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It is also showcasing advanced materials for automotive applications and drug-delivery devices at the trade show this week in Shenzhen, China.

PlasticsToday Staff

April 14, 2021

3 Min Read
"beautiful recycling flower"
On display at the Covestro booth at Chinaplas, this "garden'" of colors includes plates (positioned below the blossoms) made of recycled polycarbonate water bottles.Image: Covestro

At the Chinaplas 2021 trade fair in Shenzhen, China, from April 13 to 16, Covestro unveiled plans to start offering the world’s first climate-neutral polycarbonate later this year.

"This is another milestone in pursuing our sustainability vision,” said Michelle Jou, President of Covestro’s polycarbonates segment. “We are committed to supporting our customers in the mobility, electronics, electrical, healthcare, and appliances industries to meet their challenges [through] products that provide excellent performance, cost efficiencies, and sustainability. We are accompanying our clients in accelerating the transition to the circular economy, as well as helping to build an industrial ecology that favors circularity."

These polycarbonate grades are climate neutral from cradle to gate, thanks to the introduction of raw materials coming from mass-balanced bio-waste and residues and renewable energy in the production process. Covestro is already supplying ISCC PLUS–certified polycarbonates based on renewable feedstock via the mass balance approach, resulting in a significant carbon footprint reduction. Mass balance is a chain of custody method to track materials through the value chains; it allows allocation of renewable feedstock to selected end products.

"With the use of renewable energy, Covestro is expected to cut carbon emissions completely for these selected products from cradle to gate. These products have the same good quality and performance as fossil-based polycarbonates, and are a drop-in replacement without the need to modify existing processes or workflows," said Jimena Ruesta, Venture Manager, Sustainability Solutions, at Covestro’s polycarbonates segment. The first climate-neutral products are going to be delivered from the company’s European sites later this year, to be followed by sites in other regions, including China, in agreement with market requirements.

Meanwhile, Covestro announced that it is now offering post-consumer recycled (PCR) polycarbonates on its flagship store at 1688.com, China’s leading B2B trading platform under the Alibaba Group. With 75% recycled content, the PCR grade offered on 1688.com reduces the carbon footprint by 50% compared with virgin grades.

Advanced solutions for multiple industries

At Chinaplas, Covestro also is presenting a series of high-performance materials that enable intelligent functions, connectivity, aesthetics, and circular design. Thin-wall, flame-retardant Makrolon and Bayblend polycarbonates cater to the design trends in the consumer electronics and smart home appliance sectors, while the thermal conductivity of Makrolon leads to enhanced heat dissipation in high-performance smart interconnected devices.

The mobility industry also has increasing requirements for materials. In response to the personalization and functionality trends, especially in the passenger vehicle market, Covestro provides integrated front grille materials for distinctive exterior styling, while enabling effective combinations with autonomous functions. The company’s DirectCoating process and transparent glass-fiber polycarbonates enable interior trims with visual aesthetics and processing efficiency. In addition, Covestro will present battery pack materials for electric vehicles that reduce energy consumption by lowering vehicle weight.

As healthcare patients increasingly self-administer medicines, they rely on drug-delivery devices using low-friction components for accurate dosing. To enable faster recovery, patients demand minimally invasive surgeries, where strong and reliable surgical tools are needed. Therefore, Covestro is introducing a new glass-fiber-reinforced medical polycarbonate portfolio for surgical and drug-delivery applications. It is also introducing a new low-friction medical polycarbonate portfolio used in moving components for delivery devices, eliminating the need for external lubricants. Both will be displayed at Chinaplas 2021 to showcase how Covestro leverages new materials to meet the healthcare needs of today and the future.

Design aesthetics increase value

Also on display is Covestro’s CMF (color, material, finish) expertise. Covestro’s CMF team aims to provide clients with unique solutions by considering aesthetic value, design trends, and composition materials. The artwork “garden” at the booth — 17P71-1 in hall 17 — consists of recycled Nongfu Spring water barrels in combination with Covestro’s latest CMF trend colors, forming the "Beautiful Recycling Flower."

Additionally, Covestro will present the Circular Design Guidebook for the electrical, electronics, and home appliance industries. The guide, jointly authored with consultancy REnato lab, is designed to help designers, developers, and other players in the value chain to consider the circular economy from an early stage of product design, as well as providing instructions on how to select materials.

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