] wide appeal, and customers are also innovative," he added. Baule, as a solution provider, offers systems, machinery and processing expertise, innovation can "tied in the creativity of your customers and this is a multiplier for innovation," Lamberts concluded.