How Dow Uses Digitalization (Predictive Intelligence) For Polyurethane Innovation, Simulation

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To reduce the development time of its formulations, Dow reports that it has worked to embed digitalization into each aspect of product development. A typical PU formulation, for instance, may contain 10 or more ingredients. A complex series of chemical reactions occurs when these components are mixed; as the reactions proceed, the viscosity increases due to increased molecular weight and urethane/urea linkages formation.

A formulator selects ingredients, enabling the chemical reactions under typical laboratory conditions, and measuring the material properties. However, the time-temperature history in the application process at the customer site may differ from the laboratory process conditions. Therefore, reactions may not go to completion in the customer process even when the reactions reach the completion point during laboratory testing. To reduce reproducibility issues, the researcher needs to consider and quantify the effect of the variables on product performance. Several efforts have been made to use math modeling for various process strands.

To reduce the development time of its formulations, Dow Inc. has embarked on a transformation journey in which digitalization is being embedded into each aspect of product development. While this journey is by no means complete, Dow has made notable progress. A team of subject matter experts on polyurethane chemistry, material science, fluid mechanics, reaction engineering, machine learning, and information sciences have been working together to develop a new work process which Dow refer to as "Predictive Intelligence" (PI). In this paper, the authors give a brief introduction to PI and present some recent case studies.

This paper was presented at the 2021 Polyurethanes Technical Conference.

You can read more HERE

Source: Dow, Adhesives Magazine