The Italian company Icap-Sira Chemicals and Polymers S.p.A., Milan, is particularly committed in the development of new product lines especially designed to satisfy future requirements of sustainability.
In particular the company developed:
- new bi-component polyurethane systems for in-situ polymerization as substitutes of solvent based products
- biodegradable polymers water-based dispersions for coating, laminating and padding in substitution of traditional vinyl/acrylic products
- high performance low eco-toxicological impact polymer dispersions.
The newly developed Icaflex BI bicomponent system is composed by isocyanic aromatic or aliphatic prepolymers and a polyol range of ready to use polyol compounds (polyester and polyether). These 2 parts (prepolymer PR and polyol POL) are mixed directly during the application. Both components are 100% solids, no solvent is contained and no or low VOC is developed during the reaction.
Particular attention has been addressed to the use of raw materials from renewable resources both in the BI PR and the BI POL ranges. The careful raw materials selection and the tailor-made preparation of the 2 components give this system a very high versatility; this range of polyurethanes finds applications in textiles and synthetic leather production and is suitable for application by lamination, direct and transfer coating, foaming and impregnation; in practice in all the applications where solvent based products are currently used. The complete absence of solvent during all the production steps and the application guarantees low energy consumption and reduced environmental issues (both in VOC emission as in transport).
Icap-Sira is developing a new product line called Greencap based on biodegradable polymers water-based dispersions. They have the same chemico-phisical characteristics of common acrylic or polyurethanes dispersions and can be applied by standard industrial equipment. They offer a sustainable and ecologically friendly solution for single use products, packaging and organic textile finishing.
Maintaining the performance while substituting high environmental impact products with eco-friendly ones is certainly a challenge. As examples high melamine crosslinked products or fluorocarbon water and stain resistant additives can be mentioned. Icap-Sira has the goal to produce inherently stronger polymers that reduce the need of the addition of external substances as crosslinkers or fluorocarbon resins. The principle is to work on the chemical and physical interaction between polymer, additives and substrates and to take advantage of the synergy between all the components of the system. The design of new polymers is thus focused on the obtaining of a specific characteristic and at the same time on the improvement of their sustainability. In this scenario the company has scheduled to launch an updated range of polymers from renewable sources, biodegradable dispersions and 2K PU during the Techtextil 2019.