Bayer MaterialScience

Bayer MaterialScience (19)

Bayer MaterialScience and Solid Composites GmbH are partnering to develop thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) powders for selective laser sintering. This innovative method for fabricating three-dimensional structures is based on the use of a laser beam to sinter powdered starting materials. The start-up company based in Voerde, on the Lower Rhine, will be awarded a brand license to market the new high-tech materials under the name Desmosint. This opens the door to numerous potential applications, for instance in the automotive industry, in sports goods, robotics or aerospace engineering. Solid Composites is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT).

“Solid Composites has made a name for itself as a creative developer and supplier of thermoplastic powders for laser sintering and electrostatic coating, among other things, and is therefore the partner of choice for us when it comes to successfully marketing our TPU innovation,” explains Jürgen Hättig, TPU marketing specialist at Bayer MaterialScience.

No molds necessary

Selective laser sintering is becoming a firmly established digital manufacturing method in the additive manufacturing of plastic parts. A part is made from a thermoplastic powder based on the part’s structural design data. Guided by CAD software, a laser fuses successive layers of a powder bed at selected points where the part is to emerge. In other words, the part “grows” layer by layer. “The method eliminates the use of molds, and that cuts costs considerably. Furthermore, in contrast to injection molding, even parts having complex geometries with cavities and undercuts can be rendered,” explains Marcus Rechberger, general manager of Solid Composites.

Material gap closed

Until now, primarily soft, elastic materials and rigid thermoplastics, such as polyamide, were commercially available for selective laser sintering. “Our TPU products, with their high toughness, elasticity and strength, have now closed the gap between these material classes. And that opens the door to good application opportunities,” Hättig says. The first representative of the new class of TPUs is Desmosint X 92 A-1. One of its advantages is that the space in which the TPU is processed layer by layer must be maintained at a temperature of only 80 °C, in contrast to polyamide, for instance, which is processed at slightly below its melting temperature. “Because heating the processing space generates most of the total energy cost, this method results in significant savings on energy. And our TPU has only a very low tendency to warp, meaning the sintering process runs very stably. Lastly, the non-sintered powder does not age inside the processing space and therefore can be used for the next job, an enormous cost advantage compared to the classical laser sintering material PA12,” Hättig explains.

Potential use even in high-volume production

Selective laser sintering typically offers great design freedom and is particularly suited to the additive manufacturing of short to extremely short runs, for instance in the production of components like housing parts, bellows and hoses for full-size and luxury sedans. When used with the TPU products, the method also is ideal for producing custom components, such as orthopedic shoe inlays, athletic shoes, helmets and prosthetic devices. “Beyond that, the technology may prove suitable in high-volume production, too, particularly in those cases where part geometries are very intricate and the cost of injection molds high. In these scenarios, the use of several sintering machines can be more cost efficient,” Rechberger explains. At the end of the part’s service life, the plastic is fully recyclable.

For more information, visit: www.materialscience.bayer.com or www.solidcomposites.de

Bayer MaterialScience is strengthening its marketing and innovation activities with the appointment of Peter Vanacker to the Executive Committee position of Head of Industrial Marketing and Innovation. Peter Vanacker takes his new position from his current role as Head of Polyurethanes Business Unit, on July 1, 2011.

In his new role, Peter Vanacker will be responsible for driving industrial marketing and innovation as key elements of the Bayer MaterialScience growth strategy. In addition, he will lead the company’s development business activities in Functional Films and Carbon Nanotubes, among others.

"I cannot stress enough how important industrial marketing is to our future growth," said Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience. "The markets in which we operate are changing faster today than at any time in the past, and we must ensure we develop a strong feeling for market trends through our activities in this field.

At the same time, Dr. Joachim Wolff succeeds Peter Vanacker as Head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit, while Daniel Meyer joins the Executive Committee and succeeds Joachim Wolff as Head of the Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties Business Unit. Daniel Meyer was previously Head of Marketing and Business Development within this business unit in the Asia Pacific Region.

In a further development, Bayer MaterialScience has extended its Executive Committee to incorporate key functional activities. Michael Bernhardt, Wolfgang Miebach and Richard Northcote join the Executive Committee on July 1, 2011 in their positions as Heads of Human Resources, Corporate Development and Communications and Public Affairs, respectively.

“Each of these individuals brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Executive Committee,” said Patrick Thomas. “Their contribution to the leadership of the company will be invaluable as we continue on a strategy of growth and market extension,” he added.

With 2010 sales of EUR 10.2 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 2010, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,700 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

For more information, visit: www.bayermaterialscience.com

Bayer MaterialScience today held a ground-breaking ceremony for the third phase of the expansion of its Polymer Research & Development Center (PRDC) in Shanghai, China. The PRDC, which will become an innovation center for the company, is scheduled to be operational by the second half of 2012.

The expansion is part of a EUR 1 billion investment plan announced in December 2010 and the company’s global strategy of moving closer to customers in high-growth emerging markets.

