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Posted: Oct 27, 2010
The Inventor Company Turns 'Megatrends to Business'
(Nanowerk News) Bayer MaterialScience will use the latest technology to showcase more than 80 innovative developments at the 18th International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber – K 2010 – from October 27 to November 3, 2010. Under the slogan 'From Megatrends to Business', the company's stand A 75 in Hall 6 will comprise over 1,000 square meters devoted to sustainable solutions in the fields of climate protection, technology, mobility, living and health.
"The demographic shifts taking place in many societies, global climate change and the increasing shortage of resources are all driving our search for sustainable solutions," says Patrick Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer MaterialScience. "At the same time, we are focusing on exploring new business opportunities by fulfilling future needs. We are known around the world as 'The Inventor Company' and K 2010 is the perfect environment in which to position ourselves as a technology leader offering innovative products, applications and solutions."
For the first time, visitors to the stand will be able to experience the world of Bayer MaterialScience in a whole new dimension – by using interactive tables to gain a visual insight into the full spectrum of the company's developments. The various topics are linked by means of intelligent navigation and visitors will be able to see how products from Bayer MaterialScience could prove a positive and sustainable influence on the way we live in the future. Exhibits also provide specific examples of new applications.
"Bayer MaterialScience is analyzing the likely effects of social and economic change on many areas and is applying its know-how and experience to developing the relevant solutions," explains Manfred Rink, the company's head of New Business and stand manager for K 2010.
Energy generation, logistics and climate protection
Bayer MaterialScience is committed to developing sustainable technologies and materials, particularly when it comes to utilizing energy from renewable sources such as the sun and wind. With photovoltaics, for example, the focus is on customer-specific solutions featuring higher energy efficiency, lower manufacturing costs and a broader range of applications. The company's current development portfolio offers a variety of solutions including polyurethane sheathing for solar modules with an integrated assembly system; a sandwich composite of polycarbonate sheets with solar cells; and flexible solar modules of higher efficiency. A solar air collector roof insulation system developed by puren gmbh, in conjunction with Bayer MaterialScience, highlights an intelligent means of combining energy generation from solar radiation with highly efficient thermal insulation.
Also being highlighted is an ingenious approach to logistics that could result in major reductions in energy consumption and emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. As distances food products need to travel before they reach the consumer increases – particularly in the growing megacities of Asia and Latin America – Bayer MaterialScience is continuing to improve the already excellent insulating properties of rigid polyurethane foam systems for use in the refrigeration chain. Such measures could, for example, boost the energy efficiency of cooling appliances, thereby helping to conserve more resources.
Simply replacing all old appliances with an energy efficiency rating lower than "A" with economical appliances fulfilling the highest efficiency rating, carbon dioxide emissions could be cut by around 22 million metric tons annually in the European Union alone. The resultant drop in energy consumption would be equivalent to around six percent of the energy savings stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol.
Sustainable technology innovations
One new development from Bayer MaterialScience in this area is polyurethane nanofoams. These materials could eventually double the thermal insulation performance of refrigeration in a matter of years. Foams with pore sizes of under 150 nanometers would considerably reduce the energy consumption of appliances and thus make a major contribution to cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Alternatively, they could be used to make the walls of such appliances thinner, creating more space for refrigerated goods.
Carbon nanotubes from the Baytubes® range now make it possible to manufacture wind turbine rotor blades that convert wind power into electricity far more efficiently. Their length was previously limited to around 60 meters, as larger blades did not have the required strength. Nanotubes impart a high degree of stiffness to the rotor blades and are also very lightweight, meaning that the rotors can be constructed on a larger scale and provide a more efficient means of power generation.
Mobility that protects the climate
Also in the area of mobility and transportation, Bayer MaterialScience will showcase a range of innovative developments at K 2010. Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have come up with an ambitious project to circumnavigate the globe in an aircraft powered solely by solar energy. As official partner of the Solar Impulse project, Bayer MaterialScience is developing ultra-light materials to reduce the weight of the next prototype to less than 1,600 kilograms. During the first night flight in summer of this year, a very lightweight rigid polyurethane foam was among the materials on board. Based on raw materials and technology developed by the Leverkusen based Bayer MaterialScience, the foam was used in the cockpit cladding, the engine cowling and the wings. The next solar-powered aircraft will contain a significantly greater proportion of Bayer MaterialScience materials and technology.
The polycarbonate Makrolon® offers clear advantages over glass in the field of automotive glazing. As the plastic weighs up to 50 percent less than traditional glazing, it leads to a considerable reduction in fuel consumption. At K 2010, Bayer MaterialScience will be presenting the prototype concept in a complete, one-piece tailgate with windshield. Unlike conventional models with a metal support and pane of glass, this highly integrated component features a completely joint-free outer shell made of polycarbonate.
Contemporary living with environmentally friendly material solutions
Bayer MaterialScience has also developed an extensive range of energy-efficient solutions for the construction industry that combine design and functionality. One key element of these activities is the global EcoCommercial Building Program, which is designed to provide the construction sector with a unique portfolio of services and material solutions for energy-efficient, economical building projects. As part of this project, Bayer MaterialScience is working with a network of members from various disciplines to support professionals such as architects, project managers, construction managers, developers and managers of larger companies in the creation of public and commercial buildings that far outstrip previous sustainability standards. The services on offer range from energy efficiency assessments during the planning phase and the use of environmentally friendly materials to the generation of renewable energies.
Thanks to their low energy consumption, low maintenance requirements and long service life, LED lighting technologies will soon supplant traditional lighting systems. To contribute to this global trend, Bayer MaterialScience has developed customized polycarbonates which are now proving their mettle in initial series applications. Some examples from the automotive industry include LED lenses for low-beam and full-beam headlights and fiber optics for daytime running lights in the front headlamps of the new Audi A8. The complex components were developed in collaboration with Audi AG and Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. Experts from Bayer MaterialScience have also come up with raw materials and technical solutions for highly transparent two-component polyurethane casting compounds that can be used to manufacture lighting strips and other lighting elements with light-emitting diodes.
Innovative robotics for rehabilitation patients
Bayer MaterialScience is also a leader in polymer science for the health and medical sector. A joint project undertaken with Professor Sankai of Cyberdyne Inc. – a spin-off company of Tsukuba University in Japan – is focusing on an intelligent robot suit known as HAL® (Hybrid Assistive Limb) that supports physical movements and could eventually make wheelchairs a thing of the past. The suit works by 'reading' nerve signals from the brain to the muscles. At that moment, very weak bioelectric signals are registered on the skin and HAL® receives these signals via sensors. These signals activate small electric motors in the suit that assist the movement of patients wearing it. The developers are also examining how HAL® could also find applications in areas involving heavy physical work. Bayer MaterialScience has developed a polycarbonate grade which can be used for the complex shape of the robot and is then covered with a film.
About Bayer MaterialScience
With 2009 sales of EUR 7.5 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2009, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company. Find more information at www.bayermaterialscience.com.