FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (Sept. 6, 2012)—BASF Corp. has opened a research lab for thermoplastic polyurethanes in Wyandotte, Mich., to house a five-person team of product developers, chemists and material scientists.
They will develop TPU products for the American automotive, construction, sports and leisure industries, the company said. The lab team's main focus is TPU synthesis and processing, with the aim of customizing key material properties—stiffness, elasticity, transparency and UV stability—to meet individual customer needs, by varying the manufacturing conditions, BASF said.
TPUs offer high scratch and abrasion resistance, high tensile strength, very good cushioning, high flexibility at cold temperatures, and excellent resistance to oil, grease, oxygen and ozone.
BASF said applications for these materials include cables and tubes for automotive, mechanical engineering and construction uses. TPU films are used for packaging, skis and snowboards, air cushioning systems for insoles, and as fibers for clothing textiles.
Wyandotte is BASF's largest research and development site in the U.S. Midwest, the company said.