“China is the largest market in the Asia/Pacific region and the third largest single market for Bayer globally. China and Asia are central to our global strategy,” said Bayer AG’s Management Board Chairman, Dr. Marijn Dekkers. “This expansion of our R&D facility is an important part of our large and continuous investment here in Shanghai. The expansion of our Center again underscores our company’s strong commitment to innovation as a foundation for our future growth. Central to this strategy is driving closer proximity to our customers – ensuring that we are positioned to quickly respond to their needs.”

After the expansion the number of employees at the PRDC is planned to increase from currently 130 to nearly twice that number. The PRDC will then have a full range of R&D expertise and include solutions-focused offerings for customers in specific industries such as mobility, renewable energy and construction. Its R&D activities will re-structure to focus on distinct industries, enabling the center to provide industry-specific solutions.

With 2010 sales of EUR 10.2 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 2010, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,700 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

Find more information at: www.bayermaterialscience.com

Applications for the scholarship programs of the Bayer Science & Education Foundation can now be submitted once again. In the academic sector, ambitious students can apply for a Bayer, Carl Duisberg or Kurt Hansen scholarship if they are aiming to undertake a study project abroad. The fields of study funded include biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, bioprocess engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmacy, physics, statistics/biometrics and teacher training in scientific subjects. Each year, the Bayer foundation makes available a total of up to EUR 150,000 for these scholarships. Sponsorship is open to students from Germany who are planning a period abroad and students from foreign countries who are looking to spend a period of study in Germany.

The scholarships in the academic sector are being supplemented by Hermann Strenger scholarships to support young people looking to gain initial work experience as part of a non-academic training program. Applications are invited from committed trainees in commercial, industrial, scientific and medical occupations and young professionals in these fields who have completed their training within the past two years. With this program, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation is looking to offer targeted funding to young people in the non-academic sector to allow them to gain professional experience abroad. The foundation will this year provide EUR 50,000 for this program.

The closing date for applications for all four scholarship programs is July 15, 2011. The application documents are available online at www.bayer-foundations.com. An independent scientific committee will decide on the allocation of funding in mid-September 2011.

The Bayer Science & Education Foundation is launching the fifth round of the scholarship program, which offers targeted support for scientific exchanges and international work experience for young people. The program follows the tradition of the first Bayer scholarships, which were created by Carl Duisberg in 1923. It is aimed at creative young people with above-average grades who demonstrate outstanding dedication and social commitment. The first four rounds of funding supported – including the Bayer Climate fellows – 159 young people from 43 countries going to 62 countries with more than Euro 700.000.

The application documents and further information on the Bayer Fellowship Program and the Bayer Science & Education Foundation are available at: www.bayer-foundations.com

Because of its outstanding performance characteristics, polycarbonate resin is widely used to manufacture parts used in a myriad of industries. Parts made of polycarbonate resins and protected with hard, scratch-resistant polyurethane coatings offer superior impact strength, superior dimensional stability, glass-like transparency, excellent thermal resistance and low-temperature toughness in a broad range of high-performance applications in the transportation, construction, electronics, telecommunication, packaging and medical industries, to name a few. Now Bayer MaterialScience LLC is bringing to manufacturers two solutions that offer even greater scratch resistance for polycarbonate parts — its 2-D, nonformable Makrofol® HS 520 hard-coated film and its 3-D formable Makrofol® HF 278 hard-coated film.

2-D hard coat with excellent chemical resistance and outstanding hardness
Makrofol HS 520 hard-coated, glossy film exhibits excellent wet and dry scratch resistance. This coated film achieves an outstanding ASTM D3363 pencil hardness rating, which is an established global test standard for evaluating the surface hardness and abrasion resistance of materials. Makrofol HS 520 film is much more resistant to everyday scratching than its predecessors and also maintains its gloss and transparency longer.

Makrofol HS 520 film also offers excellent resistance to harsh chemicals such as MEK and toluene and to typical "everyday chemicals" such as sun creams, cosmetics, oils, grease, fuel and cleaning agents. It also provides better clarity with less haze and exhibits no rainbow effect or iridescence. Makrofol HS 520 film is ideal for flat panels, graphic overlays and backlit displays in electronic devices and appliances.

3-D, innovative dual-cure technology solves complex cracking issue
In addition to providing excellent scratch resistance, better surface hardness, improved abrasion resistance and higher chemical and stain resistance, new Makrofol HF 278 hard-coated films offer parts makers manufacturing flexibility, because they are formable and offer a deep-gloss finish ("piano effect").

Makrofol HF 278 formable, hard-coated films are dual-cure technologies with a long shelf life. The hard coat is partially cured on the film and remains stretchable during the forming operation. After the forming operation the film undergoes an ultraviolet (UV) cure, which produces a final hard coat free of brittleness and cracking, and sufficient for use in subsequent insert molding operations. A very good ASTM rating of at least 1H pencil hardness is achievable on back-molded parts with this film.

"The dual-cure approach is very attractive to manufacturers of complex parts such as automotive bezels, center stack consoles, electronic housings and household appliances which are formed under high pressures," said Chris Cooper, Functional Films business development manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "This new film enables the manufacturer to apply an extremely hard, scratch- and chemical-resistant gloss coating without the concern of post-forming cracking of the hardcoat. This is a great advantage to the manufacturer."

