London -- The increasingly important role of polyurethanes in the automotive industry will be evident at UTECH Europe this year, with experts discussing some of the latest advances relevant to the sector during the three-day conference.
Running from 17-19 April at the MECC in Maastricht, the conference will cover major developments such as new lightweight composites for automotive components and tackle issues such as emissions, flame retardants, fogging and humid-ageing of foam products.
Conference delegates and other UTECH visitors can also seek out the latest products and solutions for manufacturing polyurethane-based automotive components in the UTECH Europe exhibition which runs alongside the conference.
"Polyurethane-based products are ideally suited for making a wide range of automotive products, so they remain the most widely used polymer in the sector" says UTECH conference chairman David Reed.
"Their versatility has led to applications ranging from bumpers to paint coatings and on into a wide range of interior components such as car seat cushioning, headrests, steering wheels, noise-suppressing carpets and air filters. But their continued use faces tough challenges ranging from European legislation to tightening standards, which vary from car-maker to car-maker.
"Accordingly anyone involved in the manufacture and supply of these polyurethane parts must be ahead of the game, making a visit to the UTECH event a valuable experience: in just three days they can meet with and discuss the very latest developments with representatives from most of the world's key specialists."
BASF Polyurethanes GmbH will open the Innovations Session on 17 April with a presentation on CosyPUR, which it describes as 'the ultimate foaming concept for flexible moulded applications,' and there will be a presentation from Bayer MaterialScience on advanced lightweight composites for automotive components.
Around the exhibition, visitors can find out about the latest developments in formulated systems for automotive applications as well as in key ancillary chemicals such as surfactants, catalysts and flame retardants, for example Bayer MaterialScience's Bayflex RIM Light Weight, a new material for bodywork parts produced using reaction injection moulding, giving end products which it claims are "even lighter than water."
Huntsman will showcase VITROX bonding solutions which bridge the performance gap between PU and epoxy adhesives and are useful where heat-resistance is vital, for example in modern lightweight cars where engines and components need to function in smaller, hotter spaces.