BASF and Degussa Join Forces for the Sake of Polyurethane Catalyst

As the result of a strategic partnership between Degussa AG, Duesseldorf, Germany, and BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Ludwigshafen, Germany, Degussa’s Goldschmidt Polyurethane Additives Business Line in Essen, Germany, will take over the worldwide sales and technical service of triethylene diamine (TEDA). This product, which is sold under the trade name TEGOAMIN®, is an essential catalyst in manufacturing of many high-grade polyurethane (PUR) foams.

“The cooperation with BASF strengthens our PUR product portfolio,“ explains Dr. Georg Burkhart, global vice president of Degussa Goldschmidt Polyurethane Additives. He also adds, “Our leadership position in polyurethane additives is based on top class quality products. That is why BASF fits us particularly well as a partner.“ Degussa is the world’s leading producer of additives for polyurethane foam manufacturing. The company’s extensive product line includes stabilizers, tin and amine catalysts, mold release agents and other additives, such as color pastes, crosslinkers, antioxidants and antistatics. Degussa has service centers in Essen (Germany), Hopewell, Virginia (USA), Shanghai (China) and Sao Paulo (Brazil), as well as fully integrated production sites for stabilizers in Essen (Germany) and Hopewell (USA).

“Degussa brings an excellent sales network and comprehensive services into our cooperation,“ states Dr. Walter Gramlich, President, head of BASF’s Intermediates Division. ”We are the first TEDA producer in Europe and work with the most innovative manufacturing process.“ With its product portfolio of amine-based PUR catalysts, BASF has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers in this sector for many years. To further strengthen its position, the company built a new plant for the manufacture of TEDA at its integrated production site in Antwerp, Belgium. This facility, which began operation in April 2005, utilizes an innovative and particularly efficient process. Besides Antwerp, BASF also has production sites for PUR catalysts in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Geismar, Louisiana.

TEGOAMIN® belongs to a group of catalysts known as amine catalysts, which are needed to make polymer formation commercially practical by increasing the reaction speed of the starting components of a polyurethane foam formulation, isocyanate and polyol. Different catalysts are used depending on the desired properties of the PUR foam. PUR can be produced as rigid foam, semi-rigid foam or flexible foam, depending on the application. Rigid foams are used e.g. as insulation material in refrigerators and freezers and in construction boards, semi-rigid foams are used in instrument panels and flexible foams as cushioning material for car seats, furniture and mattresses. Polyurethane foam is also found in shoe soles, or in the automotive industry as an energy-absorbing material.

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