In addition to the Makrofol HS and HF coated films, Bayer MaterialScience Functional Films offers other technologically advanced grades — LM (Light Management), ID (ID Cards and Security), HX (Holographics), and SR (Scratch Resistant) capped products.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,700 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information visit: www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com

As demand for smaller, less intrusive medical devices continues to grow, designers and OEMs are increasingly seeking materials with properties that can make these new devices possible. Bayer MaterialScience LLC is launching a new grade of medical polycarbonate to address this need during the Medical Design & Manufacturing East conference, taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, June 6-9.

"Bayer MaterialScience has been a trusted material supplier to the medical market for more than 50 years," said Bruce Fine, market segment leader, Medical and Consumer Products, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "Introducing this new material is indicative of our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the medical market."

Specifically engineered for molding devices with extremely thin walls (as low as 0.014 inches) and long flow lengths (150 millimeters), Makrolon® 2258 polycarbonate is a high-flow grade with an internal mold release additive that allows it to be more easily released from the mold. These properties translate into a number of benefits. Among them, it enables designers/OEMs to use less material, offers greater processing efficiency, and reduces the invasiveness of procedures for patients. This material is expected to be used for such applications as trocars, needle safety guards and other medical devices requiring thin walls and complex components.

This material allows for ethylene oxide and steam sterilization at 121°C and meets many ISO 10993-1 biocompatibility test requirements. It is currently available in the United States and Europe.

To learn more about this material and other medical-grade polycarbonates, visit the Bayer MaterialScience LLC booth, #832, at MD&M East.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,700 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience's medical polycarbonate technology visit: www.bmsnafta.com

Bayer MaterialScience has developed a unique concept for a “green shoe” that uses a whole host of sustainable materials and technologies. These include polyurethane (PU) raw materials based on natural resources, products for solvent-free coatings and adhesives, and a polycarbonate blend and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) based on renewable resources. Up to 90 percent of all components in the “Ecotrekker” concept shoe can be given eco-compatible properties by using the company’s products.

This integrated concept from Bayer MaterialScience strongly reinforces the company’s commitment to sustainable solutions and once again demonstrates its expertise in developing innovative technologies and materials. Footwear manufacturers, end consumers and, not least, the environment can all benefit equally from the concept.

Global emissions of organic solvents could be reduced by approximately 150,000 metric tons annually simply by using products and technologies developed in-house for solvent- and plasticizer-free textile coatings and adhesive raw materials. Another element of the green shoe concept are microcellular polyurethane elastomer systems for outer soles and midsoles alone, in which the proportion of renewable raw materials is as high as 70 percent. This high proportion makes Bayer MaterialScience the leading raw materials supplier for shoe sole manufacturing in the industry, a position supported by up to 40 percent renewable materials in the polycarbonate (PC) blend.

While shoe soles depend on polyurethane materials having good processing characteristics and a range of properties typical of systems commonly found on the market, abrasion and wear resistance and high flexibility play a key role in waterborne coatings with Impranil®. Adhesives based on waterborne Dispercoll® U polyurethane raw materials ensure eco-friendly, long-lasting and flexible bonding between the upper material and the sole.

The green concept also offers clear health and safety benefits for shoe manufacturers: The waterborne coating and adhesive products are completely solvent-free and, compared with conventional production, the polyurethane products used do not contain any heavy metals. This is also important for disposal, once a shoe has reached the end of its service life.

TPU films from the Dureflex® range from Bayer MaterialScience LLC form a vapor-permeable membrane to reinforce the inner sole, without using plasticizers.

Furthermore, the limited edition concept shoe is equipped with a counterfeit-proof label based on a high-quality polycarbonate film from the Makrofol® ID range. The inscription is carried out using high-contrast laser engraving. In addition, a variety of security features such as holograms can be incorporated.

Just a few years ago, the company opened a global footwear competence center in Shanghai that is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for footwear applications, ranging from sports to leisure and safety shoes. This center develops innovative materials and technologies for the shoe industry and offers solutions for customers from all over the world.

The concept shoe was developed there in close collaboration with the Simple Factory Group, whose many years of experience in shoe design and production contributed to the successful implementation of the concept.

For more information visit: www.bayermaterialscience.com

It is up in air and leaving Switzerland for the first time. The Solar Impulse airplane, a solar-powered aircaft that flies without any fuel, set course for its first international destination, landing in the capital of Europe: Brussels. The plane will be displayed in a hangar at Brussels International Airport between May 23 and May 29.

The visit by the Solar Impulse plane coincides with Green Week, Europe’s largest environmental conference. Representatives from politics and business are taking part in the event, which is hosted by the European Commission.

The choice of Brussels as the first non-Swiss destination was not by chance: In 2008, even before Solar Impulse plane existed, the Brussels-based European Commission publicly granted patronage to the Swiss project under its founders, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg.

Bayer MaterialScience has been an official partner of the Solar Impulse project, since 2010, contributing technical expertise, high-tech polymer materials and energy-saving lightweight products. Last year, Solar Impulse demonstrated the potential of these new technologies with the first 26-hour endurance flight; comprising both day and night flying, with no fuel other than the power supplied by the sun.

“Solar Impulse has already set records that all involved in the project can be immensely proud of,” said Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience.

