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Rubber-replacing Thermoplastic Polyurethane from Covestro for Soaker Hoses

Published on 2016-11-29. Author : SpecialChem

The Polyurethane Soaker Hose Features a Specially Formulated Grade of Texin® TPU from Covestro LLC
The Polyurethane Soaker Hose Features a Specially Formulated
Grade of Texin® TPU from Covestro LLC
PITTSBURGH -- Soaker hoses are frequently used by nurseries and homeowners to water flower and vegetable gardens. Water slowly drips or weeps out of small holes along the length of the hose so water is not wasted through runoff or evaporation. These hoses have traditionally been formed from recycled rubber or polyvinyl chloride. But Jeff Thomas, co-founder of Water Right Inc., was not satisfied with the performance of these hoses, and he set out to build a better soaker hose using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from Covestro LLC.

The home and garden industry has taken notice of this innovation – the Polyurethane Soaker Hose was named one of the Top 100 2016: Best New Outdoor Living Products by This Old House magazine.

Covestro’s Texin® TPU

Thomas was already familiar with the benefits of TPU resin. A number of years ago, Thomas was frustrated with low-quality garden hoses that were made of materials that easily kinked and cracked, and were unsafe for drinking, He turned to Covestro’s Texin® TPU as the materials solution for making a lightweight, kink-resistant, long-lasting polyurethane hose that also met standards for potable water.

When looking for a material for the Polyurethane Soaker Hose, Thomas once again collaborated with Covestro to find a material that would satisfy the specific requirements for this application. One of the challenges was ensuring water slowly but consistently weeps out instead of spraying like a geyser. The material of choice was a grade of Texin® TPU specifically formulated for the soaker hose.

Tim Jacobs, commercial development manager, Covestro LLC, said:
“We worked closely with Water Right to determine which TPU resin was best suited for the soaker hose. We developed a polyether urethane with a lower durometer for consistent and controlled water delivery.”

Benefits of Texin® TPU

In terms of properties and processing, Texin® TPU bridges the gap between rubber and plastics, making it the ideal material for polyurethane hoses. Benefits include:
  • Natural flexibility in a wide temperature range without the addition of plasticizers or phthalates
  • Does not sustain or support mold and mildew
  • Excellent hydrolysis resistance
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Easy processing

Furthermore, unlike traditional hose materials, this TPU resin complies with FDA food-contact regulations and the NSF/ANSI Standard 61 Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects for potable water. This is an important distinction for Thomas, because after all, why would someone want the vegetables he or she eats to be watered by a hose that does not meet drinking water standards?

Jeff Thomas, co-founder of Water Right Inc., said:
“Working alongside Covestro we found the chemistry – both in their people and their products – we were looking for. The company’s TPU resin, coupled with outstanding technical service, has been instrumental in creating the quality hoses we produce. Their team did an amazing job; I don’t think another supplier could be as responsive as Covestro.”

The Polyurethane Soaker Hose is sold in three lengths – 25, 50 and 100 feet. It is available in two earthy, matte color options – pine straw and moss – so that it blends well into any landscape. The soaker hose, part of Water Right’s family of garden hose products, can currently be found on the Water Right website and at specialty retailers.

About Covestro LLC

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.

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Source: Covestro LLC
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