Materials firms Covestro AG and Teknor Apex Co. will work together on new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) compounds.
Covestro of Leverkusen, Germany, and Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor both have worked with TPU for many years, with Covestro making the resin and Teknor producing compounds. Officials said in a news release that formulating and compounding can create an additional value proposition.
Specific end use requirements such as flame retardancy, adhesion and appearance can be enhanced through formulation and compounding techniques, they added. TPU compounds made by the partnership will be marketed under the Desmoflex trade name.
“Together with Teknor Apex, we want to develop customized products to grow together with our existing and new customers,” Thorsten Dreier, Covestro global TPU business head, said in the release.
Teknor TPE Vice President Sachin Sakhalkar added that the combination of Covestro’s expertise in TPU resin and Teknor’s custom formulation and compounding capabilities “provide a compelling value driver for our combined customers worldwide.”
“This new cooperation strengthens our promise to our customers and partners who depend on us to bring tailored solutions for their application needs,” he said.
The TPUs will be compounded at Teknor plants in the U.S., Germany and Asia. Both companies have access to market the jointly developed compounds. Through a selling agreement, Covestro will act as a sales agent for Teknor to maximize sales and marketing and complement Teknor’s commercial efforts.
A Covestro spokesman said that Teknor will be the firm’s preferred partner to expand market access for TPU-based compounds, but Covestro will continue to work with other compounders.
Markets for TPU include automotive, sports and leisure, information technology, electronics and medical. The material can be made with properties ranging from soft to hard and from elastic to stiff, depending on customer requirements.
Officials said that all TPU products have in common high abrasion and wear resistance as well as chemical and weather resistance. The material can be processed into profiles, strips, hoses, fibers, films or foams.
Both Covestro and Teknor Apex are providing materials that are being used to stop the spread of COVID-19. Covestro’s polycarbonate film plant in South Deerfield, Mass., saw as many orders for medical film in the two months of February and March as it usually does in a whole year. The film is needed for medical face shields used by health care workers.
Covestro’s compounding plant in Newark, Ohio, is working to supply polycarbonate-based compounds used in medical products ranging from drug delivery devices to oxygen concentrators and insulin pens.
Teknor has seen increased demand for materials used in personal protective equipment (PPE) product demand, particularly where the firm supplies thermoplastic elastomers into medical masks. In colorants, Teknor has seen increased demand from customers involved in making COVID-19 test kits, as well as from those supplying tubing to the ventilator market.
Covestro is a global plastics and chemicals firm based in Leverkusen with North American headquarters in Pittsburgh. The firm employs more than 17,000 worldwide and posted sales of more than $13 billion in 2019.
Teknor makes compounds based on flexible and rigid PVC, thermoplastic elastomers and nylons and also makes color concentrates, specialty chemicals and garden hoses. The firm operates 13 plants worldwide in the U.S., Belgium, Germany, China and Singapore and has annual sales of more than $1 billion.