By Frank Esposito, Plastics News
Spanish materials firm Merquinsa will see its Bio TPU brand thermoplastic polyurethanes used in a Ford Motor Co. auto part and a Brooks Sports running shoe next year.
Ford will use Merquinsa's material as a top layer on a console tambour door on its 2011 Lincoln MKZ vehicle. The bio based material offers the same performance as a standard TPU while remaining cost-competitive, Merquinsa commercial general manager Jean Marc Galvez said in an interview at K 2010.
The Brooks shoe - available next spring - is 5 percent lighter as a result of using the Bio TPU in its soles, Galvez added. The material is also replacing a standard TPU in that use.
Since launching Bio-TPU in 2007, Merquinsa has added almost 5 kT/year of annual capacity for the material at its plant in Barcelona. Bio-TPU is based on unspecified non-food plants.
Merquinsa will also open a sales office in Guangzhou, China, early in 2011,and hire five new application development staff during the year.