FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY — Huntsman Corp. will add thermoplastic polyurethane production capacity at its plant in Osnabruck, Germany, in the first half of 2015.
The expansion will add about 11 million pounds of new TPU capacity through a debottlenecking, TPU injection molding market manager Michael Kolm said Oct. 18 at the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen. The project also will include new silos and storage tanks.
The new capacity is needed because of growth in multiple markets, including automotive, footwear and wire and cable, according to Kolm.
“Automotive is still a growth area,” he said, citing Huntsman Irogran-brand TPUs being used over nylon in key fobs for General Motors Co. vehicles. GM was looking for a material with good adhesion to nylon.
German manufacturer Mennekes also is using Irogran TPUs in protective caps for electric car charging cables. In addition to the Osnabruck plant —which currently has annual capacity of almost 70 million pounds — Huntsman also makes TPUs at plants in Illinois and in China.
At Fakuma, Huntsman — based in The Woodlands, Texas — also spotlighted Irogran grades with uses ranging from overmolded parts to automotive seals to car seat laminating applications. The Huntsman lineup also included Avalon AHT-brand transparent TPU, with excellent UV resistance and high mechanical properties. The material is being used in wristbands, watch straps and protective covers for phones and tablet computers.