Bayer MaterialScience sells know-how and patents to its partner Alanod

10-Jun-2010 - Germany

Bayer MaterialScience AG, Alanod Aluminium-Veredlung GmbH & Co. KG, its subsidiary Alanod-Solar and the DTNW (North-West German Textile Research Center) worked together in a consortium for several years to develop a special protective coating for aluminum mirrors used in solar thermal applications. Bayer MaterialScience has now sold its relevant patents and know-how to Alanod, because this special technology and the associated raw material developments no longer form part of its core business. Despite this, Bayer MaterialScience is still fully committed to innovative developments and new material concepts in the field of solar technology.

The sale gives Alanod exclusive use of the technology for this highly promising area of application. The parties agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.

A number of technical demands need to be met before solar mirrors based on highly reflective aluminum substrates can be used for solar power plants. One particularly important requirement is a full-area, highly transparent protective layer that gives the solar mirrors long-term resistance to corrosion and abrasion without impairing the relevant optical properties.

Alanod has used Bayer MaterialScience’s raw material developments and the DTNW’s formulations to develop a ceramic coating system based on an inorganic sol-gel. This system meets all the requirements referred to above and also demonstrates excellent resistance to weathering, solvents and acids. Tests showed that the coating’s corrosion protection is not impaired even by long-term exposure. What’s more, the system boasts excellent hydrophobic properties and a good self-cleaning capacity.

To cover the growing demand for solar power plant components that open the way for sustainable energy supplies from renewable resources, Alanod has built industrial-scale production facilities for treating solar mirrors at its headquarters in Ennepetal (North Rhine-Westphalia). Alanod’s production equipment also includes a coating plant designed specifically for the ceramic coating system. It was taken into service at the beginning of this year and has an annual coating capacity of several million square meters. Solar mirrors manufactured in Ennepetal have already being successfully tested in a number of solar power plants around the world.

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