BASF opens thermoplastic polyurethanes research lab in US; automotive, construction, sports and leisure
6 September 2012
BASF has opened a new research lab for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) in Wyandotte, Michigan. A multidisciplinary team of product developers, chemists and material scientists will work to discover new products for the US automotive, construction, sports and leisure industries.
The initially five-person team’s main working area is TPU synthesis and processing. The aim is to customize key material properties such as stiffness, elasticity, transparency and UV stability to meet individual customer wishes by varying the manufacturing conditions.
The basic properties of thermoplastic polyurethanes include high scratch and abrasion resistance, high tensile strength, very good cushioning, high flexibility at cold temperatures, and excellent resistance to oil, grease, oxygen and ozone.
Applications for these highly versatile plastics include cables and tubes in the automotive, mechanical engineering and construction industries. Polyurethane as films is used for packaging, skis and snowboards, air cushioning systems for insoles, and as fibers for clothing textiles.
Dr. Christian Fischer, President of Advanced Materials & Systems Research division at BASF noted that the new lab forms an excellent basis for expansion of the existing scientific network with universities and other research facilities in North America.
Wyandotte is BASF’s largest research and development site in the US Midwest. The company already operates a number of labs specializing in the research and development of polymers and coatings for the North American market. The new polyurethane research team further enhances the technology and knowledge Verbund at this site.
A closely interlinked system of research, development and applications engineering enables us to develop new products rapidly and in a highly focused manner. It’s a concept for success that has proved its worth at other BASF sites and is now to be strengthened in Wyandotte.—Dr. Karl-Rudolf Kurtz, Senior Vice President of the global research department PUR Systems & Composites and responsible for polyurethane research in Wyandotte
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