Covestro is celebrating a premiere. The company is making its debut appearance as an exhibitor at interzum 2017, the leading international trade show for furniture production and interiors. Aimed squarely at designers and furniture manufacturers, the show is taking place from May 16 to 19, 2017 in Cologne, Germany. The focal point is on innovative and sustainable material developments for modern and functional furniture design.
The highlight of the company’s stand – Number F 041 in Hall 10.2 – is “The Factory of Ideas” piece of furniture from designer Thomas Schnur. This demonstrates a process of transformation from a cloud structure to a seating design and thus symbolizes a metaphorical journey from the designer’s creative idea to the finished product. Schnur took his inspiration from the diverse design possibilities that Covestro products open up.
For example, the concept furniture introduces visitors to a raw material for flexible polyurethane foam that contains CO2, invisible furniture coatings with a natural feel, a sustainable textile coating with unlimited possibilities, and the crystal-clear but break-resistant high-performance plastic Makrolon®.
CO2 as a synthesis building block
Covestro offers a new solution under the name of cardyon™ that boosts sustainability in the value chain for mattresses. The new raw material for flexible polyurethane foam uses carbon dioxide to replace up to 20 percent of the fossil raw materials used previously. This puts CO2 back into the value chain and closes the carbon cycle. Compared to a conventional precursor, it reduces the overall carbon footprint by up to 15 percent.
Covestro commissioned a production plant for the raw material at its Dormagen site only last year and it is now commercially available. Foam materials produced using this precursor exhibit a quality that is at least as good as that of conventional products.
Natural feel and look
Covestro is also bringing wood coatings to interzum that offer a unique tactile experience – along with invisible protection, a natural look and excellent performance, such as UV protection. The coating is based on waterborne, low-solvent raw materials from the Bayhydrol® and Bayhydur® ranges. This development is Covestro’s response to a current market trend.
For years, the furniture industry has been committed to improving sustainability in production. For instance, it pioneered the use of waterborne coatings as an alternative to solventborne coatings. However, Covestro is now going one step further, with the development of a bio-based waterborne two-component coating. Bayhydur® eco 7190, the hardener for the polyurethane coating, comprises up to 66 percent biomass.
As part of a joint project, coating manufacturer Sirca, furniture producer RiFRA and Covestro tested the coating with bio-based hardener in a current RiFRA furniture collection and recently showcased it at the Salone di Mobile trade show in Milan and the European Coatings Show in Nuremberg.
Waterborne adhesives with high green strength
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue when it comes to bonding together furniture parts, too. Waterborne polychloroprene dispersions from Covestro’s Dispercoll® C range have clear advantages over solventborne raw materials in adhesive formulations. They not only match the outstanding properties of conventional systems, they exceed them in some cases, too. This applies in particular to applications that require high green strength – an area where Dispercoll® C is unbeaten.
Waterborne textile coatings from the INSQIN® range offer a whole host of options, as the seat of the concept furniture demonstrates. This technology is not just responsible for the design and functionality of coated textiles, it also improves their sustainability. Compared to conventional products, up to 95 percent can be saved on water usage and up to 50 percent on energy consumption. Covestro is thus helping brand owners and textiles manufacturers achieve their sustainability goals.
Crystal-clear material for furniture
The crystal-clear polycarbonate Makrolon® from Covestro is an ideal material for designers and furniture manufacturers. It is highly impact-resistant and offers the ideal properties for designing lightweight furniture with an impressive aesthetic appeal. The “covering” of the cloud in the designer furniture is made from this plastic.
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro 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, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2016.