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Polyurethane solutions bring weight savings, rigidity on road and rail

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2012-02-22   Source:PUWORLD   Browse:604

Polyurethane materials for lightweight yet rigid designs are the focal point of Bayer MaterialScience’s (BMS; Leverkusen, Germany) exhibit at Stand P 14 at the JEC composites fair this coming March 27 - 29 in Paris.


According to BMS, demand for such materials is growing primarily in the mobility and transport sector in order to meet increasingly stringent climate protection requirements and conserve finite resources. Furthermore, polyurethane systems have the potential to reduce costs in the composite materials industry. Thanks to automated processes with short cycle and assembly times, they are helping to increase the pace of production. In addition to established spray technologies, new processes for polyurethane such as resin transfer molding (RTM), pultrusion, and the filament winding process are opening up in new areas of application.


One recent example is the engine compartment lining of a convertible currently on the market. This lining is currently made of aluminum and subjected to extraordinary loads. As part of a feasibility study, BMS demonstrated that the covering can be manufactured without modification of the design from a glass fiber-reinforced polyurethane system such as Multitec Short Fiber, thereby reducing the weight of the design by more than 20 percent compared with the metal version. This weight saving is achieved without compromising mechanical properties such as stone impact resistance.


Rail roll-out


The use of lighter-weight components is also becoming increasingly important in the rail transport sector in order to reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and, last but not least, costs. In collaboration with a consortium of businesses, universities and research institutions, BMS has developed a solution for locomotive diesel engine enclosures. Because the large component is located between the passenger compartment and the track, it is subjected to extraordinary loads. The Baypreg polyurethane spray system protects the engine against stone impact as well as the environment against potential oil leaks. It also satisfies flame retardance and fire protection standards for rolling stock.



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