Materials firm Lubrizol Corp. has invested in its thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) business to support growth in the surface protection and paint protection film markets.
In a news release, officials with Lubrizol in Wickliffe, Ohio, said that the recent investments extend the company's capabilities in those markets, providing additional benefit to manufacturers, brand owners and their supply chains.
Paint protection films are used to maintain vehicle surfaces. Officials said that with more than 30 years of proven experience, Lubrizol's Estane-brand TPU "is recognized as the benchmark material" for performance in PPF.
Lubrizol's recent TPU investments include a capacity expansion through manufacturing and processing technology at its plant in Montmelo, Spain. The firm also expanded application resources and testing capabilities at technical centers in Montmelo; Brecksville, Ohio; and Songjiang, China. Officials said the technical center expansions were designed "to develop next-generation innovations."
Lubrizol also has expanded its consumer and market insights platform "to stay ahead of the evolving needs in PPF and other surface protection end uses."
"We're at our best collaborating with customers across the value chain," Gabe Rhoads, engineered polymers general manager, said in the release. "We aim to create smarter, and this investment in TPU capacity, testing and process technology enables us to do more, and more quickly, to meet the growing demands of this dynamic market."
Global industrial marketing director Viviana Wilson added that Lubrizol's strategic focus "is on markets and applications where we can deliver value-added solutions to our customers, while helping the industry advance."
Officials said that this integrated combination of investments "uniquely positions Lubrizol to collaborate with customers and partners across the value chain to support their growth and accelerate speed to market with new product innovations." They added that the moves "provide additional security of supply across the globe."
This focused growth also supports the company's recent launch of its "Made with Estane TPU" branding initiative, officials said.
Lubrizol employs almost 8,800 worldwide. The firm's Advanced Materials unit is a leading global supplier of TPU and other specialty materials. In early August, Lubrizol acquired Loveland, Colo.-based 3D printer Avid Product Development LLC for an undisclosed price.