What is polyurethane made of?

Polyurethane is obtained from a chemical reaction between a diisocyanate and a polyol. After the reaction a substance is created that is safe and extremely versatile. It can have many different properties (resilience, flexibility, rigidity) depending on the choice of the combined substances.

What are polyurethanes used for?

Polyurethanes have hundreds of different uses. The material is so versatile that it can be found in everything from insulation of roofs to surfboards. Given this wide range of applications, industry is constantly finding new ways to use the material, so the list is constantly growing. Further information on where polyurethanes can be found are given here.

Is polyurethane on surfboards the same used in mattresses? How can a material be both hard and soft?

All polyurethanes belong substantially to the same chemical family. They are created with a chemical reaction that combines a diisocyanate and a polyol. There is a wide range of these two substances that can be combined, a bit like a toolbox. The properties of the finished product depend on the choice of the basic materials.

What are the socio-economic statistics of the sector?

A summary of the key socioeconomic parameters of the industry value chain, based on MDI, TDI and associated polyols, shows that:

it includes over 23,000 companies, working at over 800,000 working hours, a commercial value exceeding € 150 billion

In addition, related but indirect activities involve more than 71,000 companies employing approximately 2,040,000 people. Most companies in the polyurethane sector are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Are polyurethanes safe?

Yes, polyurethanes are safe.

Polyurethanes are obtained from chemical substances called diisocyanates and polyols, which are reacted to form an inert substance: polyurethane. Important research has shown that polyurethanes are safe and inert.

How many products can be made with polyurethanes?

Honestly we can not even be 100% sure! The material is so versatile that it can be found in everything from insulation of roofs to surfboards. Since there are almost infinite combinations for basic materials, the number of finished products also seems to be unlimited. Thanks to these wide-ranging benefits, the industry is constantly finding new ways to use the material, so the list is constantly growing, as polyurethanes continue to replace more traditional materials, such as metal and rubber in cars. Visit our interactive tool that shows some of the most common material applications or find out more about where you can find polyurethanes.

What are the advantages of using polyurethanes in cars?

Polyurethanes in vehicles provide comfort, safety and durability, as well as improved fuel efficiency, as they are lighter than alternative materials and therefore contribute to weight reduction and fuel consumption. Polyurethane is also extremely effective in sound insulation.

Can polyurethanes be recycled?

Yes, all polyurethanes can be recycled. However, the most environmentally friendly choice may not always be recycling. Recycling requires large amounts of energy and, in some cases, the most sensible option is energy recovery. In the EU this is achieved with a clean and careful incineration, during which the pollutants are filtered out and the energy is produced by the combustion process.

How do polyurethanes actively contribute to the fight against climate change?

Polyurethanes contribute to the fight against climate change in many ways. For example, the material is an extremely efficient insulator and, when applied correctly, can improve the energy efficiency of buildings, reducing the amount of carbon emissions created by heating. Another example is the use of polyurethanes in the production of vehicles. Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly resorting to polyurethanes, not only because they look good and make vehicles more comfortable, but also because they are very light compared to other materials and therefore save fuel and reduce emissions.

What is the durability of the polyurethane?

The duration of the polyurethane depends on the application and the type of use. With normal use and regular wear, a duration of:
50+ years for building insulation 25+ years for chillers 20+ years for car bumpers

Polyurethane normally exceeds the life of the product in which it is used.

Are polyurethanes expensive?

No, one of the main advantages of polyurethanes is their low cost. Their popularity is growing because they have many positive features and the low cost is one of them. The price of polyurethanes should always be considered based on the performance and savings achieved during their lifetime. In termi
of costs, polyurethanes are very competitive.

Are polyurethanes heat resistant?

Depending on the choice of the base material, short-term heat resistance up to 250 ° C can be achieved.