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An extremely turbulent and unusual year is coming to an end. We have learned a lot from the challenges, adapted our working methods and our social life. Now we are looking forward full of optimism and with great curiosity to what the coming year will bring.
We wish you Happy Holidays, peace and a joyful time with the people who are important to you. May the New Year bless you with personal and professional success, and above all with good health.
Your PU Magazine editorial team
The flexible foam polyurethane industry has suffered this year from more than the Corona lockdown. Several forces majeures in Europe as well as in the USA. caused a shortage of raw materials combined with an unexpectedly high demand for foam, leading to disruptions in the supply chain.
On 22 October 2020, the first meeting of the exhibitors’ advisory board marked the kickoff to the next “K” in Düsseldorf, Germany, to be held from 19 – 26 October 2022. The exhibitors’ advisory board supports Messe Düsseldorf in the preparations for K 2022 and provides consulting on basic conceptual and organisational issues.
With 1.3 billion inhabitants and a per capita GNP of around USD 1,700, the African furniture market at producer/import prices is estimated by CSIL at around USD 10 billion. The stage of development of markets and industries varies considerably across African countries. In its constant market research activity, CSIL has recently devoted some specific attention to a selection of countries: South Africa, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique. Some findings from the recent ‘Africa Furniture Outlook’ by CSIL are reported in this article.
The nova-Institute has released the new market and technology report “Chemical Recycling – Status, Trends, and Challenges – Technologies, Sustainability, Policy and Key Players”. The market study is addressed to the chemical and plastic industry, brands, technology scouts, investors, and policy makers and provides comprehensive information around chemical recycling on 190 pages. More than 70 companies and research institutes, which developed and offer chemical recycling technologies, are presented in the report. Each company is listed with its technologies and status, investment and cooperation partners. Additionally, the report provides an overview of waste policy in the European Union. And finally, ten companies and research institutes were interviewed to receive first-hand information around the topic of chemical recycling.
According to JEC Group, the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic that has been affecting the world's economy since last winter has had a tremendous impact on many major industries, including aerospace and automotive, at the heart of the composites industry. Although the outlooks seem uncertain for the latter, the composites industry has remained resilient and shows strong adaptability during this crisis.
SPE Central Europe is pleased to announce a new sponsor: Solvay Speciality Polymers will support an award category at the 20th Automotive Award 2021.
On 22 September 2020, the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium was launched. Led by IRT Jules Verne, it brings together leading players and technical centres around an ambitious project addressing the design and production of the first 100 % recyclable wind turbine blade. Alongside Canoe, Engie, LM Wind Power, Owens Corning and Suez, Arkema is contributing to the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for wind power with its high performance materials.
According to Henkel, with its wide range of technologies and know-how, the company is a supplier of complete solutions in the automotive industry and especially for electric vehicles. Products for conductive coatings and thermal interface materials, as well as assembly adhesives and liquid seals, are used to protect battery packs in electric cars. An important prerequisite for maintaining the service life of electric batteries is a permanently functioning seal for the battery housing in the car underbody.
Successful companies work hard every day to refine their own quality standards and improve quality, costs and delivery times for their customers. In order to meet this challenge every day, all the gears of the production process must always work together in harmony. These seamless processes are the key prerequisite for the creation of an outstanding product range, said the Freudenberg-based German company Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co. KG.
Corona is putting a big spanner in the works for all of us this year. Many events had to be postponed due to the pandemic, including one of the industry's most important meet-ups - the annual Polyurethane Technical Conference that would have been in its 63rd edition this year. Organized by the Center for the Polyurethane Industry (CPI) of the American Chemical Council (ACC), the conference plus exhibition is the place where the industry meets, exchanges ideas, networks and, of course, learns about the latest innovations. This year, three days of online discussion panels were held on topics such as spray foam research, sustainability and the annual Global Regulatory Roundtable. Following the mini-conference, PU Magazine spoke with CPI’s leadership team, Lee Salamone, Senior Director, and Stephen Wieroniey, Director, about the current crisis situation and how nevertheless CPI continues to support its members and the industry as a whole.
Sustainable thinking and acting is a constant driver of innovation in the polyurethane processing industry and is inherently applied in the development and implementation of future-oriented material and process technologies. Understandably, new technologies can succeed when they do not represent a step backwards in terms of robustness, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. In a German IGF cooperation (Industrial Collective Research) project at the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV), Aachen, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), Bremen, the pilot plant readiness of a permanent release coating on a steel mould has now been demonstrated by consecutively demoulding more than 1,200 PU parts at constant low forces.
Traditional and non-traditional amine-based urethane catalysts were evaluated for storage stability in polyol blends that use new low global warming potential (GWP) blowing agents, namely 1233zd(E) and 1336mzz(Z). Foam profiles were used to monitor each polyol blend throughout a defined storage time and temperature. As expected, molecular structure is a major factor in stability with halogenated olefin blowing agents, with traditional, unhindered amines degrading over time and blocked, hindered, or electronically deactivated amines providing stability.
As automotive OEM requirements continue to focus on improving the indoor air quality of the vehicle and as the industry continues to face high environmental pressure to comply with low volatile organic compounds (VOC) and aldehyde emissions, raw material suppliers and polyurethane converters have had to come up with new product offerings to meet these requirements. Wanhua Chemical’s experience in sustainable development from theory to practice provides new alternatives to the value-chain. This paper primarily focuses on the sources of aldehydes in polyurethane raw materials and additives. Suggested improvements of aldehyde emissions are proposed from the perspective of improving the quality of the base polyether polyol, the selection of additives, and the aldehyde scavenger. Moreover, the impact of foam aging on aldehyde forming under the conditions of light, heat and oxygen is also discussed in this article.