PU expansions: Mitsui Chemicals/Sanyo Chemical form alliance to produce PP glycols; Covestro inaugurates new production line in Taiwan with new TPU series for auto and wind sector

Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals and Sanyo Chemical Industries are forming a 50-50 Limited Liability Partnership with the aim of solving common issues in the production of polypropylene glycols (PPGs), such as improving productivity and securing future supply stability in Japan. PPGs are one of the main raw materials for polyurethanes (PUs).

Mitsui Chemicals/Sanyo Chemical form alliance to produce PP glycols

PPGs are chemical materials obtained through polymerization of alkylene oxides such as propylene oxide (PO) and ethylene oxide (EO) to polyhydric alcohols. PUs are used in a wide range of applications, including automotive parts, furniture and bedding, heat-insulating construction materials, paints, and adhesives.

The global market for PUs continues to expand. In Japan, demand for high-performance, high-value-added PUs is expected to grow in response to changes in the market, such as the spread of next-generation automobiles, smart homes, and environmental responsiveness, while demand for general-purpose products is on a downward trend. In addition, the competitive environment with overseas manufacturers in both domestic and overseas markets is becoming increasingly severe.

Under these circumstances, two companies have agreed that it is necessary to cooperate with a partner who share the same recognition in order to maintain a sustainable and efficient production system and strengthen competitiveness in the PPG business strategy. Through the establishment of this LLP, two companies will work to achieve both continuous stable supply and securing of profit in the PPG business.

Covestro inaugurates new production line in Taiwan with new TPU series for auto and wind sector

Meanwhile in other news, German materials manufacturer Covestro inaugurated a new production line for high-performance Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPUs) that will be used for production of paint protection films (PPF). The new line is located at the company’s existing site in Changhua, Taiwan. The investment and the expansion of its production capacities for TPUs at the site had been announced in 2022.

At the inauguration of the new line, the company also launched its new Desmopan UP TPU series. UP stands for "Ultimate Protection". The series offers high durability, adaptability and aesthetics, protecting automotive surface coatings from harsh environmental conditions. The material can also be used to protect wind blades or screens of smart devices.

The global PPF market is projected to grow steadily until 2030, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for the largest share of the overall market. The expected growth in that region in turn is driven in large part by the growth of the Chinese market. At the same time, North America and Europe are showing solid growth projections as well.

The high interest in the material stems mostly from increasing attention of vehicle owners to the aesthetic condition of vehicles and particularly their surfaces.

TPU is a performance benchmark in PPF for quality, long-term aesthetics and surface integrity. Covestro is one of the biggest international suppliers of TPU resins for PPF production.

In PPF, the choice of materials and its formulation play a decisive role. Covestro says it has put years of research into formulation and advanced manufacturing technologies to build the basis for the Desmopan UP-based TPUs for PPF.

It boasts UV durability, hydrolysis and chemical resistance, as well as optical clarity. This ensures long-lasting performance, weather resistance, and impact resistance. In addition, Desmopan UP allows PPF to adapt to the complex designs and surfaces of different vehicles quickly and easily.


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