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From random discovery to global success story

We are proud of where we came from, and we are excited about our bright future. Since Otto Bayer discovered Polyurethanes in 1937, we have built a reputation as industry pioneers. Today we can proudly say: Covestro is famous for its inventions and innovations in materials. But as is in our DNA, rather than about the past, we are most excited about the future.

The future is circular: Present – 2015

Today, we are working on materializing our vision to become fully circular. We envision a world where all materials are reused instead of discarded. Innovations like our Evocycle® CQ technologies and materials that include a high amount of recycled resources and climate-neutral MDI are big steps towards our goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for us and our entire value chain by 2050.

All Milestones

  • 2023

    On the way to a closed cycle for PU mattresses

    Covestro and Recticel have successfully completed the EU-funded research project "PUReSmart", which demonstrates the chemical recyclability of flexible polyurethane foam from mattresses. Under the name "Evocycle® CQ Mattress", Covestro drives forward the development of flexible foam recycling in order to efficiently convert used mattress foams into high-quality raw materials. The next phase involves the construction of a larger recycling plant.

  • All major sites are ISCC-certified

    The third-largest site in Baytown, USA, receives ISCC PLUS certification, meaning that all major Covestro sites are now certified to this standard. The company already offers hundreds of products in its "CQ" portfolio, which are made from sustainable raw materials and serve various industries.

  • 2022

    Chemical recycling of polycarbonate reaches important milestone

    An innovative process for recycling polycarbonate has been developed in which plastics are converted back into their monomers in order to use them as alternative raw materials. Technical implementation on a pilot scale begins in order to obtain high-quality recycled raw materials for various applications. This contributes to climate neutrality and complements the mechanical recycling of polycarbonate.

  • New concept for closed-loop solutions with alternative raw materials

    Covestro introduces the "CQ" label, which identifies products with at least 25% alternative raw materials and thus promotes the use of biomass, recyclates and green hydrogen. In addition, Covestro expands its commitment to recycling technologies and cyclical designs with "Evocycle® CQ", a name for innovative recycling technologies designed to convert plastic waste into valuable resources.

  • Covestro is a pioneer in the supply of renewable TDI

    Covestro expands its range of recyclable raw materials with the introduction of renewable toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which significantly reduces CO2 emissions in production without compromising product quality. TDI is an essential component of products such as mattresses, upholstered furniture, car seats and shoes. The renewable TDI is produced using the mass balance approach using renewable raw materials – from virgin biomass as well as biowaste and residues – which are mathematically allocated to the product.

  • Covestro introduces climate-neutral MDI

    Climate-neutral MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) is now available, from production to the factory gate. This sustainability initiative is made possible by the use of alternative raw materials based on plant waste and certified mass balancing according to ISCC PLUS. The climate-neutral MDI is used in various sectors such as construction, cold chain and automotive, and it helps to reduce CO2 emissions and promote sustainable building insulation.

  • Covestro sets ambitious climate targets

    The company aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its own production (Scope 1) and external energy sources (Scope 2) by 2035. Covestro relies on three main approaches to achieve its climate targets: Improving production processes and energy efficiency, converting production sites to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, and researching green alternatives for steam generation in chemical production.

  • 2021

    Pioneer in foam recycling and the design of cycles

    Covestro has developed a chemical recycling process for used mattresses that enables the recovery of both main components of flexible polyurethane foam. This breakthrough is made possible by the commissioning of a new pilot plant in Leverkusen and paves the way for industrial reprocessing.

  • Covestro launches offering of the world's first mass-balanced polycarbonate

    Climate-neutral polycarbonate, from production to the factory gate, is now being delivered. This is made possible by selected Makrolon® RE grades based on renewable energy and mass balancing. These products offer a simple solution to accelerate the transition to a circular economy while providing alternative raw materials with a lower carbon footprint.

  • 2020

    Technology premiere for greater energy efficiency and climate protection in MDI production

    Covestro has commissioned an industrial pilot plant in Brunsbüttel that uses the innovative AdiP technology to produce MDI for building insulation and refrigeration appliances. This technology enables a significant increase in energy efficiency, reduces CO₂ emissions and saves water vapor and electricity.

