Bayer MaterialScience Bayer MaterialScience

Contact Search Sitemap
Home Products Industries & Applications Our Businesses Processing/Design News & Events Resources
Bayer Links

For Immediate Release

Durable grade of Bayer MaterialScience’s Bayblend® PC/ABS blend resin helps keep power flowing to soldiers in the field

Bayblend PC/ABS blend chosen for its outstanding properties including temperature resistance and dimensional stability

October 17, 2007

Pittsburgh, October 17, 2007 — Modern soldiers on the front lines depend on portable electronics to stay safe and connected with tools such as sensors, laptops and satellite phones. Generating the power necessary to keep sophisticated electronics up and running in the field has traditionally been a task left to battery packs that are short-lived, heavy and a hassle. An innovative solution from the UltraCell Corporation of Livermore, Calif., is a lightweight, high power density fuel cell system that is designed to withstand heavy abuse in the field thanks to a highly engineered grade of Bayer MaterialScience’s (BMS) LLC Bayblend® PC/ABS blend resin.

UltraCell uses Bayblend KU 2-1514 non-reinforced, flame-retardant PC/ABS (polycarbonate/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) resin for the rugged housing of its XX25 reformed methanol micro-fuel cell. The resin was chosen for its high heat resistance and outstanding processing behavior, as well as its combination of dimensional stability, stiffness and very high impact resistance over a broad range of temperatures. The material is also resistant to chemicals, including mineral acids and a large number of organic acids, as well as aqueous saline solutions.

The XX25 can provide uninterrupted 25 Watt power for more than 8 hours on a single cartridge of methanol and weighs only 2.5 pounds. The rugged fuel cell system has been designed to survive demanding environments such as jungle, desert and arctic conditions, and can provide uninterruptible power to electronic systems for hours, days or weeks using “hot-swap” cartridge capability.

“We chose Bayblend KU 2-1514 PC/ABS blend resin for the protective housing of the XX25 because of its combined thermal properties, durability, resistance to cracking and high impact strength. It had to pass an array of Mil-spec testing including drop and environmental tests, as well as being blasted with sand and dust to simulate desert conditions,” said Dr. Kenneth Newell, vice president of engineering, UltraCell Corporation. “The Bayblend resin has demonstrated very repeatable quality in the injected parts, and the color has been consistent. Our military customers are very impressed with the ruggedness achieved with our chassis material.”

Another notable performance advantage of Bayblend KU 2-1514 PC/ABS blend is that it can be recycled, or incinerated with energy recovery after use.

“At Bayer MaterialScience we are thrilled to be a part of a sustainable technology that not only improves the conditions for soldiers in the field, but also moves forward to replace batteries with fuel cells derived from renewable resources,” said Gerald DiBattista, market segment leader, IT, Electrical/Electronics Polycarbonates, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “We worked tirelessly with UltraCell to find the right material in our extensive portfolio that met all of the requirements for this breakthrough product.”

UltraCell’s XX25 fuel cell system is currently undergoing military field trials, which are scheduled to conclude in late 2007, according to Newell. In addition, UltraCell just completed the commercial launch of its XX25A system for powering first responders, ruggedized laptops and remote radio and satellite communications.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 14,900 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2006 sales of 10.2 billion euros from continuing operations. Our innovative developments in coatings, adhesive and sealant raw materials, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and thermoplastic urethane elastomers enhance the design and functionality of products in a wide variety of markets, including the automotive, construction, electrical and electronics, household and medical industries, and the sports and leisure fields. Our inorganic basic chemicals unit produces chlorine and related essential products for the chemicals industry. Let us give life to your vision. Bayer MaterialScience – Where VisionWorks.

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2006 net sales of 7.8 billion euros and employed 17,200 at year end. Bayer’s three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people’s lives through a broad range of essential products that help prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.

About UltraCell
Founded in 2002, UltraCell develops and manufactures complete micro fuel cell systems for portable devices. The company has developed new technologies and intellectual property in the field of methanol-based fuel cells. The company has an exclusive license with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories for micro fuel cell technology. For more information, please contact: UltraCell Corporation, 399 Lindbergh Ave, Livermore, CA. 94551; Tel.: (925) 455-9400; Fax: (925) 455-7750; or visit:

For more information about BMS’ portfolio of Bayblend PC/ABS blend resin or other high performance Makrolon® based polycarbonate resins, call 1-800-662-2927, e-mail or visit

# # #

This website may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Media Contact(s)
Name: Scott Hunsberger
Phone: 412-777-5200
Company: Bayer MaterialScience

Bayer MaterialScience’s Bayblend® PC/ABS blend resin was chosen for the protective housing of UltraCell’s XX25 fuel cell system because of its combined thermal properties, durability, resistance to cracking and high impact strength.

The XX25 can provide uninterrupted 25 Watt power for more than 8 hours on a single cartridge of methanol and weighs only 2.5 pounds.

Site Map