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BASF invests in the expansion of polyurethane dispersion business in Europe

30 percent increase in production capacity for water-based polyurethane dispersions
BASF meets rising demand for polyurethane dispersions

BASF announced a single-digit million-euro investment in the capacity expansion of water-based polyurethane dispersions at its Castellbisbal site in Spain. The expansion will allow BASF to increase its production capacity by 30 percent.
“We want to continue to provide our customers with high-quality polyurethane dispersions and help them grow by ensuring supply reliability. Considering the rising demand for polyurethane dispersions in Europe, this investment underlines our intention to assume a leading position in the business of polyurethane dispersions,” says Frank Hezel, Vice President Resins & Additives EMEA at BASF.

Polyurethane dispersions constitute an important addition to the acrylate dispersions business. By expanding its portfolio in the field of adhesives, parquet flooring, automotive and industry coatings, BASF is making a valuable contribution to the change from solvent-based coating systems to environmentally friendlier and more sustainable water-based systems.

Furniture & Flooring Platform
Coatings for parquet flooring and furniture – The aftermath of a fabulous party: Scratches on the parquet floor and red wine stains after parties are difficult to remove. Renovating the floor costs a great deal of money. That will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the new Joncryl® platform for polyurethane dispersions and hybrids. BASF has deliberately expanded the product range for the furniture and flooring industry. The abrasion and scratch resistance of the products has improved significantly. In addition, there is better resistance against widely used household chemicals such as red wine, coffee and cleaning solutions. The products require much fewer film-forming agents. This improves the indoor air quality during installation – an important contribution to sustainability.

Automotive & Industrial Platform
The production of modern cars involves the use of an ever-increasing mixture of materials. Apart from steel and aluminum, for example, car makers are increasingly using various types of plastic. This is where the adhesion feature of the entire coating structure comes into play to ensure good surface quality. This also shows BASF had gone one step further to drive supreme quality. The new Basonol PU platform ensures that the primers and base coats used for automobiles have better adhesion qualities and feature a smoother look. The reduced need for solvents constitutes an important contribution to sustainability.

Adhesives Platform
Flexible packaging – In the packaging industry, there is a demand for sustainable packaging. The plan is to use the Epotal® Eco product line to produce water-based compostable raw materials for adhesives at Castellbisbal that are going to play a decisive role in particular regarding the development of bio-degradable packaging material. Epotal® Eco is ideally suited in the production of multi-layer films for flexible packaging (e.g. bags of chips) based on biodegradable plastic material, which may be a solution for the new challenges faced by the packaging industry. Furthermore, the capacity expansion at Castellbisbal can also take into account the increasing publicly voiced concern about plastic waste as well as new regulatory challenges such as the much tighter EU recycling quotas. In addition, the expansion of capacities can also be regarded as a response to the ever-increasing demand for Luphen® brands that are used for living spaces and in the car industry.

Printing & Packaging Platform
Soft-touch varnishes and lamination inks – Brand owners are continuously working on product differentiation through the enhancement in product quality, the use of natural and organic products and the improvement in packaging design. Matt and soft-touch varnishes enhance the quality image of the packed products. Joncryl® water-based polyurethane dispersions feel luxuriously smooth and velvety to the touch and have a matt yet clear finish.

Apart from the emotional aspects, Joncryl® polyurethane dispersions have the technical qualities for water-based lamination ink that are needed for today’s multi-layer flexible (food) packaging.