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News

New thermoplastic polyurethanes for textile coating

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 15 June, 2004  (Company News)
Bayer MaterialScience AG has developed new grades of its Desmopan
“Our materials can therefore be produced in any color, even with bright shades, which opens up whole new avenues of textile décor and design. That’s why we think they have tremendous potential for deployment in the automotive, sport and leisure markets,” says Jens Ufermann, a segment head in the Business Unit TPU at Bayer MaterialScience.

In automotive interiors the trend is moving away from somber tones toward bright, friendly color tones. The aliphatic TPU grades are therefore ideally suitable for coating all kinds of visible textiles. Potential areas of use include interior door panels, trunk covers and parts of the center console and the dashboard. TPU’s mechanical properties are significantly superior to those of polyolefins and PVC, which are also deployed in this segment.

“The surfaces of TPU-coated textiles are extremely resistant to scratching, abrasion and wear. They also provide a soft, warm feel. Another advantage of TPU is that it is free from plasticizers and halogens,” Ufermann concludes. He is currently managing a customer project with Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG Maschinenfabrik, a world-leader in extrusion plants based in Troisdorf, Germany. Among other things, Reifenhäuser is focussing on direct extrusion coating techniques for producing TPU-coated textiles for use in automotive interiors. The new aliphatic TPUs are being deployed as lightfast top-coats.

In another project, the Heytex company, which has sites in Bramsche and Neugersdorf, is developing textile skins for inflatable dinghies and collapsible boats. The aliphatic TPUs are a suitable alternative to PVC and synthetic rubber, which have mainly been used to producing the skins up to now. TPU skins have a much higher mechanical strength than PVC skins, especially in terms of resistance to tear, tear propagation and scratching. Compared with rubber, which also exhibits high-performance characteristics, TPU has the advantage that, as a thermoplastic, it can be processed and reprocessed – for example bonded and welded – in textile coating applications.
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