In 2008 for the first time, more of the world’s population lived in urban than in rural areas. By 2050 anything up to three quarters of the people on earth could be living in cities, where there are more jobs and infrastructure. Millions of homes offices and factories are springing up, but this global trend is not a sustainable option.
Buildings are the biggest source of CO₂ emissions, accounting for more than 40 percent of global energy use, and a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. In short, we need buildings which use less energy, emit hardly any greenhouse gases, and are comfortable and aesthetically appealing. Polymers are now playing a part, in solutions which could make those buildings more aesthetic and energy efficient.
Polyurethane insulating materials, for example, can greatly increase insulation efficiency, so large amounts of energy for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be saved, and less carbon dioxide emitted.
And polycarbonate sheets not only enable creative architectural solutions, being lightweight, hard, easy to shape, and available in numerous colors. The material also protects from the heat and cold and absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Greater corrosion protection
Polyurethane-based raw materials are used to make coatings which protect areas subjected to very heavy use, such as floors in commercial buildings. Such coating technology advances provide greater corrosion protection and faster curing flooring, prolonging its life. And corresponding adhesive components make it possible for instance, to use wood instead of heavier structural materials in construction.
Covestro’s products go hand in hand with safety, so for densely populated areas which are especially vulnerable when earthquakes strike, the company has used its raw materials to develop a special adhesive for a new type of wallpaper which increases the stability of masonry, giving occupants more time to get out.