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Celebrating 75 years of innovation at the 2012 Polyurethanes Technical Conference

75 years ago, renowned German scientist Dr. Otto Bayer invented the basic process that would pave the way for the modern polyurethanes industry, ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley told a crowd of 850+ at the 2012 Polyurethanes Technical Conference in Atlanta, GA.

At the time, Dooley said, Dr. Bayer was struggling to make ends meet. His vision for a more efficient way of producing plastic was met with discouragement and even disdain from some of his colleagues. As the story goes, Dr. Bayer’s supervisors said his science would amount to nothing more than “a substitute for Swiss cheese.” That was 1937.

Today, thanks to Dr. Bayer’s ingenuity, pioneering vision and raw persistence, Dooley went on, we are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of an incredible 75 years of innovation in polyurethane chemistry.

Modern Olympics

The 2012 Polyurethanes Technical conference is a celebration of Dr. Bayer’s legacy. Modern polyurethane chemistry makes modern sporting events like the Olympics possible — from the athletic tracks, the shoes, and the cutting-edge equipment, to the soccer balls, tennis balls and gym mats.

21st Century Automobiles

Polyurethanes are at work every time we turn the key and start our cars. Chemistry helps make our cars lighter and more energy efficient, which can save us money at the pump. Flexible foam makes them more comfortable, quieter and better insulated. Bumpers, brake tubes and shock absorbers help ensure that we get where we need to go, safely.

One World Trade Center

And let’s not forget the advances in building and construction. Take, for example, One World Trade Center in New York. At 1,776 feet tall, the building will contain approximately 1,300 feet of concrete core. That core was constructed with the help of polyurethane spray foam. And, a recently-developed polyurethane coating will provide incredible strength and temperature control to the glass encompassing One World Trade Center from floor to ceiling.

Polyurethane Innovation Award

And at this year’s conference, we can see from all the presentations and exhibits on display that innovation in polyurethane chemistry is as strong as ever. This year’s innovation award nominees—Boral Composites, Huntsman and Reverdia—are just the latest examples of how technological innovation is continuously moving the industry forward.

Stay tuned for the winner of the 2012 Polyurethane Innovation Award!

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