Bayer Polymers (Booth N5149) is showcasing a number of new products, including what it claims to be the industry's first thermoformable nylon, as it marks the 50th anniversary of its Makrolon-brand polycarbonate at NPE 2003.The nylon grade, which was first commercialized in late 2002, is impact-modified and has 15 percent glass-reinforced content. It is expected to find a home in a number of large parts, including truck panels. Officials described it as ``the next natural step'' from such products as thermoformable ABS.
Other Bayer highlights at NPE include:
* The Soundog wireless tabletop audio system, which uses Bayer's Aura-brand color technology to color Makrolon PC. The Soundog units are used at Fox Sports skyboxes at airports nationwide. The units are marketed by Sprox Inc. of Charlevoix, Mich., and molded by Lexalite International Corp., which also is based in Charlevoix.
* Three new grades of Makrofol-brand PC film for automotive interiors, electronics, point-of-purchase displays and appliances.
* The Vison Blood Cardioplegia System, a Gish Biomedical product made of Makrolon PC. The fist-sized device is used in cardiac surgery to cool and warm human blood.
Makrolon, invented by Bayer chemist Hermann Schnell in 1853, also is allowing for greater data storage on CD-ROMs, according to Mark Witman, director of Bayer's plastics injection molding technical center in Pittsburgh.
Using Blu-Ray disc technology, discs made with Makrolon can now store up to 25 gigabytes of data, and 100 gigabytes is a possibility.
``We're faced with ever-increasing requests for high-pure material and improvements to pit structures to improve data storage,'' Witman said at Bayer's NPE news conference June 22.
Bayer's Fantasia color program, which includes the Aura line used in Soundog, also has met with a warm reception, according to Gerald MacCleary, who heads Bayer Polymers performance system's unit.
``If you show customers you can differentiate their product, price is not an issue,'' MacCleary said.
Based on sales, Bayer Polymers is the largest business of Leverkeusen, Germany-based Bayer AG, which ranks as one of the world's largest chemical firms. The polymers unit posted sales of about $11.6 billion last year, but is in the process of eliminating more than 5,000 jobs worldwide because of profit shortfalls.