“Innovations in Polymers Energized by LANXESS” is the specialty chemical company’s slogan for the international K 2010 plastics fair in Dusseldorf. “This slogan and the design of our stand underline our commitment to innovation. We provide highly effective materials, processes and technologies in responses to the demands of global megatrends and our most important markets. We are also a creative development partner for the associated key industries,” explained Dr. Werner Breuers, member of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. The stand of this Leverkusen-based specialty chemicals group covers around 1,300 square meters and its generous size and distinctive design provide the Butyl Rubber, Performance Butadiene Rubbers, Technical Rubber Products, Rubber Chemicals, Semi-Crystalline Products, Functional Chemicals and Inorganic Pigments business units with the ideal forum to showcase their developments.
Efficient lightweight construction, replacing metal and thermosetting plastics
Exhibits relating to Durethan polyamides and Pocan polybutylene terephthalates will concentrate on applications in the automotive, environmental, electrical/electronics and living sectors, with a focus on lightweight construction using easy-flowing, highly filled material grades. The exhibits include numerous components consisting of the exceptionally stiff polyamide 6 Durethan DP BKV 60 H2.0 EF filled with 60 percent glass fibers, perfect for applications such as a printing press pan, intake manifold and circuit breaker. A highlight that offers a replacement for sheet steel is the polyamide 6 spare wheel recess with integrated reinforcing channels in the Audi A8. The front end of the Audi A8 reveals the opportunities opened up by the use of organic sheets instead of metal in plastic-metal composite technology (hybrid technology) with Durethan. These nylon composite sheets are used to create a thin U-section in the lower beam of the hybrid front end. This results in a weight reduction of 20 percent compared with the equivalent aluminum insert. An innovative material for the electrical/electronics industry is Durethan DP AKV 30 FN00. This flame-retardant polyamide 66 does not contain any halogens or red phosphorus and is ideal for products such as insulation material.
Innovations in rubber
The innovations on display in the rubber and additive field cover the complete range of applications for these materials. One example of a successful development is Therban AT 3400 VP. This low-viscosity HNBR elastomer flows much more easily than previous Therban grades, making it ideal for liquid injection molding, for example. Special new Therban grades are also the material of choice for seals used in the pressure refueling of natural-gas-operated vehicles. This synthetic rubber is resistant to natural gas and retains much greater flexibility in cold conditions than fluororubbers, even at -40 °C. As a result, seals made of this material do not become brittle at the icy temperatures that occur during refueling and thus maintain their sealing effect.
A further process innovation comes in the form of removable adhesive films made from the EVM polymer Levamelt. These can now also be produced in high volumes using blown film extrusion. LANXESS, in conjunction with a manufacturer of extrusion equipment, has demonstrated this using a three-layer film with a functional layer of Levamelt. This EVM polymer is in high demand on the adhesive film market, as its bonding properties can be adapted to substrates of different polarities.
LANXESS is the sponsor of this year’s “Rubber Street”
K 2010 will once again feature a “Rubber Street” in Hall 6. LANXESS is the sponsor this year of the initiative, which has been a proven success since it was introduced at “K” in 1983. “As the world’s leading manufacturer of synthetic rubbers, we would like to offer companies in the rubber-processing industry a platform to present their new developments,” said Breuers.
New additives for the polymer industry
LANXESS is also offering a multitude of new products in its additives range, such as Disflamoll TP LXS 51036, an odor-neutral flame retardant for PVC-based artificial leather products. Other innovations include formulations of the tried-and-tested flame-retardant construction material Bayfomox that can be applied easily and safely as a spray foam. Silica additive 9202 is an excellent alternative to zinc soaps used as an emulsifier for silica in “green tires”. Its use means that no zinc finds its way into the environment through tire abrasion. And, unlike zinc soaps, it does not have a plasticizing effect. Further key topics include various alternatives to phthalate-containing bonding agents and plasticizers and developments in the fields of, for example, vulcanization accelerators, crosslinkers, peptizing agents and antidegradants.
Successful culture of innovation
“All the new developments presented by LANXESS at K 2010 reflect the creative culture of innovation we have evolved in our company,” said Breuers. This culture has enabled LANXESS to significantly boost the effectiveness and success of its research and development activities.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,400 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 42 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.