First bio-based hardener for lightfast polyurethane coatings
At eMove360° Europe 2018, the international trade fair for Mobility 4.0 in Munich, Germany, Covestro was awarded one of the “Materialica Design + Technology Awards 2018”. With the world's first bio-based hardener for lightfast polyurethane coatings, the company managed to prevail in the “CO2 Efficiency” category.
According to Covestro, for years, the company has been increasingly using alternative raw materials to manufacture its products, also to reduce its own dependence on fossil resources. The company said it is thus meeting the growing interest in products on this basis and is presenting itself as a pioneer in terms of sustainability.
“Our hardener is of similar high quality to its petrochemical counterparts,” explained Hiep Tran, project manager for the bio-based hardener in the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties segment at Covestro. “With a biomass proportion of 70 %, however, it achieves a 30 % better ecological footprint than comparable fossil products.” In addition, its properties are also comparable, enabling processors to use formulated coatings on their systems with minimal adaptation costs, said the company. Coatings based on Desmodur eco N are equally suitable for automotive, plastics, wood, furniture and industrial coatings.
Along with alternative raw materials, industries such as the automotive industry rely above all on energy savings and the possibility of using existing processes and plants – at competitive prices for the products they use. The polyurethane raw material Desmodur eco is said to meet all these requirements: The hardener is produced from fermented feed maize and thus conserves fossil resources. Compared to conventional products, several process steps are saved during its manufacture.
Last year, a project team consisting of employees from the vehicle manufacturer Audi, the BASF Coatings division and Covestro reached a new milestone: for the first time, Audi Q2 test bodies were successfully coated with a clear coat of the bio-based hardener. The application took place at the Ingolstadt plant under near-series conditions on existing systems. One of the vehicles was exhibited at the European Coatings Show from 4 – 6 April 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany.
Covestro announced it is expanding its product range to include a large number of variants with different properties – such as the recently launched water-soluble product Bayhydur eco, which is tailored to the requirements of waterborne coatings. At the same time, Covestro and its partners are working on the development of next-generation bio-based raw materials from cellulose and waste biomass.
The Materialica Design + Technology Award is presented to products and concepts that meet demanding criteria such as intelligent material selection, competent engineering, a high degree of innovation and convincing design. The prize has been awarded since 2003 and addresses designers and engineers alike.