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Covestro Receives “Polyurethanes Innovation Award 2015” for its Coating Material

Published on 2015-09-22. Author : SpecialChem

Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has received the “Polyurethanes Innovation Award 2015” for not just one, but two of its developments. The first was the highly efficient insulating material Baytherm® Microcell, which insulates the door of the Solar Impulse solar aircraft against extreme outside temperatures. The second was for the surface coating of the Brazuca – the official match ball of the 2014 Soccer World Cup.

Covestro
Fig. 1: Dr. Hubert Ehbing (middle) receives the FSK Innovation Award
on behalf of the Solar Impulse Team at Covestro, from the
hands of Jens-Jürgen Härtel (Volkswagen AG, left) and
Albrecht Manderscheid (Cannon Deutschland GmbH).

These awards were presented to the winners during an official ceremony at the International Polyurethane Conference 2015 of the Specialist Association Foamed Plastics and Polyurethanes (FSK) in Bonn. Dignitaries at the presentation included Prof. Ulrich von Weizsaecker from Club of Rome and Johannes Remmel, Environment Minister for North Rhine-Westphalia.

“We are delighted by this recognition of our development work,” said Dr. Bernd Rothe, who coordinates material developments for the solar aircraft at Covestro. “Above all, we are proud that two major projects we have undertaken in collaboration with partners have received recognition.”

The perfect shape

Polyurethanes play a key part in the prize-winning Covestro development. The perfect shape and outstanding properties of the Brazuca soccer ball are all due to its outer shell. “It consists of a total of five layers based on polyurethane raw materials,” said Thomas Michaelis, project manager for ball development at Covestro.

A one-millimeter-thick elastic polyurethane skin enables the ball to immediately regain its spherical shape after being kicked, thus ensuring an optimal trajectory. The three outermost polyurethane layers give the ball high abrasion resistance and ensure it keeps its good looks for a long time, as well as preventing moisture penetration – all thanks to polyurethane dispersions from Covestro’s Impranil® product line. “This ball is the product of the combined expertise and experience of our partnership with adidas, which now goes back almost 30 years,” said Michaelis.

Lightweight, high-performance insulating material

Covestro has been an official partner of the Solar Impulse project since 2010. Ultra-lightweight design was a top priority in the construction of the current Si2 aircraft. Rigid polyurethane foam from Covestro components not only meets this requirement, it also helps protect the pilots from the extreme outside temperatures of minus 40 to plus 40 degrees Celsius.

Reducing the pore size improves the insulation performance of Baytherm® Microcell by ten percent compared to the current standard. This is also good for refrigeration equipment, whose energy efficiency has been improved by using the new material. The company is currently working on a further reduction of the pore size to boost this effect still further.

The polyurethane cabin of the first prototype aircraft is one of the top exhibits at the exhibition accompanying the conference. In the coming year, Solar Impulse intends to continue its record attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an aircraft powered only by solar energy.


The FSK has been presenting innovation awards since 1998 to encourage new talent at companies and universities.

About Covestro

With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion, Covestro 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 sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,200 people at the end of 2014. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, is a Bayer Group company.

Source: Covestro
 


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