Shanghai, China – Covestro and Chinese composite specialist Coleitec signed a strategic cooperation agreement to accelerate the application development of PU composite materials. The deal was signed at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
The collaboration has two main focuses. First, the aim is better performance for the PU technology and to make PU resins suitable for more applications. Secondly, they want to develop applications using bio-based raw materials, reducing carbon emissions and promoting the circular economy.
‘As a fast-growing technology-based enterprise, innovative product development is the top priority of Coleitec’s development,’ said Coleitec’s chairman, Peng He. ‘I believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, more high-quality and high-performance fiber composite innovative products will be presented in the future.’
The companies have already developed a high-pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM) PU battery pack top cover, and implemented mass production at a large battery manufacturer. The cover has passed compliance testing for REACH and RoHS in the US, and GB38031-2020 in China.
The companies say the new PU-based HPRTM process meets the requirements of replacing steel with plastic in electric cars. The thinnest part of the battery cover is 0.8mm, enabling a significant weight reduction. They add that it is 60% ligher than steel, 20% lighter than aluminium alloy, and 50% lighter than SMC composites. It also reduces carbon emissions compared with the traditional metal process.
‘This is a new PU application in the field of new energy vehicles,’ said Irene Li, head of R&D at Covestro’s tailored urethanes group in Asia Pacific. ‘It took us only 18 months from development to mass production.’