PU Magazine International

Ausgabe 03 | 2017


  • Honeywell
  • 101 Columbia Road
  • 07962 Morristown
  • Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika
Donald, let's meet on the golf course!

The topic for this issue’s editorial seems obvious: Most major newspapers in the world felt called to comment on President Donald Trump and the USA exiting the Paris climate accord. On the other hand: Why should PU Magazine comment on a topic that has already been discussed so extensively?

The answer is easy: Global warming, climate change and energy efficiency are some of the main drivers for the PU industry, just think of rigid foams as high performance insulation materials or the opportunities of polyurethanes for lightweight construction in the automotive industry.

So for me, not only one but two questions arise: “Does President Trump’s decision harm the global climate?” and “Does it damage the PU industry?”

Among scientists there is consensus that climate change is real and human activity significantly contributes to it. The Paris accord represents an evident sign for mankind’s willingness to restrain global temperature increase. The participation of the USA as the world’s second-biggest carbon emitter to the Paris accord was vitally important as it might have helped to persuade less-avid nations to meet carbon containment standards.

The bad news for the USA is that they may lose their technological leading role in climate fight while China, the world’s top coal producer and top carbon emitter, remains in the accord and is expected to emerge as the new leader.

The good news for the climate is that already in the first days after the decision a huge number of governors, mayors and companies promised to do whatever they could do to help the USA meet the climate goals President Barack Obama had committed to in the agreement.

Let me come back to my questions above. My answer is: No, Trump’s decision will neither harm the climate nor damage the PU industry.

I am sure that all stakeholders – from the industry to the end users – will continue to use the world’s limited resources as efficient as possible and thus will automatically choose the best option ecologically as well as economically.

As a passionate golfer, I am delighted by these efforts as they make sure that the greens don't shrivel up. Thus, I can continue with my habit to play 18 holes before making important decisions.

Wolfgang Friederichs


Sustainable growth in line with the market – Interview with Karin Naujoks, Managing Director of ISL-Chemie

On 29 September 2016, Karin Naujoks took over the responsibility as Managing Director of ISL-Chemie. During a visit in Kürten, Germany, we had the opportunity to talk with her about her new role, the product portfolio of ISL-Chemie for In-Mould Coating (IMC) and reactive dyes.


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Translating market needs into the right chemistry – Interview with Doug Todd, Dow Marketing Director Consumer Comfort, Energy Efficiency and Industrial Markets

In 2016, Doug Todd took over the role of Marketing Director of Dow’s North American Polyurethane Business. During the CPI Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, we had the opportunity to talk with him about his new responsibilities, the acquisition of DuPont, and his assessment of the future of polyurethane markets.


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Commodity chemical company transforming into a global specialty supplier – Interview with Xavier Fournier, President Vencorex

With new investments in global HDI and IPDI capacities and a new global organisation, Vencorex is now a leading supplier of specialty isocyanates to the polyurethanes market. It is a rare example of a mainly commodity chemical company transforming into a global specialty supplier. How did Vencorex do this? At the European Coatings Show in Nuremburg, Germany, Denis Hicks had the opportunity to talk with Xavier Fournier, President of Vencorex, about the transformation of Vencorex to a global specialty isocyanate supplier and his vision for the next five years.


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“Good solutions will be adopted!” – Interview with Grahame Burrow, President Magna Exteriors

During the JEC World 2017 in Paris, France, we had the opportunity to talk with Grahame Burrow, President Magna Exteriors, about current trends in the automotive industry like composites for light weight structures and the future role of polyurethanes.


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Globalisation: Is the MDI industry heading for a turbulent time?
New impulses from innovative PU applications – Preview to the first Polyurethane Solutions Expo – PSE Europe 2017

The first edition of the PSE Europe 2017, International Exhibition for Polyurethane Solutions, will open its doors from 27 – 29 June 2017 in Hall 3 of the “MOC Veranstaltungscenter München” in Munich, Germany. According to the organiser Mack Brooks Exhibitions, with PSE Europe 2017 the PU industry gains an attractive new marketplace, which introduces visitors from various industry sectors to new developments and innovations in the PU industry. More than 70 exhibitors are expected at the start of the new trade show (status of registrations as of 17 May 2017). In addition, a three-day conference programme offers insights into the latest trends, innovations and developments. The event will be rounded off by a selection of feature areas providing room for networking and exchange of expertise.


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From the first Foam Expo 2017

The first annual Foam Expo, which was held from 28 February to 2 March 2017, drew to a close after welcoming thousands of industry players to the three-day exhibition and conference. According to the organiser Smarter Shows, more than 4,000 delegates from across the entire industry spectrum arrived in Novi, MI, USA, to take part in North America’s only free-to-attend exhibition for the foam sector, where industry-leading organisations headlined the expo and conference sessions.


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The largest European Coatings Show ever

The final numbers for the European Coatings Show, held 4 – 6 April 2017 are remarkable: With more than 30,000 visitors from more than 100 countries and over 1,100 exhibitors the ECS broke all records. The organizers and most important the visitors and exhibitors can look back to a successful trade show. Also the European Coatings Show Conference on 3 – 4 April impressed with a growing popularity: over 840 participants from about 50 countries set another record for this hub for discussion among coating researchers and developers.


