Friedrichshafen, Germany — BASF SE staffers were talking about coffee and cars at Fakuma 2015.
The Ludwigshafen, Germany-based giant is seeing its Ultradur-brand polybutylene terephthalate used in single-serve coffee capsules made by French coffee roaster Café Meo. The material offers much better oxygen barrier properties than commonly-used polypropylene, according to consumer project manager Nora Knaul.
Using PBT instead of PP in the containers also allows for the removal of aluminum film. The better oxygen properties also keep the coffee fresher for a longer time, avoiding bitterness, she said Oct. 13 at the trade show in Friedrichshafen.
The product was commercialized earlier this year and is being reviewed by other coffee makers as well, according to account manager Boris Weber. Another brand owner is expected to commercialize a PBT coffee container later this year or sometime in 2016, he added.
On the automotive front, BASF is finding its polyurethane and TPU materials used in panels and roof modules, exterior segment manager Andreas Wolf said. 2015 models of the Citroen C4 are sporting hatchback panels made of BASF TPU. In that application, the material offers good color fastness, scratch resistance and laser welding performance, he added.
Lightweight roof modules made of a BASF PU composite are in lightweight roof modules in 2015 models of the Smart car Fortwo vehicle. The material uses a sandwich core of a honeycomb with glass mat and can reduce roof weight by two kilograms, Wolf explained.
BASF SE is a major plastics and chemicals firm that posted sales of almost $84 billion in 2014.