look what we did!Innovations From Polyurethane Manufacturers

Synthetic Suede’s Rise to Luxury Auto Interiors

From kangaroo to ostrich to calfskin, animal products have long been hyped as the most popular and, therefore, greatest options for interior automotive design. Today, thanks to polyurethane, a new – though perhaps unexpected – high-water mark for luxury upholstery has been established with the introduction of synthetic suede.

A vegan product made from two-thirds polyester and one-third polyurethane, synthetic suede is a great modern-day fabric option.

Thanks to the rise in car-sharing and high-end driving services, today’s luxury interiors must be prepared to withstand tremendous amounts of passenger wear and tear – and synthetic suede can take a beating....

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Category: Automotive

Cornhole Takes Aim with Polyurethane

Baseball may be America’s national pastime, but as cornhole becomes a more common sight at tailgate parties, backyard barbecues and breweries, it may soon be issuing a formal challenge to baseball for the title. An impressive feat for a simple game played with just a few bean bags and two boards, but simplicity may be what makes cornhole so appealing.

The game is becoming so popular that several made-for-purchase, pre-fab sets have entered the marketplace, which can be a good option for rookies just getting familiar with the game. However, enthusiasts will tell you the true hallmark of any cornhole...

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Category: Athletics

Shoe Designers Zero in on Running Shoe Perfection

The mechanics of proper running have long been a mystery, but thanks to researchers at the University of Massachusetts, we finally have better insights on ideal running form: the conclusion is that there is really no wrong way to run.

It turns out we all have slightly different running strides. When left to their own devices, our bodies will naturally find the most efficient and safest way to cover ground as quickly as possible.

That means just like our fingerprints, no two footstrikes – the place on the foot that first contacts the ground when we run — are the...

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metal scooter isolated on white

A Polyurethane-Fueled Transportation Craze Turns 20

More than 20 years ago, Swiss inventor Wim Ouboter was looking for a safe and efficient way of getting around his home city of Zurich when he hit upon a new idea for two-wheeled transport. The journey between Ouboter’s home and his favorite bratwurst stand was only a few miles – a term he later coined a “micro-distance,” too far to travel on foot but too short to travel by bicycle or car. While thinking up how to solve his transportation dilemma, inspiration struck in the form of a well-worn childhood favorite, the scooter.

Growing up, Ouboter and his siblings...

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Category: Athletics

Polyurethane Makes Wearable Technology a Reality

Imagine a world in which you could control the television simply by tapping on your shirtsleeve. While it may seem like the stuff of science fiction, thanks to polyurethane, the seamless integration of wearable technology into our daily lives is a greater possibility than ever before.

What the industry has taken to calling “e-textiles” are nothing new; however, significant barriers to scaling the technology for broad consumption have remained in place. Until now, e-textiles have been too expensive, too cumbersome and too difficult to maintain, but all of that could soon be changing.

A group of researchers in Beijing are...

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Category: Apparel, Electronics

How the Polyurethane Surfboard Got to be King of the Beach

Did you know that polyurethane helped popularize and bring surfing into the mainstream in the 1950s?

So the story goes: after World War II, interest in surfing was on the rise in the United States. However, boards back then were made from wood and were often too clunky and cumbersome.

It took a polyurethane redesign of surfboards in 1955 for the sport to really take off. A surfer named Lorrin Harrison saw the potential for polyurethane, a relatively new substance at the time, to make boards stronger, faster and lighter than ever.

Today, most polyurethane surfboards are made in the...

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Category: Athletics

Polyurethane Helps Create Resilient, Green Building Products

During the past decade, consumers moved towards eco-friendly products. However, today, it is not enough simply to have environmentally sound offerings, a company’s products have to be resilient as well, meaning they have to be able to stand up to the elements.

Nowhere is this more important than in the construction industry, where designers, policymakers and engineers face the difficult task of rebuilding in areas prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding.

With a renewed focus in the construction industry on creating energy efficient and durable products that are also resilient, there is an interest in products like closed-cell...

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Category: Architecture, Environment

Behind the World’s Most Prevalent Polymer

By now, you may think you know everything there is to know about polyurethane and the many ways this incredible polymer touches our daily lives. But are you familiar with how it originated?

It all started in 1937 with Dr. Otto Bayer. The German-born chemist came across the polymer when he was looking for a compound that could be used as a substitute for rubber, which at the time was expensive and hard to obtain.

The versatility of polyurethane and its ability to substitute for scarce materials spurred numerous applications. In the years following its initial discovery, the polymer started...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

Researchers Look to Polyurethane to Heal Bone Fractures

According to a recent study, hip fractures are on the rise in much of Asia. While on the surface this may seem like a gloomy statistic, it is actually indicative of a positive trend. Life expectancy around the world is increasing, thanks in large part to breakthroughs in health science and technology. The global standard of living is also improving with more people than ever before having access to nutritious foods, clean drinking water and medical care.

However, as life expectancy around the world increases, science must seek out new and innovative solutions to the health-related issues that come along...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

Polyurethane Resins Help LEDs Perform Under Tough Conditions

Over the past 10 years, LEDs — or light emitting diodes — have become commonplace in both residential and commercial lighting thanks to their energy efficiency and long life. In addition, LEDs small size and relatively light weight have increased the applications for their use.

However, when LEDs are used in harsh environments — such as outdoors, underwater or even in aerospace applications — they must be protected into order to improve their reliability and take full advantage of their benefits. Moisture, cold, wind, pressure, dust and other environmental factors can all take their toll. Recently, resin encapsulation systems have...

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Category: Home Builders