“This latest flight will see the plane land at Brussels and will be an icon for Europe to see what can be done by sheer determination and the use of the latest technology. We are delighted to see our technologies incorporated in the plane as our mission is to deliver Science For A Better Life.”

Select groups of visitors, including representatives from European institutions, journalists and students will be able to view the plane from May 23 to 29, 2011 at Brussels Airport in Zaventem. Among those on site will be Johannes Seesing, project coordinator at Bayer MaterialScience, who will present the lightweight technologies used in the airplane: “Our focus is on reducing weight as much as possible,” he says.

The first landing outside Switzerland was being painstakingly planned: To operate in an environment as complex as the international air traffic network and the taxiways of Brussels Airport meant anticipating and studying every possible eventuality. Special authorizations had to be obtained for the experimental airplane from the civil aviation authorities in each of the countries it flies over. To ensure its safety and success, a mission as challenging as this requires contributions from a whole team of specialists, including meteorologists from the Royal Belgian Meteorological Institute (IRM), air traffic controllers, engineers and IT specialists.

The next destination for the solar airplane following its stay in Brussels is Paris-Le Bourget Airport in France, where it will be the special guest of the 49th International Paris Air Show from June 20 to 26, 2011.

Bayer MaterialScience is set to invest some U.S. $120 million into its Baytown, Texas, site. Baytown, which celebrates 40 years of manufacturing success this year, is the company’s largest manufacturing facility in the United States and is a keystone of Bayer MaterialScience’s global manufacturing strategy.

“Our Baytown plant is a critical asset in the Bayer MaterialScience global portfolio,” said Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience and head of Industrial Operations. “It is a first-rate manufacturing facility and these significant investments are our commitment to keeping it fit for the future.”

The planned U.S. $120 million investment includes:

* Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) – environmental upgrades, reliability improvements and minor debottlenecking.
* Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) – improved process technology, environmental upgrades, and energy efficiency and reliability improvements that will increase productivity.
* Polycarbonate – reliability upgrades and quality improvements for advanced optical applications.

Additional investments are designed to improve the reliability of the infrastructure throughout the site.

“These comprehensive upgrades will support the growth we are anticipating in the NAFTA region,” said Greg Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

Commenting on the investments, Rod Herrick, Baytown general plant manager, said, “Reliability and safety are our priorities. A safe plant is a more reliable plant. In 2010, Bayer MaterialScience Baytown employees achieved their safest record in the 40-year history of the plant. These investments are a tribute to them as well as to the ongoing performance of the site.”

MDI and TDI are highly versatile chemicals used to produce polyurethanes used in flexible foam for the furniture and automotive industries; rigid and spray foams for insulation in the construction industry; and coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Polycarbonate is used in innovative applications including automotive headlamp lenses, optical data storage (CDs and DVDs), medical devices and shatter-resistant optical lenses.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,400 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information visit: www.bayermaterialscience.com

Bayer MaterialScience is to expand production of polycarbonate at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany through an investment of about EUR 90 million. The plant's current annual capacity is to gradually reach 400,000 tons over the next four years in stepped increases. The current nameplate capacity is 330,000 tons per year.

"Global demand for polycarbonate has increased considerably, with the strongest growth in Asia/Pacific, particularly in China. But there is also increased demand in Europe where the material’s versatility and other properties make it an ideal material for a variety of applications, for example in the automotive industry, where it is used to make vehicles lighter and more energy efficient. For Europe, we expect an average growth of five percent," says Dr. Günter Hilken, head of Polycarbonates at Bayer MaterialScience.

Another reason for the strong growth in Europe is the increasing demand for technology driven products such as in the electronic entertainment industry. One example is state-of-the-art LCD TV screens which must meet requirements for “eco-labels” as well as strict legal requirements with regard to flammability. There is also increasing demand for polycarbonate in other industries such as furniture and medical applications.

"To cope with this increased demand we need a competitive, world-scale manufacturing plant – and this is exactly what we will achieve with the expansion at Uerdingen. We will use state-of-the-art technologies and optimize the whole process. The plant will become less complex, more reliable and considerably more energy efficient," says Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, member of the Executive Board at Bayer MaterialScience.

In addition to the polycarbonate expansion at the site, Bayer MaterialScience is also currently rebuilding chlorine production facilities to increase energy efficiency. The new facilities will utilize state-of-the-art membrane technology and the innovative company’s Oxygen Depolarized Cathode (ODC) technology. Compared with the membrane technology ODC will reduce both electricity use and indirect CO2 emissions up to 30 per cent.

With 2010 sales of EUR 10.2 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 2010, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,400 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

Find more information at: www.bayermaterialscience.com

When selecting a material that could be used to form proprietary components of its new fuel cell, ReliOn Inc. turned to a proven plastic material: polycarbonate from Bayer MaterialScience.

ReliOn's E-1100™ hydrogen fuel cell provides 1,100 watts of power. Its modular, compact (seven-inch-tall) and fault-tolerant design makes it ideal for use in wireless and wireline telecommunications carriers; government communications, such as disaster response, flight guidance and security applications; and transportation network communications, including railroad signaling and traffic signage. Because there is no combustion in the process, emissions are limited to warm air and a small amount of water, which makes it an extremely clean and renewable source of energy.

