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Covestro has begun operations at a new production facility for aqueous polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) at its Dormagen, Germany site.

Along with a current expansion of production in Barcelona, the company is thus boosting its capacities in Europe significantly. It is also building a new facility in China, as well as planning to resume production in the US and at the same time modernizing and expanding facilities there.

The new capacity is primarily needed to satisfy rising demand from the coatings and adhesives industry, as manufacturers are determined to replace solvent-based products with more sustainable waterborne systems. Also driving the trend are regulations that require lower emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), according to Covestro.

"With these investments, we are preparing for the continued growing demand for polyurethane dispersions as well as expanding our globally leading position," said Michael Friede, Global Head of the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties segment at Covestro. "At the same time, thanks to our diversified production, we have the flexibility to meet many different requirements."

Polyurethane dispersions can be used in a wide variety of applications. For example, products in the Bayhydrol UH, U and UV series and Bayhytherm are a component of base coats for automotive OEM and refinishing coatings, as well as a component of wood and furniture coatings and long-wearing floor coatings.

Adhesives formulated with Dispercoll U are used in the production of furniture and shoes as well as in the automotive industry.

Under the name Impranil, the low-solvent raw materials also play a role in the production of coated textiles and polyurethane synthetics. PUDs in the Baybond product line are used in the form of glass fiber sizings to produce robust plastic composites (glass-fiber-reinforced plastics). The film formers adhere very well to the fibers, but, in composites with thermoplastics, they are still elastic enough to ensure the necessary stability.

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