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Bayer Invests in Textile Coating Technology

Inauguration of the new pilot plant for textile coating: (from left to right): Dr. Christian Haessler, head of the Polymer Research & Development Center of Bayer MaterialScience in Shanghai, Nicholas Smith, global head of textile coating, and Rolf Irnich, global head of application and technology development for textile coatings (figure: Bayer)

Bayer MaterialScience, Leverkusen, Germany, has inaugurated its state-of-the-art textile coating pilot line in Shanghai, China. The global demand for environmentally friendly synthetic leather and coated textiles is expected to grow strongly. The increase will be felt most prominently in China, home to 90 percent of the world’s production of these materials. By moving the global product development and the lead for application development for textile-related products to China, Bayer is supporting this change.

The newly-inaugurated textile coating line has a multifunctional coating head, two lamination stations, a twelve meter length drying oven, as well as a foulard. It is equipped with a digital control system and is suited for various application and processing methods in one line, such as direct and transfer coating with optional wet or dry lamination. Besides that the plant is equipped with an embossing calendar, which enables embossing of a coated substrate. Line parameter settings are then directly transferable to industrial production, which means that manufacturers can significantly reduce the time expenditure for elaborate production trials.

Global Set-Up for Growing Demand

At its headquarters in Leverkusen, the company has also installed new lab facilities, among them a lab coater. Along with the dedicated lab space in Pittsburgh, USA, these new investments will allow Bayer to further strengthen its capabilities in the coated textile sector. The Shanghai, Leverkusen and Pittsburgh facilities complete Bayer’s support, allowing fast response to customers. By adopting a global setup Bayer is able to address customers with different operations in various locations around the globe. These new installations represent the next step in Bayer’s plan to offer the best possible service to address the need for new materials.

Bayer's portfolio ranges from product synthesis and formulation to the development of next-generation coated textile materials. It will also open up further co-development activities with partners along the value chain to deliver innovative materials powered by waterborne polyurethane (PU) technology. “The textile industry has always had a thirst for new materials,” said Nicholas Smith, global head of textile coating at Bayer MaterialScience, at the inauguration ceremony at the Polymer Research & Development Center of the company in Shanghai. “But today an even more dramatic change is happening: Many apparel and footwear brands as well as consumers have embarked upon a huge sustainability agenda to address the social and environmental impacts of the industry. Governments and regulators in textile material producing countries such as China are also calling for improvements.”

Company profile

Covestro Deutschland AG

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee 60
DE 51373 Leverkusen
Tel.: 0214 60092000


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