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Whether with Heraclitus, Ovid or Herman Hupfeld ... change is a constant that we encounter everywhere. We know it, but we also like to repress it.
When I founded the publishing house with my son Frank Ananda in 1993, we published a single German-language magazine, GAK Gummi Fasern Kunststoffe. Today – 25 years later, we publish five different magazines, three of them in English, which serve the information needs of readers from the rubber, polyurethane and TPE industries and which are respected and read worldwide.
Behind this development, of which I am very proud, I admit, is the achievement of a great many people. People who work in our publishing house, people who write articles for us, people whom we value as our advertisers and people for whom our magazines are important sources of information and who therefore subscribe to them.
In 2012, the publishing house’s positive development suffered a sudden downturn following the death of Frank Ananda. Fortunately, my daughter Indira decided to join the company, so we were able to maintain continuity and develop the publishing house in the midst of the tragic changes.
Today it is time for me to pass on the baton and place the business in the hands of the next generation. The publishing house has been transformed into a German Ltd. and my daughter Indira, who many of you know from conferences and exhibitions, will run the company as managing director.
Some things will change – the tried and tested will remain.
That’s probably what you call successful change management!
I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to the success and growth of the publishing house over the past 25 years. Please continue to support us, because only together with you can we maintain the accustomed quality and be an important source of information for our industry.
I wish you and your relatives, your employees and companies all the best for the future.
Cordially yours, Heinz Gupta
The third edition of Foam Expo North America will take place from 26 – 28 March 2019 in Novi, MI, USA. According to the organiser, Smarter Shows, the event is North America’s first free-to-attend exhibition and conference for the manufacturers and buyers of technical foam materials, products and services.
During the CPI Polyurethanes Technical Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA, USA, we had the opportunity to talk to leading industry experts about current developments in the North American PU market. The following report summarises the various statements made by experts from Covestro, BASF, Evonik, Huntsman and the Dow Chemical Company.
On 16 January 2019, an alliance of companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain launched a new organisation to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean. The cross value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, has committed over USD 1.0 billion with the goal of investing USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.
As the Northern Hemisphere’s temperatures plummet, and football fans’ emotions rollercoaster, the shortage of CO2 in the UK is becoming more and more apparent. Besides the obvious (and vitally important) use of CO2 in adding the fizz to beer and soft drinks, it is also invaluable in a variety of other food-related fields, including, but not limited to, increasing the shelf life of pre-packaged meat and produce and cooling foodstuff in transit, as well as in a variety of medical devices and in crude oil extraction.
imm cologne / LivingKitchen exhibition ran from 14 – 20 January 2019 and reported a total of 150,000 visitors, with 52 % of trade visitors coming from 145 countries. Growth in overseas trade visitors was especially strong. Jan Kurth, Chief Executive of VDM (Association of the German Furniture Industry), said: “After a challenging 2018, this edition of imm cologne was an outstanding event and a successful trade fair that we as the industry are very pleased with.”
For the seventh time, Desma Schuhmaschinen GmbH welcomed from 19 – 20 September 2018 the leading international shoe manufacturers to its house fair that takes place every other year at its headquarters in Achim near Bremen, Germany. This year, the exhibit attracted a record number of over 780 visitors, who were inspired by the innovative production possibilities and proven techniques for shoe manufacturing demonstrated by 54 exhibitors. For the two days of the show the northern German city became the centre of the global footwear industry.
The Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at the RWTH Aachen University invites to attend the international symposium “Polyurethanes – Trends in PU processing” on 19 March 2019 in Aachen, Germany. The symposium language is English.
The market and business intelligence provider IHS Markit has published a study on the global diisocyanates and polyisocyanates markets in October 2018. According to the study, the global TDI and MDI industry is highly concentrated, with a very limited number of producers and high barriers to market entry, including proprietary and complex manufacturing processes, high capital costs for manufacturing plants, and security of precursor supply (aniline for the production of MDI). Consolidation in the market is continuing: the top five producers (BASF, Covestro, Wanhua Chemicals, Huntsman, and DowDuPont) account for 84 % of global market capacity (TDI, MDI, and aliphatic and speciality diisocyanates).
IAL Consultants has published the twelfth edition of its report “Polyurethane Chemicals and Products in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 2018”. This study updates and expands upon the information included in the previous report published in 2016 and contains both PU production and raw material consumption figures, with 2017 as the base year and market forecasts provided to 2022. The data in this eight-volume report includes raw material consumption by product type, by region, by country and by major end-use industry.
