Bayer Produces Flexible Foams And Blast-Resistant Structural Envelopes; Opens Factory Of The Future

Oct. 3, 2011
The German company continues to spur progress in sustainable production.

New technology from Bayer improves foam production. Research Fellow Stanley Hager recently discussed details in a paper, “New Chemical Technology for the Production of Super-High Air Flow Flexible Foams,” at the Polyurethanes Technical Conference held at the end of September and sponsored by the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry.

Currently, most high porosity foams are produced by a chemical or mechanical reticulation process that involves an extra, post-step treatment to enhance the air flow. This has limited the use of these foams mostly to specialty and moderate volume applications.

Hager spoke of the benefits of new polyether polyol and formulation technology to produce very high air flow polyurethane without reticulation. In addition to air flow above 5.0 scfpm, the technology offers control of foam recovery rates and surface characteristics, thus facilitating a wide range of end-use applications.

The new technology from Bayer is particularly well-suited for the production of soft foam grades between 3 and 20 pounds IFD (Indentation Force Deflection). Various commercially available MDIs or TDI can be employed in the process.

In other news, Bayer MaterialScience LLC has developed blast-resistant structural envelopes designed to absorb an explosive shock-wave. Hygard BL80 Shock-Wave Sentinel can be integrated into the design of a structure, helping to protect most buildings and occupants from bomb attacks.

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Shock-tube and open-range testing have demonstrated Hygard BL80 can withstand 80 psi peak pressure and 380 psi-msec impulse. Hygard BL80 will be manufactured according to ISO-9001 compliant processes and procedures.

To spur progress in sustainable production, Bayer Technology Services and TU Dortmund University have opened the INVITE research center at Chempark Leverkusen, Germany. (INVITE stands for INnovations, VIsions and TEchnologies.) The facility is dedicated to the development and testing of flexible and efficient production concepts for the “Factory of the Future” that help to conserve resources.

“The only way we can achieve significant additional improvements in sustainability and resource conservation in production processes is by using completely new technologies,” says Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, Bayer Management Board member responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment.

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