Covestro continues to innovate in sustainable PU
The new Impranil products enable new effects and performance in waterborne PU
Polymer company Covestro has unveiled a series of new developments in its waterborne polyurethane (PU) products that shore up their position as a sustainable technology in the textile industry.
Covestro has used this week's lAl China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) to launch what it describes as "breakthroughs" in its Insqin waterborne polyurethane (PU) technology and Impranil polyurethane dispersion products.
The new Insqin base is a technology that enables PU base, a key intermediate material for the PU textile industry, to be manufactured using waterborne PU instead of potentially polluting solvents. Covestro says it was developed with a particular focus on achieving the performance - especially the softness - of solvent-based materials, and can be adapted to multiple applications, including garments, bags, and footwear.
Additionally, it reduces manufacturing cost, and can be embossed directly after production, thus removing the need for use of release paper to bring in material effects.
Covestro also unveiled a line of new Impranil products designed to enable new effects and performance in waterborne PU.
Impranil CIL is a new PU dispersion for textile coatings, developed to enable the production of fine nubuck material; while Impranil DLI enables wrinkle or fold recovery in the coated material.
Impranil eco, meanwhile, is a range of waterborne, bio-based polyurethane dispersions, first launched last year and said to represent a leap in sustainable coatings. With a renewable content of up to 65%, the product contributes to a further reduction of CO2 emissions, thus further improving the sustainability of waterborne PU. The first products in the series have been designed for applications on fashion apparel, accessories and footwear.
Each year around the world, more than 4bn square metres of PU-coated fabric are produced, with China manufacturing 90% of this material. As a result, the local ecosystems are under heavy strain, and the local textile industry is facing multiple environmental challenges.
"Covestro is helping companies meet strict performance and effect requirements from the market while reducing manufacturing cost and maximising production flexibility," says Nick Smith, global head of textile coatings at Covestro.
Covestro also used the event to expand its Insqin Partner Manufacturer Program. Established in July 2015, the programme connects manufacturers and brand owners across the PU-coated fabric supply chain.
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