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Lanxess addresses the topics of new mobility, urbanization and digitalization at K 2019

Lanxess addresses the topics of new mobility, urbanization and digitalization at K 2019

News 07.08.2019

LANXESS will be presenting a broad portfolio at the international trade fair for plastics and rubber K 2019. On its 700 square meter stand, the specialty chemicals company will focus primarily on the topics of new mobility, urbanization and digitalization. All in all, six of LANXESS's eleven business units – High Performance Materials, Urethane Systems, Polymer Additives, Rhein Chemie, Inorganic Pigments and Advanced Industrial Intermediates – will be showcasing their products at K 2019.

Polyamides and polyesters for sustainable mobility

The High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit will be presenting a wide range of new products relating to electric mobility. "Our objective with our materials is to help the various types of drive system involved in electric mobility to break through on the market. We are focusing on a series of different technologies, from mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid to electric-only vehicles. Our developments are also aimed at additional mobility trends such as autonomous driving and digital connectivity," said Michael Zobel, head of HPM. New HPM materials include orange, heat-stabilized compounds for high-voltage applications; materials that prevent electrical corrosion upon contact with live metal parts; and halogen-free, flame-retardant materials for components such as battery cell holders and cover plates. In terms of lightweight design, LANXESS is working primarily on hollow-profile hybrid technology and thermoplastic composites under the Tepex brand. As Zobel explained, "Our composite material is becoming more and more established in structural lightweight construction in mass production.

At K, we will be presenting an extremely durable seat shell and a highly integrated front-end carrier made from Tepex, both of which exhibit an excellent crash resistance."

Products to suit growing urbanization

For connectors and switches in state-of-the-art smart home systems, the polyamide 6 compound named Durethan BG60XXF is an ideal solution. This is a very low-warpage plastic, and its uses include switch holders in a product range from a manufacturer of electronic components. Thanks to the material from LANXESS, the component meets extremely high standards of planarity, dimensional tolerance and rigidity.

The Urethane Systems business unit, one of the world's leading providers of polyurethane (PU) prepolymers tailored to specific customers and applications and used for elastomers, coatings, adhesives and sealants, will be focusing on its low free (LF) technology at K. This is used to formulate PU prepolymers that contain less than 0.1 percent by weight of free isocyanate and fulfill the very strictest industrial hygiene requirements. "These Adiprene LF prepolymers will therefore not be affected by the forthcoming EU-wide restrictions on diisocyanates. At the same time, they improve the mechanical properties of the PU end products. In future, we will therefore be offering all products in the Adiprene LF range, including MDI-based items, with isocyanate contents of less than 0.1 percent," explained Markus Eckert, head of Urethane Systems. Highlights of the business unit's line-up at the trade show will include a roller coaster car with extremely abrasion-resistant and dynamically resilient PU wheel coatings based on Adiprene LF pPDI as well as very hard-wearing, thermally stable and moisture-resistant star wheels based on Adiprene LF TDI for conveyor and separator systems in modern recycling facilities.

New flame retardants for insulating materials

The Polymer Additives business unit (PLA) is one of the world's leading providers of products including bromine- and phosphorus-based flame retardants. It will be presenting two flame retardants for rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam that have achieved exceptional results in fire tests in line with ISO 11925-2 – the oligomeric Levagard 2000 and the reactive Levagard 2100. "What puts them ahead of other systems with similar flame-retardant effects is that they are barely volatile, if at all, and exhibit only minor plasticizing effects," explained Karsten Job, head of PLA. In Emerald Innovation 3000, meanwhile, LANXESS offers a polymeric brominated flame retardant for expanded polystyrene that makes a viable alternative to hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which is not approved for use in the EU.

Artificial intelligence in product development

LANXESS is aiming to make even better use of the benefits of digital technologies in the future: with digital business models, the introduction of new technologies throughout the value chain and the analysis and use of large amounts of data. The company is employing artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize formulations for glass-fiber sizings used to reinforce plastics. LANXESS is collaborating on this project with Citrine Informatics, an AI company based in Redwood City, California, U.S. Michael Zobel, head of HPM, explained, "We want to cut the development time for optimized formulations by more than half so that we can bring new, higher-performance products to market more quickly."

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