  • Covestro acquires sustainable coating resins business from DSM

    The acquisition of DSM's Resins & Functional Materials (RFM) business unit makes Covestro a leading supplier in the market for sustainable coating resins. The acquisition of RFM adds a complete range of water-based polyacrylate resins and expands the technology portfolio to include water-based hybrid technologies, powder resins for coatings and UV-curing systems.

  • Covestro is fully geared towards the circular economy

    Covestro has a new corporate vision to promote the circular economy in order to be climate-neutral by 2035 and thus contribute to a greenhouse gas-neutral economy. The company plans to use alternative raw materials and renewable energies in production worldwide. Covestro aims to manufacture alternative climate-neutral products and act as an innovative recycler.

  • 2018

    Covestro becomes a DAX member

    Covestro is included in the leading German equity index DAX, effective March 19, 2018. Since the IPO in October 2015, Covestro's market capitalization and free float have increased continuously. Covestro evaluates the inclusion as a further confirmation of the successful development of the company in the recent years and the attractiveness of the share.

  • 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. The company now tests the production at pilot plant scale. With this technology, oil is substituted by biomass. An innovation breakthrough, completely pushing the boundaries of sustainability and resource efficiency to another level.

  • 2015

    Covestro becomes a stock listed company

    Within months after its independence, Covestro is brought to the stock market on October 6. Due to volatile markets and a crisis within the automotive industry, the initial share price is €26. By the end of 2016 it is €65.18.

  • Covestro becomes independent

    On September 1, Bayer MaterialScience becomes a separate legal entity operating under the name Covestro. The headquarters remain at the Leverkusen site.

  • 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 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 e.g. 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.

Corporate Milestones

  • 2023

    All major sites are ISCC-certified

    The third-largest site in Baytown, USA, receives ISCC PLUS certification, meaning that all major Covestro sites are now certified to this standard. The company already offers hundreds of products in its "CQ" portfolio, which are made from sustainable raw materials and serve various industries.

  • 2022

    Chemical recycling of polycarbonate reaches important milestone

    An innovative process for recycling polycarbonate has been developed in which plastics are converted back into their monomers in order to use them as alternative raw materials. Technical implementation on a pilot scale begins in order to obtain high-quality recycled raw materials for various applications. This contributes to climate neutrality and complements the mechanical recycling of polycarbonate.

  • Covestro sets ambitious climate targets

    The company aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its own production (Scope 1) and external energy sources (Scope 2) by 2035. Covestro relies on three main approaches to achieve its climate targets: Improving production processes and energy efficiency, converting production sites to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, and researching green alternatives for steam generation in chemical production.

  • 2021

    Pioneer in foam recycling and the design of cycles

    Covestro has developed a chemical recycling process for used mattresses that enables the recovery of both main components of flexible polyurethane foam. This breakthrough is made possible by the commissioning of a new pilot plant in Leverkusen and paves the way for industrial reprocessing.

  • 2020

    Covestro acquires sustainable coating resins business from DSM

    The acquisition of DSM's Resins & Functional Materials (RFM) business unit makes Covestro a leading supplier in the market for sustainable coating resins. The acquisition of RFM adds a complete range of water-based polyacrylate resins and expands the technology portfolio to include water-based hybrid technologies, powder resins for coatings and UV-curing systems.

  • Covestro is fully geared towards the circular economy

    Covestro has a new corporate vision to promote the circular economy in order to be climate-neutral by 2035 and thus contribute to a greenhouse gas-neutral economy. The company plans to use alternative raw materials and renewable energies in production worldwide. Covestro aims to manufacture alternative climate-neutral products and act as an innovative recycler.

  • 2018

    Covestro becomes a DAX member

    Covestro is included in the leading German equity index DAX, effective March 19, 2018. Since the IPO in October 2015, Covestro's market capitalization and free float have increased continuously. Covestro evaluates the inclusion as a further confirmation of the successful development of the company in the recent years and the attractiveness of the share.

  • 2015

    Covestro becomes a stock listed company

    Within months after its independence, Covestro is brought to the stock market on October 6. Due to volatile markets and a crisis within the automotive industry, the initial share price is €26. By the end of 2016 it is €65.18.

