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Dow unveils new equipment at innovation center

April 10, 2012

Lab-scale equipment will help accelerate technical developments in key market segments.

In line with its commitment to innovation, Dow Europe GmbH has introduced enhanced formulation and testing capabilities in the Performance Plastics Innovation Center at the company’s European Headquarters in Horgen, Switzerland.

Responding to extensive growth in the use of elastomers for adhesives and flexible membranes, Dow has invested in new lab-scale equipment at the center, which will help accelerate technical developments in these key market segments. Among the new lab capabilities is the installation of a hot melt adhesive coating and lamination unit and a direct extrusion line for flexible membranes. “The Performance Plastics Innovation Center will now house some of the industry’s most advanced testing facilities for our products in adhesive and flexible membranes,” said Pierre Burelli, EMEA commercial director, Dow Elastomers. “We see our lab as an extension of our customers’ technical capabilities. We have the ability to develop and test products simultaneously with them, and, in some cases, we can offer our lab to customers who may not have these testing capabilities in-house.”

Dow Elastomers will host an Open House event at the Innovation Center in Horgen on April 12, giving customers, suppliers and other key industry stakeholders a chance to see the new technology first hand. Specialists from across Dow will showcase the advanced capabilities of the site and representatives from Nordson Engineering, Eastman Chemical Company, BASF, Albemarle and KraussMaffei Berstorff will give presentations on their technologies for these applications. The new equipment includes:

• Nordson Coating and Lamination line designed to help evaluate the processing performance of hot melt adhesives and to prepare samples for adhesion testing. Key applications are in health and hygiene, such as nonwoven top sheet and back sheet lamination, roll goods and pressure sensitive adhesives.

• Co-rotating twin-screw extruder (25mm) combined with a flat-slit die and three-roll calender for direct extrusion of flexible membranes. Key applications include roofing and waterproofing membranes, flooring, automotive skins, noise vibration dampening and artificial leather.

“This application-dedicated equipment offers capabilities that will help us develop solutions faster based on Dow polymers which address specific market criteria and industry demands. For membrane applications, we now have the ability to produce real life structures, to demonstrate the highly flexible performance of solutions based on VERSIFY, ENGAGE or INFUSE Elastomers from Dow and test against some of the most stringent of industry standards like fire performance,” said Kurt Kronawittleithner, EMEA R&D leader, Dow Elastomers. “In addition, for hot melt adhesive applications our new testing equipment can be used to determine overall performance on a variety of substrates with multiple application modes, demonstrating the powerful bonds you can achieve with AFFINITY GA and INFUSE Elastomers.”

Dow offers a broad portfolio of Elastomer resins that address some of the specific performance requirements and industry standards for adhesives and flexible membranes. Hot melt adhesives based on AFFINITY GA Polyolefin Elastomers and INFUSE Olefin Block Copolymers (OBCs) can offer powerful bonds, increased sealing mileage, broad temperature range performance, exceptional color stability and virtually char- and odor-free processing. For producers of flexible membranes, VERSIFY Plastomers and Elastomers, ENGAGE Polyolefin Elastomers and INFUSE OBCs can offer ease of processing, high flexibility and remarkable welding properties in addition to meeting critical fire performance in roofing and other building applications.

For more information on Dow Elastomers:
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