CEO Patrick Thomas making an address at Covestro’s booth at K2016
Covestro’s CEO Patrick Thomas marked the company’s appearance at K 2016 by highlighting how the company has turned ideas deemed impossible at previous editions of the fair into real applications.
Thomas highlighted the production of polyurethane foam using carbon dioxide, as one example of how the company has pushed scientific boundaries to turn ambition into reality.
“Lots of people told us two K fairs ago that making foam from CO2 was a ridiculous idea,” explained Thomas. ”But, we’ve done it. Six years on, we have commercialised carbon dioxide-based foams. Not just foams, but also other materials that fall into the thermoplastic elastomer and rubber categories. We have pushed he boundaries of what’s possible. It was always a dream of ours to use carbon dioxide as a feedstock for our products.”
In addition to polyurethane-based products made using CO2, the company has also developed TPE products made from carbon dioxide, the first examples of which are on display for the first time globally at K 2016.
A solar ambition
Thomas also highlighted the ideas discussed three and six years ago, at K 2013 and K 2010 respectively, to use the company’s materials – which were then the materials of Bayer MaterialScience – to power the world’s first solar-powered, around-the-world flight as part of the Solar Impulse project.
“Achieving what we have with our materials for use in the Solar Impulse is truly pushing boundaries and we’ve shown kids around the world what’s possible with this technology,” explained Thomas.
“We have helped the two pilots achieve their dream by providing our polyurethane insulation materials, for example. This foam is now being used in everyday applications, such as refrigeration insulation for reduced electricity consumption in the kitchen.”
Pushing the boundaries
Covestro, which marked one year of business as an independent company in September, has dedicated its booth at K 2016 to its very latest boundary-pushing technologies across a number of markets.
These include an electric vehicle with innovative polycarbonate lighting and holographic technology for improved safety and aesthetics, wearable technology for the medical and health industries utilising polyurethane foam and flexible films as well as 3D printing technologies for next-generation footwear, amongst other applications.
“Our stand here at K describes how Covestro really works,” continued Thomas.
“What I mean is achieving the things that people in the past have not thought possible, which are now possible –that’s what we mean by pushing boundaries,” he concluded.