DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m.m EDT) — Merquinsa Mercados Químicos SL has entered the bioresin market with new grades of thermoplastic polyurethanes introduced at K 2007 in Dusseldorf.
The new products — Pearlthane Eco and Pearlbond Eco — soon will be available for sampling, Merquinsa President Jose Luis Ayuso said at the show. Patents for the materials were filed only three weeks before the event.
The new TPUs can be made with a range of renewable resources, including castor oil and its derivatives, ranging from 40-95 percent, Ayuso said.
“The idea came because of the market requirements of our customers — who need a carbon balance material — and because of the need to replace oil-derivative products,” Ayuso said. “Those were the main reasons we decided to go ahead with this chemistry.”
Applications for the new materials — which are made from renewable resources but are not biodegradable — include automotive parts such as gear knobs and shock-absorbing layers in running shoes. Barcelona, Spain-based Merquinsa already has been contacted by Japanese automakers and global sporting-goods firms about those applications, General Manager Albert Adroer said.
In its existing product lines, Merquinsa has launched new transparent grades of its aliphatic TPUs for use in film and injection molded parts.
The 43-year-old firm recently added more than 5 million pounds of TPU capacity by streamlining its Barcelona plant. Officials also may install a fourth production line, which would add about 15 million pounds of capacity.
Annual sales at Merquinsa are expected to approach 60 million euros ($78 million) this year. The firm holds a 6-7 percent share in the global TPU market, officials said.