Materials that enhance the way we live

Innovations by Covestro have changed the world we live in for the better in many areas of modern life – and this remains our business to the present day.

Innovations by Covestro

  • 2017 onwards

    Composite solutions open up new possibilities

    With Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites, we developed a solution that could very well substitute metal at a fraction of its weight. It sounds and feels like metal, but offers the design freedom of plastics. That makes it perfect for mobile devices or light and thin laptops, without compromising the aesthetics. It might as well be used in structural parts of cars – greatly reducing the weight without disadvantages in stability and safety.

  • 2017

    Covestro intends to produce aniline from biomass

    Together with partners, Covestro has proven that it can produce the crucial raw material aniline from biomass at lab scale. The company moves to upscale the process and substitute oil by biomass within this raw material completely – pushing the boundaries of sustainability and resource efficiency to another level.

  • 2016

    CO2 as new raw material

    Covestro opens a plant at its site in Dormagen that uses the waste gas carbon dioxide as raw material for plastics. It is the first of its kind worldwide and a scientific breakthrough. A three-year research and testing phase showed that the new process works and that the CO2-based materials have the same high quality as products produced using conventional methods. The first truck leaves the site in December and the first products will be mattresses.

  • 2015

    First bio-based hardener: Desmodur® eco

    Bayer MaterialScience develops Desmodur® eco, the first bio-based curing agent for polyurethane (PUR) paints and adhesives. The product based on pentamethylendiisocyanate (PDI) has a carbon content of 70% biomass, achieving the level of conventional curing agents on petrochemical bases and even exceeding these in certain applicatory properties. At the 8th International Conference on Bio-Based Materials, Desmodur® eco is awarded “Bio-based Material of the Year 2015”.

  • More efficient coating with Pasquick™

    Covestro launches Pasquick™, the new umbrella brand for its groundbreaking polyaspartic coating technology. Pasquick™ is suitable for demanding applications both indoors and outdoors, enabling a reduction in the number of required coating layers while at the same time offering excellent handling and protection properties. This means faster workflows and reduced labor costs without any compromise in quality for your coating projects.

  • Solar Impulse: enabling the first solar-powered flight around the world

    Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft project. As a member of this project from the outset and first partner of the new International Committee for Clean Technology (ICCT), Covestro develops ultra-lightweight and insulating materials for the solar-powered, flying laboratory. The cockpit insulation is for example made of polyurethane foam that is 10% higher than the current standard, but at the same time very low in density and weight. Covestro’s materials contribute to the plane’s successful 40,000-kilometer flight around the world in 2015, giving a clear signal for a sustainable future.

  • 2014

    INSQIN® enables solvent-free material manufacturing processes

    INSQIN® opens up an entirely new level of material sustainability for PU-coated fabrics used by the apparel and footwear industry. The waterborne polyurethane (PU) technology enables solvent-free material manufacturing processes and thus brings significant improvement to worker safety, eliminates risks of environmental pollution and drastically reduces the consumption of water and energy. A year later, in July 2015, Covestro launches the INSQIN® Partner Manufacturer Program, connecting manufacturers and brand owners across the polyurethane (PU)-coated fabric supply chain. Partners must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainability and transparency, using Covestro’s waterborne, PU-coating technology and industry-leading processes to meet the emerging sustainability needs of brand owners.

  • 2011

    Oxygen Depolarized Cathode (ODC) technology reduces energy and emissions

    The innovative Oxygen Depolarized Cathode (ODC) Technology shakes up the energy-intensive chlorine production as it enables the reduction of electrical energy demand and CO2 emissions of up to 30%. ODCs are highly complex laminar structures constituted by materials such as catalysts, carrier materials, PTFE components and additives. They are built up by Covestro in a specific way and scaled up, along with a particular manufacturing method. In 2011, the first big scale production plant with a chlorine capacity of 20,000 tons a year comes on stream – after two years of safe and reliable operation, the market launch together with ThyssenKrupp Udhe Chlorine Engineers is conducted in 2013.

  • 2008

    STRUCTese® makes production more energy efficient

    Bayer MaterialScience introduces STRUCTese®, a self-developed energy management system that helps to significantly reduce the energy needed for global production. By controlling the individual consumption of production plants, the method results in an average 10% energy reduction. Today, STRUCTese® is installed at 60 Covestro plants worldwide and can be also used as a license by other companies.

  • 2007

    Makrolon® enables the largest ever roof module made of polycarbonate

    Covestro provides the groundbreaking roof module for the new “smart fortwo” and breaks a world record. The lightweight roof module is made of Makrolon® AG2677 and tailor-made for automotive glazing. With an area of around 1.2 square meters, this is to date the largest polycarbonate roof module fitted in a production-line vehicle anywhere in the world.

  • 2006

    Adidas Teamgeist™ soccer ball for the World Cup

    Materials from Bayer enhance performance in sports as well: the soccer ball Teamgeist™, designed by Adidas as official soccer ball for the World Cup 2006, has an outer layer made of Impranil® material. It ensures that the ball stays in shape, doesn’t absorb water and remains aerodynamic even when heavily used.

  • 2004

    Makrolon® lines up for the start of the Olympics

    Freedom of design and stability as well as many further benefits characterize polycarbonate. These features make the material the first choice for many spectacular building projects such as the Olympic stadium in Athens. Perfectly in time for the Olympic Games, the stadium is constructed with a roof made of polycarbonate.

