Chinese consumption of polycarbonate (PC) accounted for around 30% of global demand, pegged at around 3.5 million tonnes, in 2011. This was a key reason for Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen, Germany) relocating its global business for the resin to Shanghai last year. Speaking at a press event at the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai, business-unit head Michael Koenig detailed some of the initiatives the company is working on to expand the reach of PC, a resin for which demand is growing at 6-7% per annum globally.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2011-2020 as the Decade Of Action For Road Safety, and one of Bayer's contributions is development of a PC-based guardrail that combines color with reflective properties to ensure high visibility, while also being friendly to cyclists and motorcyclists. They can also be shaped more easily than steel guardrails to accommodate a broad range of topographies and road conditions. In other mobility-related developments, Bayer has developed vandal-proof charging stations for electric cars, 200 of which are to be installed in Shanghai.