Germany-based Bayer MaterialScience now offers INSQIN™, a sustainable technology for producing polyurethane (PU) coated fabrics without using solvents. According to the company, brand owners now have access to “an integrated package of pure waterborne PU technology, material co-development and a certified manufacturer partner program for PU coated fabrics.”
PU leather and other PU coated fabrics are used to make shoes, bags and apparel. Bayer has set up pilot lines at laboratories in China and Germany, enabling brand owners to work with Bayer technicians and use the INSQIN technology in the design and development of new products with improved environmental performance
“Not only are we now able to join efforts with brand owners to shape a more productive innovation process, we are also contributing a practical solution that addresses the ongoing battle between sustainability and scalability,” said Nicholas Smith, global head of textile coating, Bayer MaterialScience. “Our hope is that by interacting directly with brands as well as with manufacturers, we can reshape material innovation in the apparel and footwear industry. We are committed to reducing harmful effects on people and the environment, by enabling manufacturing that eliminates worker exposure to solvents and lowers resource consumption.”
INSQIN’s solvent-less manufacturing technology will be especially beneficial at Chinese PU fabric manufacturing sites, the company reports, noting that 90 percent of the 4 billion-plus square meters of PU leather produced annually is made in China, and there are concerns about worker exposure to solvents as well as the pollution of local ecosystems. In addition to requiring no solvent, the technology reduces coating process water consumption by up to 95 percent and energy consumption by up to 50 percent, according to Bayer.
Through its INSQIN Partner Manufacturer Program, Bayer will help manufacturers cut water and energy consumption as well as safely manage chemicals. The company will maintain an INSQIN partner list of manufacturers that comply with its standards for applying the technology.
July 15, 2014