Shaping a sustainable future for a common plastic

Polyurethane is one of the world's most widely used plastic materials, but it's often overlooked in our daily lives. Yet whether you're at home, at work or in your vehicle, it is usually not far away, with common end uses ...

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 ...

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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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