First made by Otto Bayer and his co-workers at IG Farben in 1930’s Germany, Polyurethane is a polymer composed of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. While most polyurethanes are thermosetting polymers that do not melt when heated, thermoplastic polyurethanes are also available.
Polyurethane synthesis, wherein the urethane groups –NH–(C=O)–O– link the molecular units.
Polyurethane products consequently have many uses. Firstly the manufacture of microcellular foam seals and gaskets; durable elastomeric wheels and tires and automotive suspension bushings. In addition electrical potting compounds; high performance adhesives; surface coatings and surface sealants; and hard-plastic parts (i.e., for electronic instruments).
Also used for the manufacture of hoses and skateboard wheels as it combines the best properties of both rubber and plastic.
Polyurethanes are versatile, modern and safe. Consequently used in a wide variety of applications to create all manner of consumer and industrial products that play a crucial role in making our lives more convenient, comfortable and environmentally friendly.
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