Technology: Covestro unveils TPUs based on carbon dioxide

Leverkusen, Germany –  Covestro has introduced the first in a series of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) containing polyether carbonate polyols based on CO2 technology.

Labelled Desmopan 37385A, the new materials have a lower carbon footprint and help close the carbon cycle than conventional TPUs, according to Covestro.

They also conserve fossil resources and, unlike many bio-based materials, do not compete with food production, the company further claimed.

“With the new TPU, our customers can reduce the carbon footprint of their products and as a result play a pioneering role in sustainability vis-à-vis their competitors,” explains Georg Fuchte, TPU expert at Covestro.

“This is especially true for companies in the consumer goods industry, which often manufacture products with a short lifespan,” Fuchte added in the 11 Oct statement

Desmopan 37385A has a hardness of 85 Shore A and its mechanical properties are said to at least match those of conventional TPU grades of similar hardness. It has a tensile strength of 36 megapascals and elongation-at-break of 660%

The TPU is designed for extrusion, but is also suitable for injection moulding, said Covestro.

Target applications include those of conventional TPU grades, including shoe soles and uppers, sportswear, handles and packaging for sensitive electronics.

Covestro plans to expand the new TPU series with variants of different hardness. A product with a hardness of 95 Shore A, for example, whose melt cures rapidly during processing, is well advanced in development.

“We are thus targeting applications in which economic production in short cycle times is particularly important,” said Fuchte.