look what we did!Innovations From Polyurethane Manufacturers


Polyurethane Helps Hot-Air Balloons Soar

Originally invented in France in the late 1700s, hot-air balloons use air displacement to rise gracefully into the sky. Air displacement is caused by heating a lifting gas such as helium, hydrogen or oxygen underneath a thin material called an envelope. When the balloon is connected to a basket or other container, air displacement allows the basket to carry passengers up to 32 miles into the atmosphere.

Balloons have been used in wars and raced in competitions. Hot-air balloons have helped conduct weather and other experiments, and they routinely provide a beautiful venue for aerial photography and wedding proposals.

In...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

Advances in Rain Gear

Breathable waterproof fabrics have been around since the 1970s. These technologies, whether using polyurethanes or other substances, work in a similar way, repelling moisture on the outside, while actually attracting moisture (from sweat) on the inside. The inside moisture seeks to find equilibrium from the warm, humid interior to the cooler area outside, where it can evaporate.

Unfortunately, when your body is under greater exertion, you can create more sweat than the material can successfully remove. This causes moisture to build up inside the clothing and can lead to either overheating as your activity continues or chilling once you stop....

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Category: Athletics

Protect Your Hearing with Polyurethane

Exposure to noise can cause permanent hearing loss that cannot be remedied with surgery or hearing aids. Certain occupations are a greater risk of noise-induced hearing loss, but even recreational activities such as shooting, snowmobile riding or attending loud concerts can be enough to cause damage. Machinery such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers can also have an impact.

Repeated, near-range exposure to sounds over 85 decibels is capable of causing hearing loss. Extremely loud noises — such as explosions — can cause damage from a single exposure. While those working in heavy manufacturing, construction or aeronautical industries are supplied protective...

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Category: Electronics
Photo credit: Covestro
Photo credit: Covestro

Covestro Makes Greenhouse Gas a Raw Material for Polyurethane

Polyols are a key component in the creation of the high-grade polyurethane foams that are used in everything from mattresses to running shoes. And fossil fuels are required to make polyols. But polyurethane manufacturer Covestro has uncovered a way to replace one-fifth of this raw material with carbon dioxide (CO2) — a waste gas that has been linked to global warming. By both reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and recycling this waste gas, Covestro is helping to create a more sustainable manufacturing process.

Covestro converts CO2 using a special catalyst that reacts with propylene oxide without the need for...

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Category: Environment

Biocompatibility Makes Polyurethane Work in Medical Devices

It may surprise you to learn that polyurethanes are commonly used in short-term implants and other medical devices that need to be compatible with the human body.

The reason is that TPUs — also known as polyurethane elastomers — have a molecular structure that’s very similar to that of human proteins. As a result, they can be used to mimic certain bodily functions without causing the same level of blood coagulation that is caused by other materials. That helps in preventing dangerous blood clots from forming.  They are also often softer than other materials, which can make them more comfortable...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

How Polyurethane Foam Made the Space Shuttle Possible

One of many daunting challenges facing the NASA engineers who built the Space Shuttle was the task of keeping its massive supply of rocket fuel insulated from heat without adding significant weight. The fuel tank (the large, central cylinder on the spacecraft pre-launch) was made of aluminum that was a mere 1/8” thick. When filled with the fuel for a journey to space, it weighed almost 1.7 million pounds.

The miracle material that engineers turned to was polyurethane foam. This special blend of polyols had all the strength, insulation, durability and lightweight properties that polyurethane foam is known for, with...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

Closing the Loop: Polyurethane Recycling for A Sustainable Future

Polyurethanes contribute to sustainable outcomes in many ways. One of the most important ways in which we can protect our natural resources is by reducing waste through reuse and recycling. Many manufacturers today are working toward a closed-loop supply chain, in which new products are made entirely from recycled materials. As a highly recyclable substance, polyurethane is playing a major role in this effort.

Polyurethane is recycled in one of two ways: either mechanically, in which it’s reused in its polymer form, or chemically, in which it’s broken back down into its chemical components. Some common uses for recycled polyurethane...

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Category: Environment
Photo credit: Chevrolet
Photo credit: Chevrolet

Polyurethane Lightens the Load for Electric Vehicles

Auto manufacturers have long sought to make vehicles more lightweight in order to increase fuel efficiency. But light weighting is just as important to hybrid and electric vehicles. The lighter the vehicle, the longer its range. Here are two different ways that car companies are incorporating innovative polyurethane solutions to make their electric vehicles lighter and better.

In some electric vehicles, engineers use thermoset polyurethane adhesives to bond dissimilar materials to the car’s frame. The adhesives are extremely strong, and they reduce the need for heavy, bulky rivets and bolts. They also keep the overall vehicle curb weight down, making...

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Category: Automotive

The Story Behind Polyurethane in Bookbinding

Even in today’s digital world, printed books are making a comeback. According to the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales declined 18.7 percent over the first nine months of 2016, while paperback sales were up 7.5 percent and hardback sales increased 4.1 percent over the same period.

Books represent one of the most demanding applications for adhesives. Used to hold the pages together at the spine, bookbinding adhesive needs to be strong, but flexible; long-lasting; and durable through repeated use. It also helps manufacturers if the adhesive is fast-drying.

Polyurethane adhesives are a relatively new entry into the bookbinding world,...

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Category: Innovation Bonds
Photo Credit: Kastalon, Inc.
Photo Credit: Kastalon, Inc.

Polyurethane Protects Arresting Wires and Pilots, Too

The CVN 78 Gerald Ford aircraft carrier is often seen as the most technologically advanced in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. And part of that technology includes new polyurethane-covered plates from Kastalon that help absorb the impact of arresting cables as they are dragged across the deck.

When a fighter jet lands on an aircraft carrier, it’s still traveling at up to 150 miles per hour — with 500 feet or less in which to stop. So, the plane has a special tailhook that grabs one of several arresting wires stretched across the deck in order to transfer the energy...

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Category: Innovation Bonds