by Liz White, editor
Polyurethane industry experts are getting increasingly enthusiastic about wider use of the material in the composites field.
And after a great surge of interest over the last couple of years in use of carbon fibre to reinforce plastic car parts, the industry is settling to the task of getting polyurethanes more widely recognised and used in the composites sector, as described by various experts UTI spoke to at the JEC Composites show in Paris, 27-29 March 2012.
This task seems to be more advanced in the US in the wider composites market, while in Europe, the automotive sector’s use of PU composites is further ahead, largely driven by some of the innovative German OEMs.
PU supplier Bayer has teams for all three regions – the US, Europe, Asia – dedicated to developing PU composites, and it is putting a lot of resources and energy behind this, “because we see it as a very big growth opportunity for PU,” said Harry George, manager, new markets, with Bayer MaterialScience llc, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Demand for lighter and lighter parts for all type of transport uses is forcing suppliers to adapt, and this gives scope for new opportunities, as George’s European colleague Claudio Pauler, marketing manager for BaySystems for diversified industries, pointed out.
“One reason for optimism for me is that really the industry is now changing and it’s a good opportunity to introduce new materials, new technology and new resins,” said…