  • Covestro becomes independent

    ​​On September 1, Bayer MaterialScience becomes a separate legal entity operating under the name Covestro. The headquarters remain at the Leverkusen site.

Product Milestones

  • 2023

    On the way to a closed cycle for PU mattresses

    Covestro and Recticel have successfully completed the EU-funded research project "PUReSmart", which demonstrates the chemical recyclability of flexible polyurethane foam from mattresses. Under the name "Evocycle® CQ Mattress", Covestro drives forward the development of flexible foam recycling in order to efficiently convert used mattress foams into high-quality raw materials. The next phase involves the construction of a larger recycling plant.

  • 2022

    New concept for closed-loop solutions with alternative raw materials

    Covestro introduces the "CQ" label, which identifies products with at least 25% alternative raw materials and thus promotes the use of biomass, recyclates and green hydrogen. In addition, Covestro expands its commitment to recycling technologies and cyclical designs with "Evocycle® CQ", a name for innovative recycling technologies designed to convert plastic waste into valuable resources.

  • Covestro is a pioneer in the supply of renewable TDI

    Covestro expands its range of recyclable raw materials with the introduction of renewable toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which significantly reduces CO2 emissions in production without compromising product quality. TDI is an essential component of products such as mattresses, upholstered furniture, car seats and shoes. The renewable TDI is produced using the mass balance approach using renewable raw materials – from virgin biomass as well as biowaste and residues – which are mathematically allocated to the product.

  • Covestro introduces climate-neutral MDI

    Climate-neutral MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) is now available, from production to the factory gate. This sustainability initiative is made possible by the use of alternative raw materials based on plant waste and certified mass balancing according to ISCC PLUS. The climate-neutral MDI is used in various sectors such as construction, cold chain and automotive, and it helps to reduce CO2 emissions and promote sustainable building insulation.

  • 2021

    Covestro launches offering of the world's first mass-balanced polycarbonate

    Climate-neutral polycarbonate, from production to the factory gate, is now being delivered. This is made possible by selected Makrolon® RE grades based on renewable energy and mass balancing. These products offer a simple solution to accelerate the transition to a circular economy while providing alternative raw materials with a lower carbon footprint.

  • 2020

    Technology premiere for greater energy efficiency and climate protection in MDI production

    Covestro has commissioned an industrial pilot plant in Brunsbüttel that uses the innovative AdiP technology to produce MDI for building insulation and refrigeration appliances. This technology enables a significant increase in energy efficiency, reduces CO₂ emissions and saves water vapor and electricity.

  • 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. The company now tests the production at pilot plant scale. With this technology, oil is substituted by biomass. An innovation breakthrough, completely pushing the boundaries of sustainability and resource efficiency to another level.

  • 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 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 e.g. 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.

Breaking new ground: 2014 – 2001

The start of the 21st century was our call to enter new territories of different kinds. We expanded to China and directed our efforts towards sustainability, reducing energy and emissions in production with inventions like ODC technology and STRUCTese®.

All Milestones

  • 2014

    Opening of TDI plant with Covestro technology in Dormagen

    A state-of-the-art, large-scale plant for the particularly eco-friendly production of the polyurethane component TDI is brought on stream in Dormagen, bringing one of the most important capital expenditure projects of the last decade to a successful conclusion.

  • INSQIN® enables solvent-free materials manufacturing processes

    INSQIN® revolutionizes PU-coated fabrics, enhancing sustainability in apparel and footwear. Its waterborne PU technology promotes solvent-free manufacturing, increasing worker safety and reducing environmental impact. Covestro's Partner Manufacturer Program, initiated in July 2015, fosters collaboration across the supply chain. Partners commit to sustainability and transparency, utilizing Covestro's innovative processes to meet evolving brand owner demands.

  • 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%. 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.

  • 2010

    Expansion of business in China

    Beginning in 2010, the company is investing about another €1 billion to expand its facilities at the site in Shanghai, China. Production capacities are to be more than doubled as a result. Including the expansion, the total investment in the site amounts to more than €3 billion. In addition, the headquarters of the Polycarbonates Business Unit is being transferred from Leverkusen to Shanghai.

  • 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 also be 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 light-weight 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.

