Chemical Industry at K 2013
Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Functional Materials and System Solutions Take Center Stage
At this year’s K show, BASF is placing the emphasis on plastics that are available right now. The world’s first TPU foam, which is used on the soles of Adidas running shoes, will be on display. Materials such as Ultracom for the automotive industry and extrusion blow-molded polyamides are targeted at new applications.
The chemical company is even looking for new uses for castoff plastic waste: Even when properly segregated, PET wastes are difficult to recycle as breaking the polymer chain changes the melting characteristics. However, a new generation of additives now allows for an upcycling (i.e. the production of products with improved properties) of plastic waste.
The Dream of Flying – Bayer Takes to the Sky
Patrick W. Thomas put it straight: “Explorers dream about the future.” Spectacular exhibits like the ‘Solar Impulse 2’ solar powered airplane promise to attract a lot of attention at the Bayer Material Science booth. The company had already developed an ultra-light cockpit section made of special plastics for the first Solar Impulse. “Of course we are not going to make hundreds of solar-powered planes,” said Thomas. “For us, the project is a flying lab.”
Besides spectacular exhibits, hands-on activities and interactive displays will give visitors the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes in materials research and share their dreams. “The booth will certainly not be just a plastic parts museum,” announced the company’s Chairman before the show. Robotic suits for medical applications, solar airplanes and foam made from waste gas will underscore the potential of plastics. BASF wants to generate enthusiasm for the materials and use the show as an information sharing platform. “This will help us to understand where to set the priorities and how we are going to meet the needs of the market in the future.”