The resin specified, Makrolon® 2458 polycarbonate from Bayer MaterialScience LLC, offers a number of beneficial properties, including good dimensional stability — even over a wide range of temperature and moisture, according to Kevin Dunay, market leader — Electrical/Electronic (EE) and Information Technology (IT), Polycarbonates NAFTA, Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

"Our Makrolon polycarbonate plastic was a good fit for the E-1100™ fuel cell. The material grade chosen satisfies the safety tolerance requirements of the product," says Dunay, who notes that fuel cell components that utilize the Bayer MaterialScience LLC plastic are molded by H&H Molds, Spokane, Wash. Dunay also points out that materials experts at Bayer MaterialScience LLC assisted ReliOn Inc. with material selection, assuring that the grade chosen met the product's stringent requirements.

"Bayer MaterialScience's guidance was helpful in our decision to use its Makrolon polycarbonate," says Sandra Saathoff, director, Marketing Communication, ReliOn Inc. "Choosing the right material was a key step to making our product vision a reality."

ReliOn is a leader in the development and marketing of modular, fault-tolerant fuel cell products for customers seeking solutions to critical backup power applications. With more than 1,100 systems serving sites in 38 U.S. states and 21 countries, ReliOn customers enjoy the benefits of high reliability, low operating costs and easy maintenance.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,400 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience's North American sales were 2.0 billion euros in 2010. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information visit: www.bmsnafta.com

Friday, 01 April 2011 09:28

Composites – strong, yet lightweight

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Bayer MaterialScience is presenting polyurethane (PUR) systems and technologies for manufacturing composite materials under the motto “From Megatrends To Business” at the 2011 JEC trade fair in Paris from March 29 to 31. With their high strength and low weight, composites are perfectly suited to highly diverse uses in a variety of applications and industries. What’s more, process simplification and the integration of added functions offer potential for cutting costs.

In the automotive industry, the current climate debate has given new weight to the subject of lightweight construction. According to estimates by Daimler AG, reducing vehicle weight by 100 kilograms decreases fuel consumption by 0.3 liters per 100 kilometers and leads to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 750 gram. The potential for reducing weight is particularly high in the body, because it makes up over 40 percent of a vehicle’s total weight.

Bayer MaterialScience has developed a variety of technologies for using polyurethane composites to reduce the weight of body parts while simultaneously enabling efficient manufacturing. “With this technology, we are contributing to climate protection and offering opportunities to increase productivity,” says Claudio Pauler, polyurethane systems specialist at Bayer MaterialScience

One example is the design of roof modules and antenna covers based on a pre-coated thermoplastic film, which is backmolded with a polyurethane foam system reinforced with long glass fibers. The coating system is not fully cured until after thermoforming, and lends the component a Class A surface.

Another technology, PU sandwich construction, even enables weight reductions of up to 80 percent in trunk floors and cargo beds. In the manufacturing process, a paper honeycomb core between glass fiber mats is impregnated with a two-component PU spray system and then press molded.

The two technologies can be combined, for example, to produce roof modules. Bayer MaterialScience estimates that these methods can reduce weight by about 25 percent.

Another important technology in vehicle body engineering is the reaction injection molding (RIM) process, in which a polyurethane mixture is injected into a mold and cured. In this case, one advantage over injection molding with thermoplastic materials is the low locking force, which enables the use of less expensive molds, such as those made of aluminum.

The company has also developed various PU composite technologies for applications outside the automotive industry. Reinforcing thermoformed thermoplastic films with the Multitec® polyurethane spray system is an economical and environmentally compatible solution for fabricating bathtubs and shower trays. Compared to the conventional material, the system cures faster, bonds very well to the film and eliminates the use of solvents.

The pultrusion process is another highly promising option, in which reinforcing fibers are impregnated with a PU system and the composite is then shaped and cured at an elevated temperature. Polyurethane offers an advantage for this technology over conventional materials by allowing the use of continuous glass fibers and enabling continuous and thus efficient production of such things as window frames and railroad ties.

Find more information visit: www.bayermaterialscience.com

Bayer MaterialScience LLC scientists showcased their most recent coatings innovations for fellow industry professionals at the recent 2011 Coatings Tech Conference in Chicago. Four Bayer MaterialScience LLC scientists presented at this event, which was sponsored by the American Coatings Association.

The presentation, "Painting a Picture of Sustainability in the Coatings World," was given by Steven Reinstadtler, market development manager — Construction for Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties (CAS), Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

Reinstadtler focused on the social, environmental and economic components of sustainability; industry drivers such as renewable and re-useable materials and VOC compliance; and provided examples of sustainable coatings technology. He highlighted natural oil-based coatings, waterborne coatings and UV-curable technologies.

The next Bayer MaterialScience LLC presentation, "Innovative Waterborne Polyurethane Coatings — Tools for the Formulator of the 21st Century," took place during the Hybrid Coatings session. Bayer MaterialScience LLC's Dr. Raymond Stewart, senior R&D scientist, gave the presentation.

