Amsterdam, the Netherlands -- Over 50 delegates heard papers and took part in a roundtable discussion about how polyurethanes can improve performance and profit in the automotive industry on the first day of the three day Automotive Polyurethanes conference held here.
Peter Fuss, senior advisory partner Automotive GSA, Ernst & Young looked at trends for the car industry and how these are driven by legislation and consumer pressure. Both of these pressures offer opportunities for polyurethanes as they compete with other materials.
Andy Walton, strategic marketing manger, automotive at Huntsman discussed the ways that polyurethanes are rising to the challenges of lightweighting. This theme was expanded by Rolf Albach, head of structural foam application development at Bayer MaterialScience, with reference to instrument panels and headliners.
Jean-Yves Coustenoble, research & innovation senior manager at Rydell, spoke about soft instrument panels based on lighter and faster PU systems while Jan Kuppinger, deputy director of the polymer engineering department at the Fraunhoffer ICT institute, examined trends in manufacturing structural and semi-structural components.
Later in the afternoon, Albach, Walton and Oto Tot, product development at Henkel took part in an hour-long discussion about the morning's papers with questions from the floor.
The conference, which is organised by Crain Communications, which also publishes UTECH-polyurethane.com, continues until Thursday 6 November at the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam.