As a world-leading materials manufacturer, Covestro’s vision is to make the world a brighter place with innovative and sustainable material solutions. “We provide answers to the some of the biggest challenges facing our world, and develop solutions that benefit both society and the environment,” said Patrick Thomas at the kickoff of the K 2016 plastics trade fair from October 19 - 26 in Düsseldorf.
“We have, for instance, discovered a way to turn the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into valuable plastic products. This had not been possible until now because the CO2 molecule is very slow to react. We pushed existing boundaries, however, to develop a special catalyst that is the key the synthesis reaction,” the Covestro CEO continued.
The first mattresses and upholstered furniture made with the CO2-based foam are scheduled to launch on the market before the end of year, and additional applications are in preparation. Covestro is presenting these and other pioneering developments at K 2016 (Stand A 75, Hall 6).
Integrated innovation concept
“Covestro’s exceptional innovative strength is to thank for developments such as these,” said Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Markus Steilemann. “We do not rely solely on our own research for this, but rather pursue a broader approach. It starts with our employees, who are significant contributors and an integral element of our innovation culture.”
Pushing existing boundaries also requires intensive collaboration with customers, process chains, suppliers and universities. “But all of our developments must also meet our sustainability goals,” added Steilemann. “They should drive energy efficiency and improve people’s lives, but also reduce our own use of fossil raw materials.”
The first mattresses and upholstered furniture made with CO2-based foam will be launched on the market before the end of this year,” said Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Markus Steilemann. “We have now also produced the first elastomers from CO2. It could also be used for insulating panels as well as other applications. Carbon dioxide is thus developing into a new source of raw materials for the chemical and plastics industry.” Covestro is presenting these and other pioneering developments at K 2016 (Stand A 75, Hall 6).
Pioneering achievement thanks to ultra-lightweight materials
An age-old dream of humanity recently was fulfilled: To fly once around the globe without using a drop of fuel. With their solar aircraft, Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg achieved what was previously thought to be impossible. The only way to master this challenge was with ultra-lightweight, but strong materials, developed by Covestro specifically for the Solar Impulse aircraft. “By pushing the boundaries of material design, we made a critical contribution to the success of the project,” said Patrick Thomas. You can find additional examples of how Covestro is pushing boundaries at www.pushingboundaries.covestro.com.
An all-around talent
Covestro is also entering new territory with the design of its stand for K 2016. For the first time, the stand is set up in a circular shape to echo the Covestro logo. Walls of transparent polycarbonate are illuminated in the corporate colors and provide the backdrop for the exhibits.
“The structure as a whole conveys a sense of transparency and openness, inviting visitors to drop in for a talk,” said stand manager Dr. Ulrich Liman. The exhibits are grouped by customer industry: “Visitors can see products and technologies for the automotive, construction and electronics industries, but also new and unexpected applications in the fields of health, cosmetics, athletic equipment and fashion.
An exciting theme every day
On each of the eight days of the fair, visitors can experience how Covestro is overcoming boundaries relating to a different theme. Presentations and podium discussion with industry experts and university researchers go into each topic in greater depth and encourage personal exchange. The main themes are described in the sections below.
Automotive (October 19)
Covestro, together with design students and partners in the auto industry, has developed a new design concept for electric cars that overcomes previous boundaries. The concept incorporates current trends in exterior design and is manifested in the form of a lifestyle car. Outstanding features include the wrap-around glazing made of transparent polycarbonate and the seamless design of the front end. This day is dedicated to the evolution of the concept and current trends in automotive design. The program includes a presentation by Demian Horst, professor of design at the distinguished UMEÅ Institute in Sweden.
Science Celebration Day (October 20)
Boundary-pushing innovations live from collaboration with partners, including universities and scientific institutions. Covestro is therefore dedicating this theme day to the promotion of research and science. The company is awarding the first-ever Covestro Science Award for university instructors at the start of their careers and also the Covestro Science Medal to its own outstanding researchers.
Sustainability (October 21)
In addition to innovation, sustainability is another core element of Covestro’s corporate strategy and an important criterion behind all its developments. The company wants its technologies and products to serve the greater good of the environment and society, and to make the world a brighter place! On this day, our special guest will be Solar Impulse pioneer Bertrand Piccard, who will talk about circumnavigating the world on solar energy.
Another topic will be carbon from fossil sources, the special role it plays in the development of sustainable, carbon-based material solutions, and the productivity of the substance throughout the entire life cycle of these products.
Creative design with plastics (October 24)
Personalization and design freedom define today’s design trends. Covestro therefore is expanding its dialogue with designers by dedicating October 24 to this theme.
To optimally combine creativity with the possibilities of today’s high-performance materials, Covestro has set a new goal of better understanding the needs of designers and, in turn, educating them about the properties of its plastics.
Back in spring 2016, the company collaborated with design students from the Münster School of Architecture to hold a one-week workshop called the “Covestro Makeathon.” In the course of the event, the students discovered new and unexpected possibilities in plastics applications. The most inspiring ideas will be on display at K 2016.
A hands-on understanding of modern materials
At the Sample Bar, visitors can discover more directly the fascinating properties of Covestro materials using their sense of sight, touch and hearing. They can download the Sample App via a QR code and receive mobile access to selected products.
The company further is sponsoring the Design Chain @ K conference, where Rebecca Heil, head of the Designer Network and the Idea.Lab at Covestro, will give a talk the next day about innovative and creative material solutions.
3D printing (October 26)
One of Covestro’s themes at K 2016 that cuts across several industries and product groups is 3D printing. While it has proven to be most effective in fabricating prototypes until now, the industry sees good opportunities for efficient mass production in the future. One challenge on the way is the lack of suitable materials.
Covestro currently is developing an extensive range of filaments, powders and resins for all common 3D printing methods. The products have different properties and enable a wide range of new applications. The company recently opened a new laboratory for additive manufacturing at its headquarters in Leverkusen.
Local talent search
At K 2016, Covestro also will be presenting itself as an attractive employer to students, junior employees and experienced professionals. Curious job‑seekers will find the right person to answer all their questions at the Career Bar. At the stand, they can experience innovative developments up close, and perhaps be inspired by the company’s values: curiosity, courage and colorful.
“Plastics Shape The Future”
As president of the trade association PlasticsEurope, Patrick Thomas will be at the fair on October 19 to help open its special show “Plastics Shape The Future” in Hall 6. Visitors will learn with which developments plastics will shape the future and how they can contribute more than ever to mastering the major challenges facing mankind.
All journalists are cordially invited to visit the Covestro Press Center on the gallery of the stand in Hall 6, where they can find opportunities to discuss the innovations on display or pick up a copy of the Covestro K 2016 press kit. On request, we would also be happy to give tours of the stand or arrange interviews.
Visit us at the K 2016 plastics trade fair from October 19 to 26 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Hall 6, Stand A 75. Find more information at www.k2016.covestro.com.
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro 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. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and employs approximately 15,700 people (full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2016.
This press release is available for download from the Covestro press server at www.press.covestro.com.
Find more information at www.covestro.tw
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.