Assessing the sustainability of polymer systems is a complex process, which comprises consideration of all cycles a product is subject to, from the raw material source via the process chain of processing, transportation and service to disposal management. When developing new materials we strive to consider their life cycles holistically. Currently, material development itself focusses on polymer systems, which to a high degree are based on renewable resources, which are biodegradable or in which substances dangerous to health and for the environment are replaced by non-hazardous alternatives.
In addition to the use of bio-based educts also further formulation components such as catalysts are developed, in order to replace components dangerous to health and for the environment by non-hazardous systems. Thermoplastic polymers or aqueous dispersions are favoured for processing. The chemical and process technique development focusses on optimisation of the performance properties as well as the recyclability or degradability at the end of the life cycle. For this purpose, methods are being established, in order to test biodegradability of films and composite materials under different conditions.
Sustainable product developments currently focus on:
bio-based polyurethane coatings
biodegradable films and coatings
membranes and coatings from aqueous dispersions