  • 2004

    Bayer MaterialScience AG becomes independent subgroup

    The company gains legal independence as part of a reorganization of the Bayer Group. The process started in 2002 when Bayer CropScience AG was launched as the first legally independent subgroup.

  • 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.

  • 2001

    Groundbreaking in Shanghai

    The Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai in China is built on a former rice field. Today the vast area is home to state-of-the-art production plants for plastics and for precursors used in the manufacture of foams and coatings. The site is a focus of investment at Bayer MaterialScience.

Corporate Milestones

  • 2014

    Opening of TDI plant with Covestro technology in Dormagen

    A state-of-the-art, large-scale plant for the particularly eco-friendly production of the polyurethane component TDI is brought on stream in Dormagen, bringing one of the most important capital expenditure projects of the last decade to a successful conclusion.

  • 2010

    Expansion of business in China

    Beginning in 2010, the company is investing about another €1 billion to expand its facilities at the site in Shanghai, China. Production capacities are to be more than doubled as a result. Including the expansion, the total investment in the site amounts to more than €3 billion. In addition, the headquarters of the Polycarbonates Business Unit is being transferred from Leverkusen to Shanghai.

  • 2004

    Bayer MaterialScience AG becomes independent subgroup

    The company gains legal independence as part of a reorganization of the Bayer Group. The process started in 2002 when Bayer CropScience AG was launched as the first legally independent subgroup.

  • 2001

    Groundbreaking in Shanghai

    The Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai in China is built on a former rice field. Today the vast area is home to state-of-the-art production plants for plastics and for precursors used in the manufacture of foams and coatings. The site is a focus of investment at Bayer MaterialScience.

Product Milestones

  • 2014

    INSQIN® enables solvent-free materials manufacturing processes

    INSQIN® revolutionizes PU-coated fabrics, enhancing sustainability in apparel and footwear. Its waterborne PU technology promotes solvent-free manufacturing, increasing worker safety and reducing environmental impact. Covestro's Partner Manufacturer Program, initiated in July 2015, fosters collaboration across the supply chain. Partners commit to sustainability and transparency, utilizing Covestro's innovative processes to meet evolving brand owner demands.

  • 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%. 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 also be 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 light-weight 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.

  • 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.

The story begins: 2000 – 1863

We started out as pioneering as we are today, by producing new coloring agents and with life-changing inventions, such as polyurethane foam and polycarbonates. It’s ideas like these that we owe our success to: in 1990, we would be the biggest supplier of raw materials for the rubber industry.

All Milestones

  • 2000

    Number one in polyurethane raw materials

    Bayer acquires a part of U.S.-based Lyondell Chemical Company. This move makes the German group and later Bayer Material Science the world's biggest producer of raw materials for polyurethanes.

  • 1990s

    Extending the global presence

    The importance of North America to the Bayer Group continues to increase. In Canada Bayer acquires Toronto-based Polysar Rubber Corporation in 1990 – the most significant acquisition in the company's history up to that point. The transaction makes Bayer the world's biggest supplier of raw materials for the rubber industry. At the same time, the company starts to establish a global network of marketing and service centers to supply customers with tailor-made solutions locally, quickly and flexibly.

  • 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 light-weight with stiffness makes them ideal for countless appliances, from automotive to bath tubs.

  • 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

    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

    Under 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. But from the 1980s the transparent high-performance plastic Makrolon® becomes the material of choice – being lightweight, tough and easy to shape. The trend begins in the United States and Japan and comes 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.

  • 1981

    Invention of the DD lacquer

    The triumphant advance of polyurethane coatings gains considerable momentum when products based on aliphatic diisocyanates become available. The DD coatings produced from a combination of Desmodur® and Desmophen® stand out due to their high quality, which reaches the level of so-called stoving enamels even under mild drying conditions. DD coatings establish themselves as the industry standard in all high-end applications, where coatings are cured below 100°C.

  • 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.

  • 1962

    The rise of polyurethane solid foam in fridges

    Under product names such as Baydur®, solid polyurethane foam now insulates fridges, 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 would 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 would begin producing the transparent and versatile plastic, known by its brand name Makrolon®, on an industrial scale.

