Industry News

Environment-friendly raw materials for coatings and adhesives:On the road to success with waterborne dispersions

Published on 2008-05-09. Author : SpecialChem

Leverkusen -- The Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties (CAS) Business Unit of Bayer MaterialScience AG is increasingly focusing on waterborne dispersions as raw materials for coatings and adhesives. Bayer MaterialScience is investing more than EUR 30 million in expanding production of waterborne dispersions and is thus well-positioned to meet the ongoing rise in demand for these environment-friendly raw materials. "We want to sustainably strengthen our business by means of innovative, practical and environmentally compatible technologies, a network of highly efficient production facilities in all major regions of the world, corporate foresight and distinct customer orientation," says Dr. Joachim Wolff, Head of the CAS Business Unit and member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience.

Of particular strategic importance will be the startup of a new production plant for polyurethane dispersions (PUD) with an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons in Shanghai, China, in the second half of the year. Bayer MaterialScience will then have PUD production facilities in each of the world's major industrial regions. The new plant is designed primarily for the long-term and reliable supply of regional customers in response to the expected growth in the market. The CAS Business Unit currently produces PUDs in Europe (Dormagen, Germany) and North America (New Martinsville, U.S.A.). Acrylic dispersions (PAC) will be produced in the future at the El Prat site (Spain). A significant capacity increase is planned there to keep pace with the strong growth of waterborne one - and two-component applications. The range of PAC dispersions comprises both conventional emulsion polymers and so-called secondary dispersions, which are produced in a two-stage process and used as high-performance resins for two-component waterborne coatings.

Besides PU and PAC dispersions, the CAS Business Unit also produces polyester (PES) and hybrid PU/PAC dispersions. These are marketed for a wide variety of applications under the names Bayhydrol®, Bayhytherm®, Baybond®, Dispercoll® U and Impranil®. Combined with the traditionally outstanding expertise and the comprehensive range of isocyanates and polyisocyanates, this offers the customers a unique portfolio of raw materials for the formulation of waterborne one and two-component coating and adhesive systems.

"We have optimally bundled our know-how in the area of waterborne dispersions and have an efficient innovation chain extending from our product research and application development all the way to our customers. This enables us to quickly and reliably take innovative ideas and develop new raw materials and systems for our customers throughout the world," declares Dr. Martin Vollmer, Head of Business Development Dispersions at the CAS Business Unit and responsible for research, development and technical marketing.

Low-solvent and solvent-free coating and adhesive systems are currently on the rise worldwide. In Europe this trend is driven primarily by increasingly stringent VOC (volatile organic compounds) limits. Other regions including Asia are also showing an increasing awareness of environmental and health protection and for the needs of sustainable development. Furthermore, waterborne systems now match the performance of classic solventborne formulations and thus are constantly finding new areas of application. "Waterborne systems can even be superior to the traditional coatings in certain respects, such as chemical resistance or drying time," adds Vollmer.

Typical areas of application for one-component dispersions are in the coating of metal, wood and plastics. Waterborne two-component PU systems are increasingly used for demanding applications. Floor coatings, general industrial coatings and coatings for transportation vehicles and agricultural and construction machinery are currently experiencing particularly strong growth. Waterborne dispersions are also becoming an increasingly important basis for the formulation of adhesives, such as for shoe soles and film-laminated furniture surfaces. Other areas of application are automotive interiors and coatings for textiles and leather. Radiation-cured waterborne dispersions - like the Bayhydrol® UV product line with its wide variety of applications for the coating of wood, furniture and plastics - are also gaining in importance . PUDs such as the recently introduced Baycusan® products from the CAS Business Unit also open up attractive possibilities in cosmetic products.

About Bayer MaterialScience:

With 2007 sales of EUR 10.4 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2007, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 15,400 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience

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