Accelerating the pace of customer-centric innovation in styrenics
Prof. Volker Altstädt (front left), Prof. Hans-Werner Schmidt (back left), Dr Norbert Niessner (front right),
Frankfurt, Germany – November 27, 2013 –Styrolution today announced it has entered into a partnership with Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH (NMB) and the University of Bayreuth. Styrolution will complement its existing R&D efforts by tapping into the broad intellectual and infrastructural polymer research resources of its new partners. This goes beyond traditional models of corporate cooperation with academia in that NMB and the university are making their infrastructure easily accessible to Styrolution. The partnership enables the company to focus its R&D activities on downstream customer innovations across five core industries: automotive, electrical & electronics, household appliances, building & construction, healthcare & diagnostics. Initial projects will focus on the fields of lightweight structures and 3D printing.
Lightweight structures: Manufacturers from industries ranging from automotive to building & construction turn increasingly to styrenics for lightweight alternatives to other materials, such as metal or heavier plastics. Through the partnership, Styrolution will put greater emphasis on optimizing and developing new styrenics-based lightweight structures that will promote further carbon footprint reduction and fulfill the sustainability requirements of its customers. Styrolution will benefit from expertise in polymer foams, polymer composites and sandwich materials held by the polymer division at NMB and the university's Department of Polymer Engineering, both of which are headed by a world-renowned scientist in the field of applied polymer science, Professor Volker Altstädt.
3D printing: Styrenics are set to play a pivotal role in one of the hottest trends in decades – 3D printing. IT analyst firm Gartner predicted that "worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75 percent in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact that 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing." Styrolution is already a key material supplier for a portion of the market's plastic ink used in 3D printing.
Styrolution recently hosted a panel discussion about the future of plastics and the role of styrenics. Lightweight materials and 3D printing were key trends panelists addressed in the discussion. To view a video summary, follow this link.
ABOUT INEOS STYROLUTION
INEOS Styrolution is the leading, global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 85 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, toys/sports/leisure, and packaging. In 2015, sales were at 5 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,100 people and operates 15 production sites in nine countries.
The Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH (NMB) is an independent research and technology development provider in the field New Materials. Main focus is on development of novel combinations of materials and respective processes for polymers, metals and high-performance composites for light weight structures. Within the scope of NMB are R&D alliances with companies to target the development of new manufacturing processes and process-related material optimization with respect to strategically advancing industrial requirements. Furthermore NMB is involved in public funded projects. Cooperation partners derive from various fields including automotive, aeronautical and mechanical engineering, medical, packaging and energy technology.
Founded in 2000, MNB is institutionally funded by the Federal State of Bavaria in Germany. The close relationship to the University of Bayreuth provides NMB to be the major player in expertise in the field of materials for the whole region.
For further information please visit www.nmbgmbh.de
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF BAYREUTH
The University of Bayreuth (UBT) is a dynamic research oriented campus university with 13,000 students and over 200 full-time professors spread across six faculties in the natural and engineering sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Founded 38 years ago, UBT is a modern and growing institution and one of the leading and progressive medium-sized universities in Germany. UBT is consistently ranked top in Germany in the CHE Higher Education and DFG Research rankings for the high quality of its studying, research conditions and research output. In the Times Higher Education ranking of the top 100 universities under 50 years old, the University of Bayreuth is ranked number 40, second best in Germany.
Based on its strategic concept the University of Bayreuth centers its research activities in selected profile areas. One of the strongest and most recognized profile area is Polymer and Colloid Science.
For further information please visit http://www.uni-bayreuth.de/index.php