LEVERKUSEN, Germany—Bayer MaterialScience L.L.C.'s polyurethane components have been installed in the Solar Impulse ultralight plane in preparation for the first fuel-free around-the-world flight.
BMS innovation including a lightweight foam insulation system for the cockpit, its rigid polyurethane foam shell and adhesives and coating developed by the firm make up the aircraft.
BMS, which partnered Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg for the project in 2010, was responsible for the design of the insulation system in the cockpit's shell.
The firm's Baytherm Microcell boasts thermal insulation properties up to 10 percent above current standards, BMS said in a press release.
Baytherm Microcell was also used for the aircraft door, while the rest of the cockpit shell comprises a different type of rigid polyurethane foam from BMS.
BMS also supplied a polyurethane/carbon fiber composite material for the door locks and thin sheets of transparent polycarbonate for the window. Although the cockpit is larger than its prototype, it is only minimally heavier said the press release.
Outside of the cockpit, rigid polyurethane foam from Bayer MaterialScience insulates the batteries and the company supplied the raw materials for the aircraft's silvery coating and the adhesives that hold the textile fabric underneath the wings.
The plane is set to undertake the journey in March next year.