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Entrepreneur and aviation pioneer André Borschberg explains the emotional connection he has with the polyurethane materials that kept him alive at altitudes of 25,000 feet during his world record-setting five day flight from Japan to Hawaii. (Photo courtesy of John Jack Photography)
Earlier this month, more than 1,000 polyurethane professionals met in Orlando for the 58th annual Polyurethanes Technical Conference at the Gaylord Palms Hotel. The Conference, which is the longest-running polyurethanes conference in North America, featured 75 technical presentations, 38 poster presentations, industry table top exhibits, a Professional Development Program and premier networking events.
Pre-Conference activities started on Sunday, Oct. 4, with Professional Development Program courses and an Environment, Health and Safety workshop, which was available to all registered conference attendees.
On Monday, keynote speaker André Borschberg, one of the pilots and co-developer of the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft, kicked off the Conference by describing his recent record-breaking five-day flight from Japan to Hawaii in the Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered airplane which relies heavily on strong, lightweight polyurethane components.
Also on Monday, industry professionals participated in technical sessions covering the very latest in blowing agents, elastomers, flexible foams, environment, health and safety. More than 150 Conference attendees took part in Professional Development Program sessions on topics ranging from raw materials to foam physical testing. The day concluded with the much-anticipated Industry Reception – one of the largest networking events of the year in the industry.
Tuesday’s agenda highlighted the industry’s role in the automotive industry. A new addition to the Conference, the two-part Global Automotive volatile organic compound (VOC) Specifications Session featured a panel discussion with an independent group of suppliers and manufacturers from the polyurethane and automotive industries. These representatives are working to understand the myriad of guidelines used to select the products and materials used in automobiles around the globe with the hope of future harmonization.
On Wednesday, Honeywell’s Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent was selected as the winner of the 2015 Polyurethane Innovation Award. Honeywell’s winning entry is a special liquid blowing agent formulation designed to help lower global warming potential and improve energy efficiency while retaining non-ozone-depleting characteristics. The other finalists were Dow Chemical’s VORASTAR™ 7000 spray elastomer and Novomer’s Converge® Polyol RF-x rigid foams.
The Conference’s Closing Session also featured key findings from the 2014 End-Use Market Survey on the polyurethanes industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This biennial survey, produced by independent third-party IAL Consultants, provides a breakdown of raw material consumption for polyurethane markets in North America by type and by major end-use market for each country over a two-year period, as well as historic trends, market drivers and key issues. Electronic copies of the full survey and underlying data tables are now available to order.
Read more and see video of CPI and conference participants at the ICIS interactive publication.
Next year’s Polyurethanes Technical Conference is set to be held September 26 to 28 in Baltimore, Maryland. We hope to see you all at the premier polyurethanes industry event in North America! Be sure to follow CPI on Twitter at @accpolyurethane and on Facebook at facebook.com/IncrediblePolyurethaneACC.
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