Specialty chemicals company LANXESS put a new production line for the manufacture of water-based compounds into operation in Nantong, China. The business belongs to the Urethane Systems (URE) business unit which is also producing polyurethane dispersions, an important ingredient of the compounds. Under the Pellart brand these products are used in many functional coatings applications where high requirements in terms of haptics, chemical resistance, gloss level, temperature and abrasion resistance and, above all, the lowest possible content of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are required. Typical areas of application are flat materials for automobile interiors, i.e. instrument panels, seats and door panels, but also decorative foils for consumers and industry.
Water-based and therefore environmentally friendly products are a strong trend globally. “As the automotive industry will continue to switch from solvent-based to environment-friendly water-based coatings, we see strong potential with attractive growth rates,” says Michael Timm, Head of Marketing & Development Cast Elastomers at URE.
With the new production line, the company will be able to supply customers in Asia with modern and environmentally friendly Pellart products. Fast developments and customer proximity are provided by the coupling with the application development center, which was opened by LANXESS in Shanghai in June 2021, as well as by the backward integration into its PU dispersions. All in all, LANXESS thus offers its customers a highly flexible set-up that allows fast scale-up of newly developed, customer-specific Pellart formulations.
LANXESS produces polyurethanes and lubricants at its Nantong site, which covers over 100,000 square meters. The urethanes products include hot-cast prepolymers, which are components of specialty polyurethanes that are used primarily in the construction, mining, oil, gas, athletic equipment and electronics industries. These polymers are used, for example, to manufacture rollers, tires and wheels, conveyor belts, screens, seals and so on.