Industrial Polyurethane Applications for Polyurethane Adhesives and Sealant

Polyurethane is a miracle material that's transformed the global manufacturing industry since its invention less than a century ago.
When German chemist Dr. Otto Bayer synthesized the first polyurethane by reacting polyols and isocyanates in 1937, it's unlikely that he could have envisioned the vast potential of his invention.
In a matter of years, polyurethane claimed an important place in the automotive and aerospace industries, and its uses have grown exponentially in the 21st century. Thanks to its immense downstream applications, the global economic impact of PU and PUR composites exceeds $280 billion.

Types of Polyurethane Coatings

Urethane stands out for its unrivaled diversity and versatility. Due to the wide variety of polyols, isocyanates and diisocyanates available today, cured materials range from ultra-flexible to ultra-rigid.
Additionally, additives like graphite, graphene, metal and carbon black can provide enhanced conductivity or UL-approved fire-retardant properties in thermoset and thermoplastic urethanes.
Today, polyurethane is used to create an impressive variety of household and industrial materials, including the following:

• Adhesives
• Polymer coatings
• Chemical-resistant sealants
• Reaction injection molded components
• Flexible or rigid foam
• Laminated polyboard
• Structural insulation
• Potting compounds
• Man-made textiles
• Elastomers

Polyurethane in Building and Heavy Construction

More than one-third of global polyurethane supplies are used in the construction industry. These polymers are indispensable in modern buildings thanks to their impressive insulation capabilities.
Less than 2 centimeters of PUR can provide more insulation than a concrete wall that's a meter thick.
Polyurethane is energy efficient, lightweight and cost effective. Plus, it can bond with a variety of similar and dissimilar materials.

Automotive, Aerospace and Transportation

Aerospace was one of the first sectors to use urethane on an industrial scale, and engineers continue to develop new applications for these diverse polymers.
The average car contains more than 60 pounds or 27 kilograms of polyurethane. It's used to create gaskets, O-rings, laminated safety glass and impact-resistant body panels as well as vibration-resistant bushings and protective coatings for wires, sensors and electronics.
This is just the beginning. High-performance PU compounds are also used to seal roads, bridges and dams.

Corrosion-Resistant Resins for Marine Installations and Harsh Conditions

It's difficult to find a material that outlasts polyurethane in harsh climates or marine environments. Specially formulated PU adhesives and sealants can resist severe weather, extreme temperatures, corrosive elements and mechanical vibration. In many cases, urethane outperforms plastic, metal and conventional materials making it ideal for mining, gas and oil exploration and underwater installations.

Polyurethane Compounds for Electronics Manufacturing

Electronics account for a small portion of global urethane consumption, but polymer coatings and nonfoam potting compounds are an indispensable part of this industry. Single- and two-component PU sealants can block electromagnetic impulses, protect components from physical shock and create a moisture-resistant barrier.
These qualities make polyurethane ideal for manufacturing microelectronics, optoelectronics and related components, including computer chips, silicon wafers, printed circuit boards and flexible circuits.

Today, engineers can choose from four generations of thermoset and thermoplastic PUR polymers and composites, including low-iso and iso-free 2K compounds.
With hundreds of unique formulas on the market, designers can select polyurethane sealants with the optimal solidity, viscosity and cure time for each application.