  • 2000

    IMPACT™ technology improves the production of polyols

    Our company continuously develops its products and processes. The IMPACT™ technology stands as one example. It simplifies and improves the production of polyols, a primary product of polyurethane. Furthermore the technology enables reduced production wastage and increased productivity of plants, leading to more production efficiency.

  • 1998

    Baypreg® and Multitec® spray systems combine lightness with stiffness

    With the development of the polyurethane spray systems Baypreg® and Multitec®, Bayer MaterialScience enters the new century by introducing a new era for composites. Combining lightweight with stiffness makes them ideal for countless appliances, from automotive to bath tubs.

  • 1990

    Launching novaflex technology and viscoelastic flexible foam

    The introduction of viscoelastic foams is considered a milestone, as they slowly regain their original shape and provide an even higher comfort than conventional flexible foams. An important application is mattresses for hospitals, protecting patients from decubitus.

  • End of 1980s

    Bayfill® EA and Bayfit® provide comfort and functionality in cars

    Polyurethanes provide higher safety of customers and more comfortable and functional car seats. Bayfill are energy absorption foams, protecting the passengers in the automotive interior in the case of lateral impacts. The Bayfit® system combines two different solid foams in order to make the seat soft and the side bolsters harder. Comfort meets functionality.

  • 1988

    Bayhydrol® and Bayhydur® – less solvents in plastics production

    End of the 1980s, Bayhydrol® and Bayhydur® raw materials for water-based, low-solvent coatings are introduced. This paves the way for fewer solvents – a path our company will continue to follow.

  • 1986

    Polystal – composites stronger than steel

    nder the name of “Specialty Chemicals and New Products”, a new business group within Bayer develops promising new ideas. Created in 1985, it has its first success in 1986 when Polystal – a composite material originally intended to be an improved material for skis – is launched with a tensile strength comparable to that of steel. Its potential is revealed in a two-lane concrete bridge that is held by Polystal instead of steel.

  • 1982

    First Makrolon® automobile headlamp

    For decades, car headlamps were made of glass. From the 1980s the transparent high-performance plastic Makrolon® has become the material of choice – being lightweight, tough and easy to shape. The trend began in the United States and Japan and came to Europe in the 1990s. Some of the modern headlamps that fit so harmoniously into the complex contours of the body would be impossible to manufacture from glass.

  • Birth of the audio CD

    On August 17, PolyGram begins large-scale production of the first compact disc (of classical music). For this purpose, Bayer had developed a special grade of Makrolon® that is still used today as the base material for all optical storage media.

  • 1971

    Launch of the reaction injection molding technology

    Thanks to new technology, molded elements for large-scale body parts can be produced in one step from polyurethane components. The end products are highly stable, but at the same time light. Short cycle times and high product quality are further, unparalleled advantages and leverage the technology’s breakthrough.

  • 1967

    K67 – the first car completely made of plastic material

    As early as 1967, Bayer proves that a car can be nearly completely made of plastic materials. Only the engine, gearbox and wheels are fully or partly made of metal. The car operates flawlessly and still exists today. What seemed far away at that time is nearer reality today: the automotive industry more than ever focuses on plastics for the mobility of the 21st century.

  • 1963

    Makrolon® conquers kitchens and camping sites

    At the plastics fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, visitors are fascinated by the lightweight plates, cups, dishes and bowls made of this shatterproof plastic that are increasingly finding its way into kitchen and caravans.

  • 1962

    The rise of polyurethane solid foam in fridges

    Under product names such as Baydur®, solid polyurethane foam now insulates frigdes, freezers, cold stores and anything else that requires highly efficient insulation within the cold chain. As a consequence, refrigerators evolve from the most energy consuming appliance by far to one as energy efficient as many others in a standard household.

  • Beginning of 1960s

    Rigid and solid foam capture the market

    In 1960, solid foam is presented with metallic facing for the first time. Today, such parts are known as metal composite elements and applied in warehouses or for protection and insulation of industrial buildings. At the same time, rigid foams are used for furniture and automobile seats and provide high comfort.

  • 1959

    Chemistry in fashion

    Moltopren®, a lightweight flexible foam, was presented to the public in 1952 as an ideal material for upholstered furniture. It will soon be adopted by the fashion industry for garment processing.

  • 1953

    Hermann Schnell discovers polycarbonate

    The Bayer chemist, working at the Group’s Central Scientific Laboratory in Krefeld-Uerdingen, succeeds in synthesizing polycarbonate more or less at the first attempt. The event passes almost unnoticed, except in specialist circles. But just five years later, Bayer will begin producing the transparent and versatile plastic, known by its brand name Makrolon®, on an industrial scale.

  • 1937

    Otto Bayer discovers polyurethanes

    The invention by the chemist — who is not related to the family that founded the Bayer Group — revolutionizes the chemical industry with a discovery made by chance. After mixing two chemical substances, Otto Bayer succeeds in synthesizing the first polyurethane foam. Initially nobody has an idea what it can be used for, and it will take another ten years of development work before customized materials can be manufactured from polyurethanes.


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  • Company

    Our History

    Ground-breaking inventions, innovative products and a wealth of experience in high-tech polymers characterize Covestro.

  • History

    Corporate Milestones

    Only those who change remain true to themselves – see how our organization has developed in the course of more than a century.

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