One of the most versatile materials that we take for granted in our everyday lives is polyurethane foam. Flexible to the point that it can help with human relaxation and durable enough to the point that it can also be utilized in heavy machinery, polyurethane is found just about anywhere in our modern lives.
Polyurethane is simply only one member of a highly variable family of plastics and polymers, and it can have either an open cellular (AKA foam) structure or a solid structure. In other words, polyurethane can be either firm and rigid, or it can be soft and flexible.
Polyurethane is made by reacting numerous diisocyanates and polyols together. Both of these products are also derived from crude oil. Since manufacturers are constantly looking for methods and technologies that improve the performance of polyurethanes, it’s likely that polyurethanes will only continue to become even more versatile and useful in the future.
Here are the top uses for polyurethane foam:
Perhaps the most common use for polyurethane is its use in furniture. At the very least, this is how almost every person uses polyurethane every day.
When in the form of foam, polyurethane can vary greatly in terms of its quality, durability, and density. A higher density foam will be used in higher quality and more expensive furniture, while softer polyurethane foam will be used in furniture that is intended for shorter term uses.
Have you ever wondered why the chairs, sofas, or beds that you sleep and rest on are so comfortable? There are many reasons for why they are so, and the fact that polyurethane was used in their production is one of them.
Another big use for polyurethane is as insulation, Lower density but still rigid polyurethane are actually among the most useful insulation materials there are.
When buildings are constructed, rigid polyurethane will be used to insulate the walls. This will then keep the heat out during the summer time, but also trap the heat indoors during the winter.
This also helps with cutting carbon emissions and decreasing the effect that expending energy has on the world’s environment.
That’s also not to mention that polyurethane requires no maintenance and is very long lasting. It’s no wonder it’s commonly used in building homes.
Polyurethane isn’t just used in homes and furniture; it’s used in cars too. As with homes, polyurethane will be used to keep heat trapped in the car and outside heat out of the car.
It’s also used in the armrests, headrests, and seats of cars well. The cushioning properties of polyurethane helps lend itself to an overall more pleasant driving experience.
Finally, polyurethane will be installed in the body of the car, and it will help to absorb much of the noise of the engine. A big reason why cars are quieter today than they were before is because polyurethane helps to muffle a lot of the noise.
Last but not least many modern coatings are used with polyurethane. This goes for everything from vehicles to homes to floors to bridges to buildings to roads and so on.
Polyurethane is commonly used for these purposes because it helps to protect the exposed surfaces from the outside elements and pollution. The durability and corrosion resistant qualities of polyurethane technically makes them useful for coating just about anything.
Finally, polyurethanes also have strong adhesive qualities. They are used in the production of glues that are used to stick together glass, rubber, or wood. Numerous construction projects that you see going on every day are no doubt making extensive use of polyurethane.
Packaging manufacturers will also often make extensive use of polyurethane, because they require resilience and strength in their products as well.
In fact, the binding and adhesive qualities of polyurethane has opened up our eyes to numerous other kinds of materials. These includes kitchen flooring solutions, cupboards, working surfaces, carpet underlays, and so on.
Top Uses for Polyurethane Foam
We truly do use polyurethane foam in our lives far more often than we realize, to the point that we take it for granted.
The roads you drive on, the homes you live in, the cars you drive, the furniture you rest on, and the buildings you work in all have polyurethane involved in the production of them.