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Henkel and Covestro Join Forces to Enhance Sustainability of Adhesives for Timber Components
Henkel and Covestro Join Forces to Enhance Sustainability of Adhesives for Timber Components

Henkel and Covestro Join Forces to Enhance Sustainability of Adhesives for Timber Components

  • 27-Feb-2024 2:34 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

Henkel and Covestro have embarked on a collaborative effort to advance the sustainability of adhesives within timber construction. Covestro, known for its polyurethane-based materials derived from bio-attributed raw resources, partners with Henkel to leverage these materials for crafting high-performance adhesive solutions.

The alliance between these German chemical giants aims to bolster the sustainability of adhesives utilized in load-bearing timber structures commonly found in various interior and exterior architectural applications, ranging from stairs to facades and structural elements. Covestro supplies Henkel with polyurethane-based materials sourced from bio-attributed raw materials, a process facilitated through mass balancing. Henkel then harnesses these materials to develop top-tier adhesive solutions, thereby contributing to the environmental sustainability of timber construction practices.

Collaboration across the value chain with aligned partners stands as a linchpin in fostering a circular and climate-neutral ecosystem. Material selection assumes paramount significance in this endeavor, especially concerning the reduction of carbon emissions associated with building construction.

Adhesives play a pivotal role in facilitating the use of timber within the construction sector, thereby enhancing the sustainability of buildings. Given that wood, being a natural substance, inherently exhibits greater variability in properties compared to synthetic materials, it is susceptible to deformations that may compromise its aesthetic appeal and functional integrity, particularly in load-bearing applications. To address this challenge, technologies and processes utilizing polyurethane adhesives are employed to bond various wood layers, such as cross-lamination or finger-jointing. This ensures the production of wooden panels that maintain their strength, shape, and functionality over time. By incorporating alternative raw materials, the carbon footprint of these materials can be further reduced, thus propelling the industry towards a more sustainable and circular future.

This collaborative effort represents another stride towards sustainability and circularity. Through our partnership with Covestro, we have successfully formulated two of our best-selling polyurethane adhesives using alternative raw materials. Additionally, by employing the mass balance approach, we ensure that the adhesives maintain their load-bearing capacity while adhering to stringent certification standards.

According to Covestro, diversifying the raw material base with bio-based or recycled alternatives constitutes a critical aspect of this initiative. Given the blending of alternative and conventional raw materials across various stages of chemical production, allocating these alternative raw materials to specific end products poses a challenge. The mass balance approach addresses this challenge by enabling the mixing of traditional and alternative raw materials during production, while meticulously documenting their utilization across all processing stages. This method is validated by the internationally recognized ISCC PLUS standard, ensuring accuracy and compliance. All Henkel and Covestro sites and partners involved in the production of wood adhesives adhere to this rigorous certification standard, underscoring our commitment to sustainability and transparency in the supply chain.

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