Cologne, Germany – Lanxess AG has developed a new range of sustainable methylene diphenyl diisocyanate MDI polyether prepolymers for the manufacture of durable polyurethane (PU) elastomers.
The materials, marketed under the brand name Adiprene Green, contains renewable and bio-based raw materials, said the German chemicals supplier 18 Aug.
The overall objective to develop the new range was to create bio-based prepolymers which allow PU processors to produce components with a reduced CO2 footprint, said the Lanxess statement.
According to the company, the starch-based prepolymers can enable a CO2 reduction of between 20 to 30%, for varying products.
Depending on the targeted hardness, the share of bio-based raw materials can vary between 30 to 90%, Lanxess said.
The PU materials produced based on the prepolymers can be processed on existing machinery the properties of the final elastomer would be ‘similar to or event better than’ those manufactured with fossil-based polyether.
The new range is part of Lanxess’ sustainability strategy, which aims to create a “climate neutral” company by 2040, said Markus Eckert, head of the Lanxess urethane systems business unit.
The prepolymers are claimed to be easy to handle as they are processed identically to conventional prepolymers.
According to Lanxess, no modifications are required to material handling, process temperatures or mixing ratios for the bio-based materials.
In addition, the reactivity profile and demoulding times are similar to fossil-based polyether prepolymers.
When reacted with 1,4 butanediol, a range of PU elastomers with a hardness from 40 Shore A to 60 Shore D can be achieved.
The prepolymers can be hand-mixed or machine mixed and can also be processed with Vibracat catalysts from Lanxess.
The product is well suited for applications such as roll covers, wheels, press sleeves or non-pneumatic tires.