Polyurethanes is a very important and growing type of plastics which is produced in tens of millions of tons each year. Polyurethanes are produced by reacting a diisocyante with a polyol. They have many different applications of which the most common are:
- Flexible foam for use in bedding, furniture, automotive and a variety of other applications
- Rigid foam for insulation, e.g. in buildings and household appliances
- CASE,Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomers. Polyurethanes for CASE applications offer a broad spectrum of high performance solutions
- Other applications include footwear, textiles, fibers & apparel
Polyurethanes are produced by polymerisation of a diisocyanate with a polyol. The polyol is either polyether or polyester based. The diisocyanate is typically produced from basic raw materials via nitration, hydrogenation and phosgenation. The two major diisocyanates are MDI (Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) and TDI (Toluene diisocyanate) but aliphatic diisocyanates such as HDI (Hexamethylene diisocyanate) IPDI (Isophorone diisocyanate) and H12 MDI (Methylene dicyclohexyl diisocyanate) play an important role in applications where color stability is of importance, e.g. coatings.