Joint research project by Bayer MaterialScience and the University of Stuttgart.
left: Dr. Heinz-Werner Lucas, head of Business Development Prepolymers at the
Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants Business Unit of Bayer MaterialScience; Dr. Simon
Aicher, head of the Material Testing Institute (MPA) of the University of
Stuttgart; and Walter Stampfli, general manager of Purbond AG, want to work
together to obtain even more reliable test results for the long-term stability
of polyurethane adhesives in structural wood construction.
The use of wood in the construction industry is currently
experiencing a renaissance. New joining methods and construction principles, as
well as the discovery of the classic material for modern architectural
solutions, have opened up new possibilities for building with wood. No longer
relegated to home construction, wood is now used for office and administrative
buildings, schools, multi-family dwellings, bridges, theaters, and even
transmission towers. This trend is being fostered by the lumber industry’s
evolution from a pure handcraft to the industrial production of semi-finished
goods that can be joined quickly and precisely on-site to form larger elements,
making the construction of large and architecturally interesting structures
fast and economical.
The current success of load-bearing wood construction wouldn’t exist without
high-performance adhesives, however. Modern one-component polyurethane systems
offer a number of decisive advantages for this application: they are applied
directly from the drum, and there is no need to mix components prior to
applying the adhesive, nor are there any pot lives to be considered. Odorless
and formaldehyde- and solvent-free, the adhesives are also environmentally
compatible. The production process is very economical, requiring less adhesive
than other systems and allowing parts to be stably and permanently joined after
a short press time.
Before they are introduced to the market, adhesives for engineered wood must be
tested and certified. In Germany,
the Materials Testing Institute (MPA) at the University of Stuttgart
is responsible for testing and assessment. The MPA uses test methods derived
from previous work with phenol-resorcinol and melamine-urea resins to determine
adhesive strength, application properties and long-term durability of
adhesives. The first one-component polyurethane adhesive certified in Germany for the
manufacture of load-bearing wood components received general regulatory
approval in 1994.
Purbond AG, Sempach Station, Switzerland, is the market and technology leader
for one-component polyurethane (PU) adhesives for the manufacture of
load-bearing wood elements. Bayer MaterialScience is the leading supplier of
the isocyanate prepolymers used as raw materials for this application.
According to the MPA, Purbond and Bayer MaterialScience, the methods
underpinning current standards do not give sufficient consideration to the
outstanding properties of polyurethane adhesives. To obtain even more reliable
test results and ensure the continued market success of polyurethane systems,
the MPA and Bayer MaterialScience plan to develop test methods, with the
support of Purbond, to improve predictions of long-term behavior. This work
will incorporate the latest scientific findings, with the results of the
fundamental and application-oriented projects to be used to improve existing
About Bayer MaterialScience
2006 sales of $10.2 billion (continuing operations), Bayer MaterialScience is
among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on
the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of
innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main
segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction
and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2006, Bayer
MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,900
people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.
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