Dr. Stewart illustrated some of the new advances in polyurethane-based coating technology by highlighting examples of one-component waterborne polyurethane resins for glass, wood and metal coatings. He also provided some helpful hints for coatings formulators.

"UV-Curable Soft Touch Coatings," took place as part of the Ultraviolet (UV) Coatings session. Dr. Abdullah Ekin, senior associate scientist, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, discussed the use of soft-touch coatings in various market segments, including automotive interiors, electronics and cosmetics packaging. Dr. Ekin examined different components in the coatings — such as urethane acrylates, matting agents and reactive diluents — and how these components affect both the feel of the coating, as well as its ability to pass a variety of tests.

Also part of the UV Coatings session was "UV-Curable Polyurethane Dispersion Coatings for Site-Applied Flooring," presented by Chuck Gambino, R&D specialist, Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

Gambino covered the findings of a study on the use of UV-curable polyurethane dispersions (UV PUD) in waterborne, site-applied wood, vinyl and concrete floor coatings. He discussed the results of this study, which led to the successful development of waterborne, UV-curable coatings for site-applied floor applications, as well as the benefits of this environmentally friendly technology, which include lower odor, ultra-low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), minimum down time, ease of use and high performance results.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,400 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience's North American sales were 2.0 billion euros in 2010. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC's coatings, adhesives and sealants, call 412-777-3983, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 09:30

New perspectives for composite materials

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Bayer MaterialScience has developed a very versatile technology for the use of fillers in reactive polyurethane (PU) blends. With the Solid Injection by Air Stream (SIA) method, the solids are transported in a gas stream and only injected into the mixing chamber during the blending phase.

“The SIA technology is another example of how we use innovative developments to help polyurethane processors optimize their production processes,” said Dr. Stephan Schleiermacher, the head of the project at Bayer MaterialScience. The company will show the development at the JEC 2011 in Paris, France, from March 29-31.

This method opens up entirely new possibilities for the use of composite materials, regardless of whether they are hard or soft, or if the polyurethane is a solid or a foam. One possible area of application is adding flame retardants to polyurethane parts, which is required for a variety of applications.

With today's batch method, fillers are often added to the polyol component before this is blended with the isocyanate component in the high-pressure mixing head and reacted. There are two disadvantages to this method, however. First, the system components must be adequately protected against wear caused by the solid, and second, large or mechanically sensitive filler particles limit the options.

“With the SIA technology, the components – polyol, isocyanate and filler – are added separately and not blended together until in the mixing head. This avoids the disadvantages of the batch method,” said Roger Scholz, a polyurethane expert at Bayer MaterialScience. The plant technology was developed in close cooperation with Hennecke GmbH. Bayer MaterialScience is committed to cooperations with equipment manufacturers to be able to optimally support customers in the development of materials and processes.

The method enables the use of very light or heavy fillers, or also the combination of different types. Even reactive substances or particles with porous surfaces can be used. This significantly reduces the probability of changes to the fillers and the wear of plant components due to abrasive or corrosive additives. The technology also makes it possible to vary the filler content within a layer or between different layers, such as in a sandwich composite, for example. Bayer MaterialScience operates a pilot plant employing the method in Leverkusen.

Bayer MaterialScience has developed and applied for a patent on a technology that enables the efficient production of highly integrated electronic components with complex geometries. It is based on polycarbonate films and the use of printed polymer electronics, and it is suited for the direct integration of antennas in mobile phone shells.

Mobile phones are becoming increasingly high-powered, offering users today a wide variety of functions that require the integration of additional antennas, for example. In future devices, the number could grow to 16 to cover bandwidths such as GSM, UMTS, Bluetooth, and Wifi, as well as RFID for near-field communication applications. But neither the exterior dimensions of the devices themselves nor the already low film thicknesses of the mobile phone shells should increase as a result.

“Besides the formability advantage, the process offers cost advantages over the common electrolytic deposition method,” says Elisa Picasso, Business Development manager for Functional Films at Bayer MaterialScience. “The printed antennas are extremely thin and easily accommodated even in small mobile telephone shells.” Three-dimensional electronic components are then made from the printed films using the film insert molding (FIM) process. The company is collaborating on the project with, among others, the Molex company, a world-leading direct supplier to the mobile communications industry, and Niebling-Junior Kunststoffverarbeitung – Werkzeugbau e.K.

Polycarbonate films in the Makrofol® HF range, which Bayer MaterialScience currently is expanding, offer additional possibilities for the production of electronic components. The films have a scratchproof surface with a deep-gloss finish (piano effect), and are gently and precisely formed in the high pressure forming (HPF) process. Even small radii and high depths of draw can be achieved. The precured coating is subsequently given a final cure with UV light, before the film is back-injected with plastic using the film insert molding process. Components with a rating of “1H” or better in the pencil hardness test can be manufactured using this technology.

One of the first representatives of this product family, Makrofol® TP 278, is used by Albrecht Jung GmbH & Co. KG for the display of its new KNX compact room controller. FIM technology further makes it possible to apply a variety of attractive decorations via a screen printing process, where the printed image is protected by the film. This is what makes the films so highly advantageous for use in housings and displays in the entertainment electronics sector, in mobile phones and in decorative 3D panels in automotive interiors.

