Industry News

Dow to Launch AUTOTHANE™ Based on Hybrid Polyols and MDI Technology

Published on 2011-12-21. Author : SpecialChem

Auburn Hills, Michigan -- Dow Automotive Systems, in cooperation with Dow Hyperlast and Kumpulan Jebco, Malaysia, will introduce AUTOTHANE™ systems to the Chinese automotive market in early 2012. AUTOTHANE is a high performance microcellular polyurethane system based on hybrid polyols and MDI technology from Dow Hyperlast. It has been specifically developed for impact, shock and vibration management in chassis and suspension applications (spring aids and NVH components) and will be processed by licensee partner Kumpulan Jebco and marketed globally by Dow Automotive Systems (DA).

"Having the resources and technology of other Dow businesses available to leverage into the automotive industry helps set Dow Automotive Systems apart from other suppliers," said Steve Henderson, General Manager, Dow Automotive Systems. "Dow's broad material science R&D and diversified offerings from businesses like Dow Hyperlast, are a huge benefit to our customers."

A new production plant based in Yangzhou, PRC, is part of an $8 million investment plan by Kumpulan Jebco and will be operational in February 2012. The plant will produce NVH components from AUTOTHANE, a majority closed-cell structure with integral skin that gives components high abrasion resistance, excellent hydrolytic stability, resistance to microbial degradation, high damping characteristics and longevity of on-vehicle performance.

For many years, design engineers have been making use of the unique mechanical and dynamic properties of high density microcellular polyurethane elastomers. When used in suspension systems or vibration isolation applications, these materials are known to improve vehicle handling, comfort and ride quality. The AUTOTHANE team, which includes Dow Automotive Systems and Kumpulan Jebco, aims to meet customers' specific needs in product design, prototyping, component characterization, durability testing and validation.

The new plant in China strengthens the AUTOTHANE manufacturing base which already exists in Europe, North America, India, Korea and Malaysia. The plant will be operated by Kumpulan Jebco, an AUTOTHANE processing licensee that has been serving the ASEAN market since 1996.

"We have had a long and successful relationship with Dow Hyperlast and Dow Automotive Systems during which time we have seen the market change away from rubber to microcellular polyurethane systems for these types of applications," said Kevin Loke, CEO of Kumpulan Jebco. "The expansion of our manufacturing base into China is part of a longer term plan to position manufacturing sites closer to OEMs where we will offer optimized service and support for the polyurethane and rubber components we produce. The plant at Yangzhou will be our first step and we are very excited with the opportunity to work directly with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in China."

Dow Automotive Systems fully supports Kumpulan Jebco in their expansion plans and will continue to offer technical assistance from Dow's UK and China-based R&D facilities.

About Dow Automotive Systems

Dow Automotive Systems is a leading provider of polyurethanes, elastomers, films, fluids, adhesives, emissions solutions and acoustic- management materials to the global transportation industry. By working collaboratively with passenger vehicle, commercial transportation and aftermarket customers, Dow Automotive Systems is developing industry-leading solutions to address a wide range of critical market needs - increasing energy efficiency, improving safety and health, reducing exhaust emissions and enhancing vehicle quality and appeal.

About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow (NYSE: Dow) combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

Source: Dow

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