New science behind biodegradable algae-based flip-flops

As the world's most popular shoe, flip-flops account for a troubling percentage of plastic waste that ends up in landfills, on seashores and in our oceans. Scientists at the University of California San Diego have spent years ...

New technique gives polyurethane waste a second life

Polyurethane is used in a wide range of materials, including paints, foam mattresses, seat cushions and insulation. These diverse applications generate large amounts of waste. A team at the University of Illinois has developed ...

Evidence of self-forming waterfalls reported

A trio of researchers with the University of Nevada, Reno, the California Institute of Technology and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences reports evidence that suggests some waterfalls self-form in the absence of external ...

Reliably simulating polyurethane foams

Car seats, mattresses and insulation materials are often made of polyurethane foams. The foaming process of the liquid polymer emulsions is complex. Fraunhofer researchers are now able to simulate the foaming behavior and ...

Reliably simulating polyurethane foams

Car seats, mattresses and insulation materials are often made of polyurethane foams. The foaming process of the liquid polymer emulsions is complex. Fraunhofer researchers are now able to simulate the foaming behavior and ...

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Polyurethane

A polyurethane (PUR and PU) is any polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization, by reacting a monomer (with at least two isocyanate functional groups) with another monomer (with at least two hydroxyl or alcohol groups) in the presence of a catalyst.

Polyurethanes are applied to the manufacture of flexible, high-resilience foam seating; rigid foam insulation panels; microcellular foam seals and gaskets; durable elastomeric wheels and tires; automotive suspension bushings; electrical potting compounds; high performance adhesives; surface coatings and surface sealants; synthetic fibers (e.g. Spandex); carpet underlay; and hard-plastic parts (i.e. for electronic instruments). Moreover, polyurethane products often are inaccurately called “urethanes”, but must not be confused with urethane proper (ethyl carbamate), because polyurethanes neither contain nor are produced from ethyl carbamate.

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