Media
rainbow
Monday - December 1, 2014

Bayer MaterialScience develops material solutions for global trends

Complete range of services for polyurethane foams

Modern technical center supports efficient manufacturing to meet market demands

Leverkusen, December 1, 2014 – Polyurethanes are a very versatile class of plastics that make people’s lives easier in many respects. The most important applications are rigid foams for the efficient thermal insulation of buildings and refrigerators, and flexible foams for comfortable upholstered furniture, mattresses and car seats. Of the 16.4 million tons of polyurethane (PU) consumed globally in 2013, roughly two-thirds went into foams of this kind. Bayer MaterialScience expects annual growth in the global PU market to remain at its current level of around five percent in the medium and long term.

Important growth drivers include global trends, such as climate change, demographic change and advancing urbanization and mobility. They present the world with new challenges, and polyurethanes can help significantly to meet them.

Modern technical center for polyurethane foams
To better support customers in gearing their production to current market demands, the company has now built a new Polyurethanes Technical Center for industrial foam production at its headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. It is equipped with the latest facilities and enables high efficiency and productivity in product development to find solutions for the challenges facing our society today. A two-digit million amount has been invested in its construction.

Feeding a growing global population is becoming an ever-greater challenge. Food is scarce in many regions. Much of it spoils before it can be consumed. An energy-efficient cold chain therefore is of critical importance if food is to reach consumers while still fresh. Rigid polyurethane foam already provides outstanding thermal insulation in over 95 percent of all refrigeration systems.

Energy-efficient cold chain keeps food fresh
To increase the availability of food, Bayer MaterialScience has developed the polyurethane foam system Baytherm® Microcell. It enables even better thermal insulation in refrigerators, meaning chilled items inside stay fresh longer. The energy savings further help consumers to cut costs and contribute to climate protection.

To produce more efficient refrigerators in energy efficiency class A++ or higher, manufacturers until now have used both rigid polyurethane foam and vacuum insulation panels. In contrast, Baytherm® Microcell can be processed very efficiently using established foaming technologies and therefore sets standards for the future of refrigerator manufacturing. At its new technical center, Bayer MaterialScience helps customers adapt their production processes and develops new solutions based on the interplay between chemistry and technology.

Improved building insulation with polyurethane
Rigid polyurethane foam has a higher insulating performance than all other common insulating materials on the market. It therefore is also ideally suited to reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of buildings. Key products include universal insulation boards for buildings, and sandwich panels used primarily to insulate industrial and warehouse buildings.

In both fields of application, the demands on energy efficiency continue to rise, and for good reason: Lower energy consumption translates into cost reductions for operators and occupants, and contributes to climate protection. The new Polyurethanes Technical Center therefore includes several systems for quickly and efficiently adapting manufacturing processes to future market trends and customer needs.

The core equipment includes a system for the complete, continuous production of sandwich panels and a system that focuses on the batch custom fabrication of insulation boards, insulated pipes and the refrigeration systems mentioned above. These flexible, high-precision systems help to not only further improve insulating properties, but also to increase efficiency in product development. Thanks to their flexible equipment, many different process variations can be tested and samples fabricated in a short period of time. One example is different facings for metal panels.

Efficient manufacturing of comfortable car seats
Drivers want comfortable, ergonomic seats with soft cushions and good lateral support. The parts required for this purpose are fabricated from flexible polyurethane foam on special foam machines. To fulfill the demand for all-around comfort in car seats, the foam element must combine areas with different degrees of hardness. Today complete foam moldings with different hardnesses are produced in a single step.

At the new technical center, Bayer MaterialScience operates a high-tech production facility just like those used by customers. Its special feature is a robot-controlled, six-component mixing head, which can be used for the rapid, precision testing of various formulations. This helps to speed up the development of flexible molded foam formulations for even more comfortable seats.

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2013 sales of EUR 11.2 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 2013, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

This news release is available for download from the Bayer MaterialScience press server at www.press.bayerbms.com. Photos are available there for download as well. Please mind the source of the pictures.

Find more information at www.materialscience.bayer.com.

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. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.