Based in Nanjing, China, Maysta Chemical was founded in 2000 and was formerly known as Nanjing Dymatic until the name change in 2012. Maysta Chemical is one of the largest producers of silicone surfactants for the Chinese PU market and has recently made two strategic moves, which will be discussed with CEO Sun Yu and VP Commercial Operations Steve Hulme.
The outlook for the global car markets in the coming years is rather bad. On the one hand, production plants will have to be converted to electro mobility using large investments, and on the other hand, the demand for new cars is falling. Major austerity programmes to switch to electric cars have been worked out. Porsche, for example, wants to save EUR 6 billion over the next eight years by rationalising its operating processes, while spending more on the development and production of electric cars. The regulatory burden is enormous. In China, there will be an electric car quota of 10 % for new cars in 2019. In the EU, rising CO2 emissions from gasoline engines following the decline in diesel-powered vehicles will have to meet the new CO2-EU targets from 2021, according to which only 95 g of CO2/km per new car are permitted.
Using Low Free (LF) isocyanate technology, urethane prepolymers that are blocked with ε-caprolactam (CAP) were developed. When mixed with diamine chain extenders, they produce ready-to-use one-component reaction systems that can be stored at room temperature for up to 180 days and only react at high temperatures. Alternatively, the processor can formulate application-specific two-component systems with freely selected diamine curing agents. The 1K and 2K systems produce PU elastomers, coatings, adhesives and sealants with a material performance not previously achieved with diol hardeners.
The polyurethane foam industry is fast adopting foam blowing agents (BAs) with low global warming potential (GWP) to replace high GWP alternatives. However, a low GWP is not the only criterion for a BA to minimize climate change potential; the thermal performance and energy savings during use phase of the insulation play an important part as well. In this update of a previous work done by the same authors, historic BAs with high GWP, e.g., HFC-245fa and its blend, were evaluated along with a low-GWP BA alternative from Chemours, Opteon 1100. A holistic approach using life cycle methodology was used to calculate climate change potential (CCP) across the entire supply chain, including raw material and spray foam production, spray foam installation, energy savings during product use, and end-of life (EOL) disposal. A residential wall application was evaluated under various climatic conditions. The updated functional unit in this study was 1 m2 of insulation with R value of 5.68 h ft2 °F/Btu (1 K·m2/W), in line with product category rule specified for spray polyurethane foam insulation. The LCA work showed that BA thermal performance becomes critical to minimizing overall climate change potential. Through this work, an optimum foam formulation was identified that resulted in highest energy savings and lowest life cycle climate change potential.
The growing global awareness of climate change and the need for energy conservation are driving an ever-increasing interest in rigid polyurethane foam. Polyisocyanurate thermal insulation boards are widely used in construction and insulation applications, due to their superior insulating properties, resistance to fire, outstanding mechanical properties and high resistance to microbes and mold. Typical applications include commercial roofs, commercial and residential walls and even aesthetics, architectural applications. Due to the high index of polyisocyanurate foams, trimerization promoting catalysts are employed. The promotion of the trimerization reaction in polyisocyanurate foams gives a high crosslinking density resulting in improved mechanical properties, and also promoting fire resistance. This paper presents new, differentiated, octoate-free trimer catalyst technologies that improve reaction kinetics, cell structure, adhesion, insulating performance and mechanical properties. Evonik has developed a family of trimerization additives, to ameliorate these properties, rather than exacerbating them. These benefits will allow producers to maintain their competitive edge, while providing a quality product to the market place, thereby improving the efficiency of this widely-used building material, and contributing to a more environmentally-responsible and sustainable society.
Development of products with improved sustainability is a major initiative in the polyurethane industry. Unfortunately, many of the products currently marketed as sustainable require a substantial tradeoff between performance and cost. Hence, newly developed carbon dioxide (CO2) based poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC) polyols (Converge) have garnered significant attention and excitement from major US and global polyurethane manufacturers as well as fabricators and end-users looking for strong product performance with improved sustainability features. Using waste CO2 as a main feedstock combined with its unique chemical backbone differentiates Saudi Aramco’s polyols from conventional polyols. This makes them an attractive option to enhance supply chains focused on improved performance and reduced carbon footprint. This paper demonstrates the performance attributes and applicability of Converge polyols in coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers (CASE) applications. Furthermore, the low carbon footprint of the products will be discussed across these applications. Additionally, compatibility of Converge polyols will be discussed with currently marketed polyether and polyester based polyols.