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

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

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

Icephobic Polyurethane Gives Ice the Cold Shoulder

If you’ve ever spent a winter morning scraping ice off of a car windshield, you know ice removal is a time- and labor-intensive process. However, when the icy object is a jetliner or an oil rig, removing ice correctly and completely can mean saving lives. Icephobic polyurethane is an innovative ice removal solution with applications from power lines to airplanes.

The durable coating sprays on to surfaces and forms a thin, clear barrier that causes ice to slide off using nothing more than the force of gravity. The result is due to a phenomenon called “interfacial cavitation.” While two rigid...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

Steel Gas Waste Gets a New Life as Polyurethane

A European consortium is exploring how flue gas from the steel industry can be used to create plastics in a more efficient and sustainable way. This new use for what has heretofore been a waste product of steel manufacturing will also reduce the need for crude oil in the plastics production process. The final polyurethane material can be used to make insulation and coatings.

Using a mixture of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide released during the steel production process, polyols that will later be used in the production of polyurethane materials can be created. Scientists have estimated that this will...

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Category: Innovation Bonds

Polyurethane Takes on the World Solar Challenge

Imagine racing across a dusty desert terrain for more than 1,800 miles, facing temperatures of up to 113°F. Now imagine doing it without a drop of fuel. That’s the task that faced a team of Austrian students when they entered the 2017 World Solar Challenge.

Called the toughest solar car race in the world, the World Solar Challenge has been testing the limits of what solar-powered vehicles can do for 30 years. Teams from around the globe converge on the Australian outback for a weeklong test of their vehicle’s abilities.

This year, the Austrian team had additional help in the...

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Category: Automotive, Innovation Bonds

Head South for the Winter with Polyurethane

If chilly weather has you dreaming of the sunshine, there’s no better way to escape than to head south on the water. Today’s high-performance boats rely on polyurethane in a number of ways. First, polyurethane coatings and sealants help seal hulls and resist water, weather and other maritime damages. Maintaining a smooth and well-sealed exterior helps keep boats more hydrodynamic, allowing them to move through the water faster.

On board, polyurethane can make a boat as comfortable as home with flexible polyurethane foams used in components ranging from seat cushions and carpet padding to bedding materials. Best of all,...

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Category: Automotive, Furniture, Innovation Bonds

New Polyurethane Material Revolutionizes 3D Printing

During the past decade, 3D printing has evolved from a novelty to an integral part of many manufacturing processes. Now, a German company has developed a revolutionary polyurethane-based material that can be used in its Liquid Additive Manufacturing (LAM) process to print complex parts.

The material can be processed in its liquid state, which eliminates the need for melting and helps speed production times. Processing at room temperature also helps to avoid shrinkage, warping and detachment from the print bed. The end result can also be calibrated to a range of hardness, broadening the scope of use for the innovative...

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Category: Innovation Bonds