  • 1937

    New perspectives through the discovery of polyurethanes / Otto Bayer discovers polyurethanes

    An invention by the chemist Otto Bayer, who is not related to the family that founded the Bayer Group, revolutionizes the chemical industry, but his discovery is 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 would take another ten years of development work before customized materials can be manufactured from polyurethanes.

  • 1927

    The first synthetic coating raw materials

    On April 26, 1927, the Uerdingen unit of LG. Farben registers its "transesterification" patent. This marks a new chapter in the history of coating raw materials, which today form a segment of its own within our company.

  • 1863

    Start of a chemical industry pioneer

    Founded under the name "Friedr. Bayer et comp." in Barmen – today a district of the city of Wuppertal – the company first manufactures and sells synthetic dyestuffs from coal-tar – a technique that had just been invented. In the first decades of its existence it develops and produces synthetic dyes, intermediates and pharmaceuticals. Among its early inventions is the "drug of the century", Aspirin. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first plastics – namely rubber – are being synthesized. Around the same time, the company moves its headquarters to the city of Leverkusen.

Corporate Milestones

  • 2000

    Number one in polyurethane raw materials

    Bayer acquires a part of U.S.-based Lyondell Chemical Company. This move makes the German group and later Bayer Material Science the world's biggest producer of raw materials for polyurethanes.

  • 1990s

    Extending the global presence

    The importance of North America to the Bayer Group continues to increase. In Canada Bayer acquires Toronto-based Polysar Rubber Corporation in 1990 – the most significant acquisition in the company's history up to that point. The transaction makes Bayer the world's biggest supplier of raw materials for the rubber industry. At the same time, the company starts to establish a global network of marketing and service centers to supply customers with tailor-made solutions locally, quickly and flexibly.

  • 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 would begin producing the transparent and versatile plastic, known by its brand name Makrolon®, on an industrial scale.

  • 1937

    New perspectives through the discovery of polyurethanes / Otto Bayer discovers polyurethanes

    An invention by the chemist Otto Bayer, who is not related to the family that founded the Bayer Group, revolutionizes the chemical industry, but his discovery is 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 would take another ten years of development work before customized materials can be manufactured from polyurethanes.

  • 1927

    The first synthetic coating raw materials

    On April 26, 1927, the Uerdingen unit of LG. Farben registers its "transesterification" patent. This marks a new chapter in the history of coating raw materials, which today form a segment of its own within our company.

  • 1863

    Start of a chemical industry pioneer

    Founded under the name "Friedr. Bayer et comp." in Barmen – today a district of the city of Wuppertal – the company first manufactures and sells synthetic dyestuffs from coal-tar – a technique that had just been invented. In the first decades of its existence it develops and produces synthetic dyes, intermediates and pharmaceuticals. Among its early inventions is the "drug of the century", Aspirin. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first plastics – namely rubber – are being synthesized. Around the same time, the company moves its headquarters to the city of Leverkusen.

Product Milestones

  • 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 light-weight with stiffness makes them ideal for countless appliances, from automotive to bath tubs.

  • 1980

    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

    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

    Under 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. But from the 1980s the transparent high-performance plastic Makrolon® becomes the material of choice – being lightweight, tough and easy to shape. The trend begins in the United States and Japan and comes 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.

  • 1981

    Invention of the DD lacquer

    The triumphant advance of polyurethane coatings gains considerable momentum when products based on aliphatic diisocyanates become available. The DD coatings produced from a combination of Desmodur® and Desmophen® stand out due to their high quality, which reaches the level of so-called stoving enamels even under mild drying conditions. DD coatings establish themselves as the industry standard in all high-end applications, where coatings are cured below 100°C.

  • 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.

  • 1962

    The rise of polyurethane solid foam in fridges

    Under product names such as Baydur®, solid polyurethane foam now insulates fridges, 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.

  • 1960

    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 would 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 would begin producing the transparent and versatile plastic, known by its brand name Makrolon®, on an industrial scale.

  • 1937

    New perspectives through the discovery of polyurethanes / Otto Bayer discovers polyurethanes

    An invention by the chemist Otto Bayer, who is not related to the family that founded the Bayer Group, revolutionizes the chemical industry, but his discovery is 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 would take another ten years of development work before customized materials can be manufactured from polyurethanes.

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