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From PU Tech India 2017

The fifth conference and exhibition for the Indian PU industry, PU Tech India, took place from 8 – 10 March 2017 at the India Expo Center in Greater Noida and drew almost 5,500 visitors. The three-day fair – organized by the Indian Polyurethane Association (IPUA) – was themed “Futuristic Polyurethanes” and featured around 150 exhibition stalls including raw materials manufacturers, equipment suppliers, system houses and processors from across the world. During the conference twelve papers were presented by leading national and international speakers from the polyurethane industry. During the gala evening, awards were distributed for innovation, process, product, individual excellence, and for life time achievement.


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If it can be imagined, it can be created. – Factory tour at Stahl headquarters in Waalwijk, The Netherlands

During a visit at the Stahl headquarters in Waalwijk, we had a chance to gain insights into the company Stahl, its strategy, main focus industries and the way they are performing research and development. The “Design Studio”, the “Stahl Campus”, the application labs and last but not least the production area show impressively the innovative power of the company.


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Improvement of the mechanical and shape-memory properties of TPU with sepiolite fibers

Sepiolite fibers are incorporated in a simple and practical method to achieve increased tensile strength characteristics and shape fixity ratios of polyurethane composites.


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Rohacell Triple F: Innovative high temperature foam for sandwich components

Sandwich designs are used in a wide variety of applications in multiple industries and for many years there has been a growing interest in the automotive industry. However, innovative solutions are needed to fulfill expectations related to costs and volumes. The manufacturing processes and the materials used, such as resin systems and core materials, must all be suitable for high-volume production. Now, with the development of Rohacell Triple F, a competitive solution is available for volumes of up to 50,000 complex 3D sandwich components per annum.


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Improved thermal insulation performance of polyisocyanurate foam using isocyanate prepolymers

Fundamental differences in the insulation performance of rigid foams can stem from the crosslinked network or differences in crosslink density of the polymer structure, and the related gelation and vitrification processes. Higher functionality isocyanates can trigger gelation and vitrification processes earlier in the foaming process relative to a lower functionality isocyanate, which can result in smaller size cells, and ultimately better insulation performance. For example, polyisocyanurate foam (PIR) from higher functionality polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) such as Dow Papi 20 polymeric MDI can show at least 1.0 – 1.5 mW/(m·K) lower k-value than foam synthesized using lower functionality pMDI such as Dow Papi 27 polymeric MDI. In this paper, we discuss the chemical modification of Papi 27 polymeric MDI by synthesizing isocyanate-capped prepolymers that show improvement in k-value without sacrificing mechanical properties. Foaming systems from prepolymers show some unusual characteristics that can be attributed to modifying the gelation and vitrification processes in the foaming reaction. These modifications can control cell growth and ultimately lead to smaller cells, which is generally a desirable attribute for lower k-value.


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Rigid polyurethane foams used in artificial wood roofing materials 

The market for using polyurethane materials as replacements for wood construction materials continues to grow and expand into new application areas. PU systems as artificial wood construction materials offer a number of benefits over traditional wood products: improved rot resistance, minimal insect damage, high impact damage tolerance, strong fire resistance, and overall less maintenance and upkeep. One particularly demanding application is the use of rigid PU foam as a high performance roofing material. Recent advances in PU formulation and accelerated testing methods have helped to improve the dimensional stability of a polyurethane-based roofing material. There are a number of international, US governmental, and state building codes and ASTM methods that have been designed to assess the suitability of plastic and polyurethane systems as construction materials. Often encompassing various fire, mechanical performance, and simulated exposure experiments, these tests are designed to ensure an adequate performance over the expected lifetime of the product. This paper highlights the development of PU rigid foam that meets the demanding requirements of a PU roofing material and the creation of a new cyclic thermal exposure test that demonstrated the PU’s performance. The key formulation variables, theoretical modeling of the anticipated improvements, and the test development and validation are discussed.


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Novel cardanol based polyols and their use in rigid polyurethane foams

Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) is a well-known non-edible natural oil obtained as a by-product of the cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale) processing. It is widely used in epoxy coatings and friction materials, but its applications in the polyurethane industry are still limited. The peculiar structure of its main component (3-pentadecenyl-phenol or cardanol) offers interesting opportunities for chemical functionalization that can be introduced on the phenoxy hydroxyl group, on the aromatic ring or on side chain double bonds. With these premises, a new set of cardanol-based polyols has been designed, synthesized and industrialized, tuning average properties to address different sectors in the polyurethane industry. Some of the new structures are specifically developed for the production of rigid polyurethane foams. CNSL-derived polyols have been tested in reference spray and PIR systems, replacing Mannich and polyester polyols chosen as commercial benchmarks. Cardanol polyols show at least comparable, when not better, reactivity, compression strength and fire performances, therefore representing a versatile tool for polyurethane foams producers. Ongoing activities are currently focused on the development of new cardanol polyols with different physical-chemical properties to extend the existing portfolio, and on the characterization of high bio-based polyurethane systems.


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