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Polyurethane

Definition: “Polyurethane“, like all plastics, is a polymer made by reacting diisocyanates (MDI and/or TDI) with a range of Polyols. Depending on the desired end product, chemical formulations may contain other ingredients such as catalysts, blowing agents and possibly flame retardants.

Comments: Polyurethanes were invented back in the 1930s by Professor Dr. Otto Bayer (1902-1982). There are various types of polyurethanes, which look and feel very different from each other.  These various combinations allow the manufacture of a range of product types including: 

  • rigid and flexible foams
  • rigid and flexible integral skin foams
  • elastomers
  • adhesives
  • coatings
  • sealants

The density of the product is determined by the amount of blowing agent used, and the flexibility or rigidity by the type of polyols and diisocyanates involved. However, the basic chemistry of each type is essentially the same.

Polyurethane will serve a very rich variety of  segments including building and construction, automotive and transportation, furniture and bedding, sports and footwear, food packaging, cold chain and refrigeration, and home appliances. The advantages of polyurethane include strength and flexibility, application versatility, variable rigidity/firmness, and high performance.

In the car industry, the Polyurethane contributes to more fuel efficient automobiles in reducing the weight and increasing the recyclability of automobiles. In addition, Polyurethane lead to enhanced performance such as stronger and more heat resistant automobiles.

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