“Our development partners benefit from the fact that our Technical Service Center for Films is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment covering every stage of the FIM process chain for producing printed polymer electronics,” says Picasso. For example, the Functional Films unit employs screen printing systems, rapid prototyping and HPF units that allow printed films to be thermoformed with minimal distortion. Rounding out the FIM process chain are injection and injection-compression molding machines of various sizes that are equipped with the relevant facilities for film processing.

Find more information at www.bayermaterialscience.com and www.pc-films.com

Bayer intends to significantly expand its capacities for the production of high-grade materials in China by 2016. Investments of around EUR 1 billion are planned at the Shanghai site. This means Bayer will focus even more intensively on the Asia/Pacific region, where it expects consistent growth in its customer industries. Capacities for the polyurethane raw material MDI are to be more than doubled to one million metric tons a year and for high-performance polycarbonate to 500,000 t/y. The company also intends to significantly strengthen its research and development activities there. Moreover, the headquarters of the Polycarbonates Business Unit will be relocated from the main Leverkusen site to Shanghai. The intention is to ensure even greater proximity to the booming polycarbonates market in Asia.

“The expansion of our capacities in China is an important step in strengthening our presence in the emerging economies,” explained Bayer AG’s Management Board Chairman, Dr. Marijn Dekkers. “We want to increase Group sales in Greater China to around EUR 5 billion by 2015. MaterialScience is expected to contribute at least half of this amount.” In fiscal 2009, the Bayer Group in Greater China recorded sales of EUR 2.1 billion, of which EUR 1.2 billion was accounted for by MaterialScience.

“The strong economic growth in China and in the whole region offers us outstanding opportunities, and we want to make the most of them,” added Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience. “For us, it is strategically important to have the necessary capacities in the Asia/Pacific region to meet constantly rising demand.”

Thomas emphasized that this was one of the biggest single investments to date for Bayer MaterialScience. In terms of sales, China is the second most important country in the world for the Bayer subgroup. It is already investing EUR 2.1 billion in Shanghai as part of a long-term project lasting until 2012. Together with the now announced expansions, this means a total investment of more than EUR 3 billion. For these new projects, a memorandum of understanding has now been signed with the relevant authorities.

Five production projects

Five separate projects are planned – in cooperation with Bayer Technology Services – to increase production capacity at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. For polycarbonate, a new facility is scheduled to be built with a capacity of 200,000 metric tons a year. In addition, it is planned to increase the capacity of the existing plant by 100,000 to 300,000 t/y. The Asia/Pacific region currently accounts for around 60 percent of the world's total polycarbonate market, with the greatest demand coming from China. The plastic is used predominantly in the automotive, electrical and electronics, and construction industries.

In addition, Bayer wants to increase its capacities in Shanghai for raw materials for the production of polyurethane rigid foam, which is used, for example, to save energy throughout the cool chain as an insulant. To this end, it plans to build a new MDI plant with an annual production capacity of 500,000 tonnes. At the same time, the company also intends to expand the capacity of its present MDI production facility from 350,000 to 500,000 t/y.

A further part of this investment package is the expansion of HDI production. HDI is an important starting product for high-quality surface coatings. There are plans to expand the capacity of the existing HDI production to meet short term market demand. The construction of a further 50,000-tonnes/year HDI production facility is also planned.

Only recently, Bayer MaterialScience announced the construction of five customer support facilities in Shanghai and three other Chinese cities. They will focus on customized production and further processing. The company has earmarked a further EUR 110 million for this project.

With the expansion of its research and development center for polymers in Shanghai, Bayer MaterialScience intends to strengthen its capability as a provider of innovative solutions. It plans to concentrate on areas in which China plays a leading global role, such as wind turbines and solar energy plants. The other research and development facilities in Europe and the United States will continue to be dedicated to further promising areas of research and to be part of the company’s global R&D network.

New headquarters for polycarbonate activities

Furthermore, Shanghai will become the new headquarters of the global polycarbonate activities of Bayer MaterialScience. The management team headed by Dr. Günter Hilken will move there from Leverkusen. The relocation is scheduled to begin next year. By moving closer to its customers, Bayer MaterialScience is taking account of the importance of the region for the global polycarbonates market. The company expects this step to speed up decision-making processes and to achieve more efficiency generally in day-to-day work processes.

For more information visit: www.bayer.com

Tuesday, 07 December 2010 08:42

Scratch-resistant coated film for identity cards

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Identity cards such as driver’s licenses, credit cards and passports have to meet ever greater functional and esthetic demands in terms of scratch resistance. With Makrofol® TP 320, Bayer MaterialScience has now developed an outer film (overlay) for these cards that is scratch-resistant and hardcoated on one side. This is part of the Makrofol® ID range, which has been specially designed for card applications.

“The special feature of this transparent film is that it can be laminated under high pressure and at temperatures of up to 190 °C, which are typically encountered when manufacturing these types of cards,” said Georgios Tziovaras, a films specialist at Bayer MaterialScience. “This eliminates both cracks in the hard coat and other surface defects, something that was not previously possible with polycarbonate films with scratch-resistant coatings.”

