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Facts about Polyurethane

facts about polyurethanePolyurethane is one of the most multi-functional resins available on the market today. Available in many different forms, polyurethane is used widely in thousands of different household and commercial products. Polyurethane is a synthetic material, which means it’s made exclusively by man (or machine). It is made up of two chemical components: polymers (really long chains of molecules) and urethane (a synthetic crystalline compound).

How is Polyurethane Made?

Polyurethane is formed when the two main chemicals, polymers and urethane are combined during a chemical process. This process causes the polymers to link together with the urethane groups, creating a versatile and adaptable formula which can take many forms.

While many synthetic compounds react negatively to heat, polyurethane is well-known for its heat-resistant properties – making it ideal for elements which typically produce large amounts of heat and energy. In fact, polyurethane can typically last longer than most other synthetic materials, although some compounds are available for melting with heat.

What Products Have Polyurethane?

There are currently thousands of products on the market today which contain polyurethane. Because the application of the product can change so greatly, it’s impossible to name all spectrums of use. As it’s a synthetic product, it can be adapted to take on many different forms and velocities; from flexible to rigid, pliable to liquid.

Polyurethane products can include car parts or sealants, refrigeration insulation, bottoms of shoes, varnish or paint sealant, foam seating and upholstery, and finally, heat and noise reduction in vehicles.

How Environmentally Friendly is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane products are safe for the environment when treated properly. When the product has completely dried, it is a safe compound to have within your home, rarely emitting fumes or toxins. Polyurethane should not be used for food or drinking purposes as it’s believed that at times acids or heat can produce chemicals which can leak. In its liquid form, polyurethane is toxic and should not be inhaled or ingested. Always use proper handling techniques, including gloves, protective eyewear and proper ventilation.

Polyurethane is a compound used in reducing the overall energy required in electronics and vehicles. This reduces the overall consumption levels and can lessen the impact on the environment. It is also used with refrigeration devices, helping to limit the energy levels within the home as well.

Is Polyurethane Easy to Use?

The most typical method of application is the liquid form, in which the polyurethane finishes as a plastic material on the surface. The finish can be used readily on canvas, wood, acrylic and latex surfaces. Depending on the use, polyurethane is available in a water-based or oil-based formula.

If you need a product that offers a higher heat and chemical resistance, the oil-based method will generally yield better results. The oil-based formula does have a slower drying time, when compared to the water-based solution, but tends to seal surfaces better overall. The water-based formula tends to produce less odours and fumes during application, offering a faster drying time – in the event you’re not concerned about the heat applications.