From European Plastics News
Merquinsa has added to its bio-derived TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) product line with the introduction of a polyether-based product, which it claims is a world first.
The new grade, which like the current polyester types is based on plant oils, will be marketed under the Pearlthane ECO brand. Merquinsa says its renewable TPUs comprise up to 60 percent renewable content and provide performance similar to petrochemical derived products. Colour of the natural polymer is very slightly darker than traditional TPUs, although this is not noticeable in coloured grades, it says. Merquinsa's market manager for elastomers, Pablo Alegre, says the new grades carry a typical price premium of around 10-15 percent, although this premium is offset by a slightly lower density.
Alegre says the ECO products have been well received by its customers, especially in the automotive industry and notably from outside Germany, which the company had expected to be the main market.
"Interest in the automotive industry is coming from Japan, China and from France. That has surprised us," he says.