The new polycarbonate film achieved a very good rating of “= HB” (DIN EN ISO 13523-4) in the pencil hardness test, an established global test standard for evaluating the surface hardness and abrasion resistance of materials. Cards made of this film are therefore much more resistant to scratching in everyday use and the gloss and transparency of the card surface are maintained for longer. “This doesn’t just boost the card’s service life but also security against counterfeiting and misuse, since security features inside the card such as passport photos, signatures, personal data, holograms and kinegrams remain more readily identifiable over a longer period,” said Tziovaras. This is also helped by the hard coating’s excellent resistance to typical “everyday chemicals” such as sun creams, cosmetics, oils, grease, fuel and cleaning agents. Security is further enhanced by the fact that high-precision micro-engravings can be made in the film and card surface during the lamination process.

One of the strengths of the overlay film is the excellent flexibility of the hard coat. Such cards made of Makrofol® can be bent through 180 degrees without damaging the scratch-resistant coating. The flexural strength of these types of cards is comparable to standard cards made of Makrofol® based on the test conditions of the ISO/IEC 10373 standard. “What’s more, we have designed our new product so that it does not interfere with the use of laser engraving,” said Tziovaras. This process is used to write information and security features such as photos and microtexts into ready-laminated polycarbonate cards. Makrofol® TP 320 film is available in a thickness of 105 micrometers.

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2009 sales of EUR 7.5 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 2009, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

Contact:
Dr. Frank Rothbarth
Tel. +49 214 30-25363
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tuesday, 07 December 2010 08:29

Photopolymer films for volume holography

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Volume holograms enable the generation of three-dimensional images and should soon become a common feature in different areas of our daily lives. Besides creating fascinating optical effects, they can also be used to make ID cards and other documents forgery-proof. Further potential applications for the future range from brand protection through electronic displays to three-dimensional TVs that don’t require the use of 3D glasses.

In the past, however, there had been a problem with the availability of suitable materials for mass production, for example the necessary light-sensitive substances, known as photopolymers. Bayer MaterialScience is a world leader in the development of these materials. Holographic information “inscribed” onto photopolymers by exposing them to laser beams can subsequently be made visible by various means.

Current developments are focusing primarily on the use of photopolymers in light-sensitive films that either deflect light or are able to form visible images from incident light. Bayer MaterialScience is currently preparing to launch the first photopolymer product grades on the market under the name Bayfol® HX. Unlike the materials available at present, these photopolymer films require no subsequent chemical or thermal treatment, which should make them suitable for the cost-effective mass-production of volume holograms.

Looking to extend their applications beyond security cards and brand protection, researchers at Bayer MaterialScience are working hand in hand with partner companies to develop faithful color reproductions of 3D images and an accurate method of guiding light. “These films have the potential to become a leading material for light management in new technologies, for example in 3D displays of the future and energy efficient lighting technologies such as LEDs,” said Dr. Thomas Fäcke, head of the holography research segment at Bayer MaterialScience.

Thanks to these outstanding properties, the films can also be used to create holographic optical elements (HOEs) that can reproduce the optical functions of lenses, mirrors and prisms in a thin film, or even combine them with one another.

Under the leadership of Dr. Friedrich-Karl Bruder, Bayer MaterialScience has carried out extensive research into photopolymers that constitutes a major step forward in the industrial use of volume holography. In recognition of his efforts Bruder was last year presented with the North Rhine-Westphalia innovation award.

With 2009 sales of EUR 7.5 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 2009, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

For more information, visit: www.bayermaterialscience.com

The process of selecting the proper waterborne coating for direct-to-metal (DTM) applications is complicated by necessary surface treatment, application requirements, cost of the coating and desired performance properties. No one coating can overcome all of these challenges, but waterborne polyurethane coatings provide an excellent starting point to meet the various performance requirements of today's industrial markets.

Dr. Raymond Stewart, senior R&D scientist, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, presented the findings of a study he performed with Margaret Kendi, associate research scientist, Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, on waterborne polyurethane coatings for DTM industrial coatings.

Stewart noted that the study found that a single coat of the waterborne urethane PUD is as effective as multiple coats of the commercially available coatings and that the waterborne urethane coating has low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels. "We further found that the study succeeded in confirming that waterborne urethane coatings based on polyurethane dispersions have superior performance properties over commercially available coatings," said Stewart.

The presentation, "Waterborne Polyurethane Coatings for Direct-to-Metal Industrial Coatings — Challenges and Successes," was given as part of the Innovations in Industrial Liquid & Powder Coatings Session of Track B: Industrial Coatings II, at the North American Industrial (NAI) Coatings Show, held recently in Indianapolis. NAI, the largest industrial coatings conference in North America, is the only event that provides a technical program and exhibits focused exclusively on industrial and protective coatings.

During his presentation, Stewart compared the different formulations of polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) for ambient or low-temperature cure with the benchmark formula, a commercially available latex emulsion coating. Stewart also discussed the advantages of each formulation with an emphasis on resin evaluation protocols for best utilization of time and other scarce resources.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,300 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2009 sales of 7.5 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC, call 412-777-3983, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com.

Media Contact:
Name:  Thomas Erdner
Phone:  412-777-5200
Company:  Bayer MaterialScience
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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