Covestro receives two FSK innovation awards
Covestro has been an official partner of the Solar Impulse project since 2010. Ultra-lightweight design was a top priority in the construction of the current Si2 aircraft. Rigid polyurethane foam from Covestro components not only meets this requirement, it also helps protect the pilots from the extreme outside temperatures of minus 40 to plus 40 degrees Celsius
Reducing the pore size improves the insulation performance of Baytherm® Microcell by ten percent compared to the current standard. This is also good for refrigeration equipment, whose energy efficiency has been improved by using the new material. The company is currently working on a further reduction of the pore size to boost this effect still further.
The polyurethane cabin of the first prototype aircraft is one of the top exhibits at the exhibition accompanying the conference. In the coming year, Solar Impulse intends to continue its record attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an aircraft powered only by solar energy.
Polyurethanes play a key part in the second prize-winning Covestro development, too. The perfect shape and outstanding properties of the Brazuca soccer ball are all thanks to its outer shell. “It consists of a total of five layers based on polyurethane raw materials,” said Thomas Michaelis, project manager for ball development at Covestro.
A one-millimetre-thick elastic polyurethane skin enables the ball to immediately regain its spherical shape after being kicked, thus ensuring an optimal trajectory. The three outermost polyurethane layers give the ball high abrasion resistance and ensure it keeps its good looks for a long time, as well as preventing moisture penetration – all thanks to polyurethane dispersions from Covestro’s Impranil® product line. “This ball is the product of the combined expertise and experience of our partnership with adidas, which now goes back almost 30 years,” said Michaelis.
The FSK, the Specialist Association Foamed Plastics and Polyurethanes has been presenting innovation awards since 1998 to encourage new talent at companies and universities.