The rising demand for polyurethane automotive coatings has prompted Bayer MaterialScience to expand the production of two important coating raw materials: hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI). After a construction phase of only a year and a half, the company has now commissioned the multipurpose plant at Chempark Leverkusen.
"It is integrated in our existing production operations for isocyanates and designed for the manufacture of both raw materials," says Hanno Brümmer, Head of Production and Technology in the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience. "Its modern equipment also is a response to the demands of customers for faster and more flexible delivery." The company invested some EUR 35 million in the expansion project.
It is also in line with Bayer MaterialScience's new sustainability concept, the aim of which is to increase value-added for the benefit of society, thereby enhancing the quality of life. The raw materials produced in the new plant fulfill this requirement in that they support the production of performance automotive coatings with good durability and resistance.
Ecological impacts also are to be minimized as part of the sustainability concept. Bayer has long been committed to the use of low-solvent or solvent-free coatings, and this also applies to coating formulations based on HDI and IPDI. In the new plant, they are produced efficiently with the help of modern and innovative process technologies, which are yet another sign of the continued implementation of Bayer MaterialScience's sustainability concept.
HDI and IPDI are also used in industrial coatings and adhesives.