Bringing innovation to everyday life.
From concept electric vehicles to energy boosting running shoes, everyday objects become extraordinary.
Our commitment to R&D means we develop new solutions to day-to-day challenges. Working with industry partners, we bring these new high-performance technologies out of the lab to test them in the real world. While some of these innovations are not yet ready for mass production, others are available today.
It’s smart to go 20% further.
What happens when Daimler and BASF put their collective heads together? The smart forvision, a concept battery electric vehicle packed stem-to-stern with new innovations that boasts a 20% greater vehicle range than a comparable production electric car.
Innovation contributions from Performance Materials include:
- High-efficiency insulating material that requires only 1-inch thickness for superior thermal and sound insulation properties, saving space and weight
- The first lightweight, all-plastic polymer wheel rims suitable for volume production
- Multifunctional lightweight comfort seats that combine efficient temperature management and energy-saving lightweight construction
- Cellasto® TPU jounce bumpers on both front and rear suspension to enhance driving comfort by reducing noise, vibration and hardness (NVH) and improving efficiency by eliminating energy peaks
Learn more with this video from our 2012 We Create Chemistry world tour.
Get a boost from your shoe.
When adidas decided to revolutionize the way runners run, it turned to us as its trusted materials supplier and R&D partner.
The result? The Energy Boost running shoe, featuring ground-breaking new polyurethane foam called BOOST™. Found in the shoe’s midsole, BOOST™ is made of a solid granular material (TPU), blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules. This unique cellular structure stores and returns more energy in every step, creating a softer, more responsive sensation for the runner. Whether you're running a marathon, training for an upcoming season or just trying to get back in shape, your performance depends on high-performance materials.
Learn more about high-performance materials for footwear with this video from our 2012 We Create Chemistry world tour.
Read more in this blog post.
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Lighten the load, increase the comfort
Faurecia's SUSCO 1.5 (abbreviation for sustainable comfort) car seat back showcases a new grade of Ultramid® polyamide developed specifically for the project. The new technology replaces the existing metal structure by implementing a one-piece plastic part that minimizes foam and trim. The seat back weighs about 20% less than conventional car seats and is approximately 30 mm thinner, making a major contribution to achieving a lightweight construction and enhanced vehicle fuel efficiency.
The seat also takes advantage of the design possibilities that plastic offers, combining comfort with a modern thin-walled, high-end component that affords greater design freedom and improves the feeling of space. The special features of the seat back are layers of continuous fiber-reinforced plastic which are overmolded with Ultramid® in a second step. BASF's new polyamide grade employed here has specially selected mechanical properties, giving it tailor-made characteristics for being combined with the continuous-fiber structures.
Material and technology expertise converge with know-how about seat construction and production. Simulation of crash behavior is crucial to the development process for any sophisticated automotive part. BASF was able to assist Faurecia by deploying ULTRASIM®, its simulation instrument with expanded capabilities specific to the SUSCO 1.5. Material data relating to continuous fiber reinforced plastics can now reliably predict the crash behavior of components having a very high (fiber) anisotropy and fiber content.
The seat is a veritable breakthrough in the construction of lightweight seats and is now ready for serial production.
111 bottles remade by 116 hands to change a million minds
Did you know that the iconic Emeco Navy Chair® is now available formed out of recycled PET bottles from Coca-Cola? Aptly dubbed the 111 Navy Chair® because it takes 111 former plastic bottles to form each chair. It's estimated that more than 3 million PET bottles will be repurposed for Emeco chairs each year.
And while each chair contains 65% post-consumer PET, it also contains 35% BASF chemistry for strength and fireproofing, not to mention the six distinctive colors created specifically for these iconically sustainable chairs — Coca-Cola Red, Snow, Flint, Grass, Persimmon and Charcoal.
High gloss, no paint
It's called Piano Black, and you can find it in the 2013 Ford Fusion. Ford engineers wanted a high-gloss, deep black window switch. And they wanted it to be incredibly durable. But they didn't want a clear-coat paint on top. That's where we came in. Working collaboratively, we customized our standard Ultramid A3L polymer grade, creating a secret recipe with other resins and additives to create that deep black, high-gloss, completely scratch-resistant finish.
And by skipping the clear-coating paint process, our customer found huge cost savings on the window component while substantially reducing the environmental impact of producing the part. Without the clear-coat painting on the window trim, Ford estimates it saved 50% of the cost on the part, and it eliminates all of the volatile organic compounds (VOC) that would be released if they used the clear-coat paint process. By cutting just one step in the manufacturing process, Ford also didn't have to ship the parts from its molder in Vicksburg, MI, to its painter in Grand Rapids, saving roughly 2,700 gallons (10,220 L) of diesel fuel annually, and cutting some 59,400 lb (26,944 kg) of CO2 from Fusion production each year.
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