15.02.2012

www.gupta-verlag.de/polyurethanes

ISL-Chemie looks back on more than 40 years of history in colouring polyurethane

Soon after the company - a family business at the time - was established in Cologne in 1968, it began developing individual shades for polyurethane products. Inspired by the colourful fashions of the 1970s, ISL-Chemie says it was the first to offer rapid development of colour pastes to suit customer requirements, focusing mainly on the footwear industry with its constantly changing fashion trends.[image_0] In parallel with the development of further application areas for polyurethane, ISL's product range also broadened as the company established itself in the sector as a colour specialist. The products that were mainly black to start with, e. g. steering wheels in the automobile sector or armrests for the furniture industry, shifted more and more toward coloured products by the late 1980s. ISL met the constantly changing demands from the sector and extended its product range with innovative solutions. Adaptations in technical equipment (e. g. changing from low to high-pressure systems), together with mixing-head and colour-dispensing technology, demanded more and more advanced developments in colour pastes so as to improve manufacturing processes for the customers. New technologies such as cast skin, DirectSkinning or SkinForm called for tailor-made colour products, says ISL. IMC lacquer technology made it possible to use aromatic cast skins in vehicle interiors. To achieve this, ISL offered the appropriate combination of colouring and additional IMC lacquering.[image_1_right] According to ISL, the environmental aspect has also been a constant factor for innovation: for instance, the switch to environmentally friendly blowing agents in the 1990s set new challenges for ISL. It countered the greater whitening effect caused by waterblown foams by producing adapted products with greater colouring power. The loss of skin formation meant that the moulded PU surfaces no longer satisfied tough demands in terms of abrasion and UV resistance. Specially developed IMC lacquers enabled ISL to offer a solution for surface protection that met the increased demands of the automobile industry, while also opening up new design opportunities in terms of both the range of colour shades and haptics. Water-based IMC lacquers were developed at an early stage, but went into mass production only much later.

www.gupta-verlag.de/polyurethanes