What is polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a plastic which is found in various forms, whether rigid or flexible, and used in a variety of popular applications.

Polyurethanes, such as any plastic, are polymers resulting from the reaction between diisocyanates and various polyols. Depending on the desired chemical formulas may contain other ingredients such as, catalysts, blowing agents and possibly flame retardants. These various combinations allow the manufacture of a wide variety of products including:

• rigid and flexible foams
• elastomers
• adhesives
• coatings
• sealants

The density of the product is dictated by the amount of foaming agent used, while the type of polyols and diisocyanates involved in the composition determine the flexibility or rigidity.

Different forms of polyurethane are often combined with other materials to produce a variety of products from insulated building panels to sportswear.