● Covestro and partners develop large-format production process
● Can be used in aviation, automotive and medicine
Covestro and its partners have developed a high-performance thermoplastic(HPT) that could be used in many industries in the future. This wouldsignificantly increase the sustainability and performance of products in areassuch as aviation, automotive and health. The challenge now is to enable thecontinuous production of the new plastic on a large scale. This is the goal of aresearch project coordinated by Covestro and funded by the German FederalMinistry of Education and Research (BMBF).
HPT is a high-performance plastic that can be processed by injection moldingand uniquely combines numerous good properties. It is stable with highhardness and is also resistant to heat and many solvents. Test batches of thenew material are already being produced.
In the current BMBF research project “DreamCompoundConti”, a continuous
process will now be developed to enable environmentally compatible and
economical production on an industrial scale. Covestro is working on this
together with RWTH Aachen University, the Technical University Berlin, the
Leipzig Plastics Center and the aircraft manufacturer Airbus as an associated
partner. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the project
with up to 1.5 million euros over the next three years – in the supporting
program “Research for Sustainability (FONA³)” in the measure entitled “r+Impuls
– Impulse für industrielle Ressourceneffizienz” (funding code 033R199).
“With this new joint project, we are underlining our efforts to produce particularly
high-performance plastics in a climate-friendly and simultaneously economically
efficient process,” says Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro.
Lean production process
A special feature of HPT production is that it is based on easily accessible basicchemicals. Since these are already being used for the production of foams, forexample, they do not have to be produced specifically for this purpose. A novelcatalyst system now enables the production of thermoplastic HPT from thesebasic chemicals for the first time. This saves CO2 emissions and energythroughout the process because complex process steps are no longer requiredcompared to the production of conventional high-performance thermoplastics.Compared to the products already available on the market, there arequantifiable potential savings in resources: An initial Life Cycle Assessment(LCA) of RWTH Aachen University for the industrial manufacturing process hasshown that HPT produces more than 20 percent fewer greenhouse gasemissions for production than similar thermoplastics. At the same time, the newcontinuous process, which the project partners want to develop and implement,requires fewer solvents. It therefore has a significantly better life cycleassessment than conventional processes.
About RWTH Aachen University:
The Chair of Technical Thermodynamics (LTT) at RWTH Aachen University is
involved in the project. For many years LTT has been involved in the
development of system analytical methods and technical components for energy
systems as well as theoretical and experimental research into fluid systems.
Special focus is put on the ecological evaluation of new production processes
for innovative plastics. In the project, the Chair undertakes an ecological
assessment within the framework of a life cycle analysis.
About the Technical University of Berlin:
The project involves the Chair of Technical Chemistry / Multiphase Reaction
Technology at the Technical University of Berlin. The Chair does research in the
field of chemical reaction engineering, in particular reaction kinetics, reactors
and process concepts as well as technology evaluation. One important focus is
the work on membrane technologies and techno-economic analyses. The Chair
contributes a comprehensive techno-economic analysis to the project and
supports the identification and testing of new applications.
About the Leipzig Plastics Center:
The KuZ (German abbreviation) is an independent, industry-oriented research,technology, testing and advanced education center with 57 employees. As aplastics engineering branch institute with the fields of processing, tooling, joiningand testing technology, the KuZ offers complex innovations and sees itself as apartner of companies for application- and market-oriented research anddevelopment, joint projects with industry, innovative industrial services, testingservices in accredited laboratories, technology transfer, advanced specialisttraining as well as courses and examinations in the field of welding technology.The KuZ is involved in the joint project for economic analysis and materialtesting.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 itgenerated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed aworkforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range ofpassenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a Europeanleader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one ofthe world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the mostefficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largestpolymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of hightechpolymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for productsused in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive,construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronicsindustries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and thechemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide andemploys approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at theend of 2017.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecastsmade by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead tomaterial differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance ofthe company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s publicreports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever toupdate these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.