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North American urethane confex to showcase sustainability

Crain Communications : 16 March, 2014  (New Product)
The sustainable use of polyurethanes and the latest developments in sustainable raw materials for the global polyurethane industry will take centre stage at the UTECH North America conference and exhibition taking place 4-5 June 2014 at Charlotte Convention Center, North Carolina, USA.
Often described as the hidden polymer, polyurethanes are ever more widely used throughout manufacturing and construction industries today. Among the visitors attending UTECH North America will be representatives from a wide cross-section of industries innovating with polyurethane including automotive, aerospace, building and construction, furniture and bedding, electrical and electro-technical, footwear and textiles, mining and offshore, pipes and pipelines, refrigeration and insulation as well as specialist surgical and medical.
The US polyurethanes market alone has an output of $19.4 billion, operates in 935 locations and generates 202,000 jobs. US-owned Crain Communications, the organiser of UTECH North America, has organised successful polyurethane events throughout Europe and Asia including UTECH Europe, UTECH Asia, PU China and the Sustainable Polyurethanes Conference.
The conference’s opening day will see a full session dedicated solely to sustainability issues, which will seek to analyse why acceptance of renewably resourced raw materials has until now been relatively slow. Prof. Ramani Narayan of the Biobased Materials Research Group at Michigan State University will deliver the keynote entitled The use of bio-resources, end-of-life options and LCA methodology to drive towards sustainable polyurethanes. Prof Narayan will then chair a round-table discussion featuring proponents of the three alternative raw material technologies.
Despite the growing desire of companies to claim green credentials, the acceptance of natural-oil-based polyols, and more recent developments such as bio-succinium- and CO2-based materials, has been slower than many expected. The conference will examine in detail the reasons for this and seek to set out a series of practical steps to foster the wider and faster acceptance of the new approaches.
The debate will open with three presentations on each basic system – on Natural Oil Polyols (NOPs) from Green Urethanes Ltd of the UK, on bio-succinium materials from Bio-Amber Inc., and CO2-based products from Novomer Inc. The conference floor will then be opened for contributions from all attendees, including suppliers of conventional, petroleum-based raw materials, processors and users of end products. The panel will look at processing performance, the variability of different products and the fact that standard specifications tend to have been written around the behaviour of conventional materials, rather than actual performance requirements.
The remainder of the session will comprise technical presentations detailing the latest developments in each area, including some specific polyurethane product developments. Contributors will include: Green Urethanes Ltd, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board/Troy Polymers, Inc., Myriant Corporation, Reverdia of The Netherlands, Bio-Amber Inc., DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, LLC and Cardolite Corporation.
Featuring a total of 46 detailed technical papers delivered in a total of eight sessions, the UTECH North America conference will cover the latest developments in the world of polyurethanes and reveal unique insights into the recovering North American polyurethanes market.
The independent UTECH North America event connects suppliers and buyers from across the polyurethane industry for two days of networking, learning and identifying new business opportunities. Among the 80 plus international companies with booths at the exhibition are Dow Chemical, Wanhua of China, Cannon, Hennecke Inc, DuPont & Tate & Lyle, Evonik, Lanxess, Repi LLC and Honeywell.
Manufacturing technology innovations unveiled at the exhibition will include the latest mixing and dispensing machinery, equipment for reaction injection moulding as well as the cutting equipment needed for making products based on flexible foams, rigid foams and elastomers.
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