Covestro recently announced that it developed its water-based INSQIN® technology in order to create a sustainable, efficient, and permanent polyurethane coating for textiles and to produce high-quality synthetic materials, especially for car interiors. Only a few years ago, reference to a “full leather interior” was an indication of a high-quality vehicle, and genuine leather was an expression of quality and extravagance. However, this picture has now changed; when making purchasing decisions, today’s customers are focusing more attention on sustainable products with the smallest possible carbon footprint.

Other important product features include quality and durability. These features play a significant role in heavily used vehicles of established car sharing services. Providers of these services are interested in a long service life for their fleet and also place great value on low maintenance costs for their vehicles.

Conventional synthetics are often produced using organic solvents. For years, such volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been subject to emission reduction measures. According to Covestro, this is why the company is relying on a water-based coating technology that does not require solvents. Compared with the previous solvent-based coagulation process, this technology reportedly not only saves up to 95% water and up to 50% energy, but the vehicle interior is also significantly less polluted by VOC emissions.

As an alternative to animal leather, INSQIN products reportedly offer several advantages. Due to their lower weight, they increase the efficiency of a vehicle and thus reduce its fuel or electricity consumption. In addition, they are durable, sustainable, and recyclable thanks to modern production methods.

In vehicle interiors, Covestro reports that INSQIN products provide an opportunity to completely redesign and reuse surfaces. Designers and drivers both benefit from this, as the color, feel, and light permeability of surfaces can be customized. Because translucent effects can be achieved even with dark colors, indicator lights or buttons can be easily installed under the surface; a glance or the push of a button becomes an experience.

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