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Diisocyanates and polyurethanes are key materials contributing to strategic sectors in Europe and playing already a significant role in providing solutions to key current challenges (climate change, mobility, etc.)

Polyurethanes are versatile, modern and safe. They are used in a wide variety of applications to create all sorts of consumer and industrial products that play a crucial role in making our lives more convenient, comfortable and environmentally friendly. Whether in rigid or flexible form or elastomers, binders or coating materials, polyurethane is used in a wide variety of applications. Thanks to its versatility and unique properties, the list of applications is long and getting longer, with new innovative applications regularly coming on to the market all the time. Polyurethane is a product for the future. It plays a crucial role in our evolving needs, allowing us to do things that a generation ago would have seemed impossible.

For polyurethane to live up to quality expectations and products’ technical specifications, pigments and additives may be added to ensure the exact formulation of the product, be it foam, adhesives, elastomers or sealants and coatings. The varieties in density are endless. As the molecule is adapted to provide different properties, polyurethane foam can display different levels of rigidity or flexibility.

For example, a comfortable sofa requires the use of carbon dioxide as a blowing agent for the production of soft foam. In rigid foams, a gas such as pentane is “trapped” in the foam’s closed cells, optimising its insulation capacity.

In addition, the durability, corrosion resistance and weather resistance of polyurethanes makes them suitable for coating all kinds of surfaces. Polyurethane can also be used to safely bind together quite different materials, such as wood, rubber, cardboard or glass.

For example, polyurethane adhesives enable the reuse of vehicle tyres in playgrounds, sports tracks or surfaces for sports stadiums after they are collected and shredded. Polyurethane coatings can protect substrates against corrosion and weather influence, by that significantly increasing their durability and saving resources.

Further applications of diisocyanates are highly durable compact materials like thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and elastomers. Such materials are widely used for various applications like wheels, ski boots or artificial leather.