Well positioned for future growth
- Global trends strengthen market growth
- Lightweight materials for future mobility
“Brighter materials for a brighter world” is the motto for the first appearance of Bayer MaterialScience under its new name, Covestro, at the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany. From November 13 to 17, the company is presenting innovative and sustainable material developments for global trends and a brighter world.
“Covestro holds leading positions on the global markets and develops high-performance products for an entire series of attractive industrial segments,” said Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas at a press conference at the fair. “Global trends, such as climate protection and mobility, population growth and increasing urbanization support growth projections above the gross domestic product.”
Well positioned for future growth
With world-scale production facilities in the major regions of the world and a competitive cost structure, the company is well positioned for further volume growth. This will be supported by additional plant and cost optimizations. “After our successful flotation a few days ago, we can now look toward a bright future as an independent company,” said Thomas.
Dr. Rainer Rettig, Head of Commercial Operations for polycarbonates in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, mentioned a current example in material development: “The automotive industry and consumers are increasingly demanding materials with low weight and high functionality. Off-the-shelf solutions are passé; more individuality is wanted. We support our partners along the value-added chain with material developments – from concept to market launch. Covestro is presenting new concepts at Fakuma.”
Focus on mobility
Innovative and sustainable material solutions for increasing mobility are at the heart of Covestro’s appearance at Stand 4206 in Hall B4. Focal points are reducing vehicle weight to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and also developments for electromobility. Consumers are also increasingly demanding customized equipment for turning automotive interiors into oases of well-being.
Carmakers are therefore on the look-out for lightweight, highly functional materials that look good, are versatile and robust, and can replace steel. As an important step in this direction, Covestro is now planning to move into composite production with the high-performance plastic polycarbonate (PC). The company is working with leading manufacturers and direct suppliers in the automotive and IT industries and recently strengthened its position in this field with the acquisition of Thermoplast Composite GmbH (TCG).
Polyurethane (PU) composites with carbon fibers also offer huge potential for reducing weight. A new Baydur® matrix system from Covestro offers three times the energy absorption of conventional resins. As a result, it provides the highest level of safety for occupants in the event of a crash. Automotive manufacturers and suppliers, on the other hand, benefit from the high productivity provided by high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) in the manufacture of components.
Customized plastics for electric vehicles
Electromobility is the answer to the global rise in traffic, dwindling resources and climate protection. Pedelecs, e-bikes and other small electric vehicles are gaining in popularity. Together with partners, Covestro has developed robust, lightweight and reliable material solutions for the batteries using polycarbonate blends. The Bayblend® products used can be processed cost-effectively and also offer the flame retardance required for these applications.
In its “SurfaceTechnologies” project, Covestro has developed an integrated polycarbonate- and polycarbonate film-based material and process concept for automotive interiors that is suitable for volume production. These products make it possible to cost-effectively produce elegant design and styling elements for a comfortable and customized ambience – from standard models to the premium segment.
In an injection mold with dynamic temperature control, a foaming process can be used to produce parts from Bayblend® that have a surface with both shiny and matte areas. Scratch-resistant, formable hardcoat Makrofol® HF films have a proven track record for the decorative design of interior parts and are now available in a range of matte finishes.
Innovative materials for 3D printing
Additive manufacturing methods such as 3D printing will change production processes fundamentally. Among other things, current developments are focusing on even greater functionality and expansion into mass production. However, to make this possible, production must become more efficient, and there is still a lack of suitable materials. To address these challenges and the specific requirements of the printing processes, Covestro is developing thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), polyurethane coating and adhesive raw materials, and polycarbonates. At Fakuma, the company is showcasing new TPU material solutions for fused filament fabrication (FFF) and selective laser sintering.