Application of Polyether Polyol in Polyurethane (PU)

Polyurethane (PU) is a kind of organic polymer material with multiple carbamate chains. It was reacted by polyisocyanate and polyol. Because there are multiple carbamate (urethane for short) groups in the PU molecular structure.

Polyurethane (PU) has been widely used in rigid foam, soft foam, elastomer, coating, adhesive, sealant, and other products. Polyurethane (PU) has different applications in different industries.

Polyurethane (PU) has a variety of polyether and different properties, which determines the wide prospect of polyether polyurethane.

Polyether Polyurethane Classification

Polyether polyol is the main raw material of PU. The consumption of polyether used in PU is more than 80%. Polyether polyurethane can be classified polyether polyol (PPG), polymeric polyol (POP), polytetramethyl ether ethylene glycol (PTMEG, also called polytetrahydrofuran polyol) according to the initiator.

According to the number of active hydrogen atoms in the initiator, the polyether polyols with different function can be obtained. Polyether polyurethane also can be divided into soft foam polyether, rigid foam polyether and elastomer with polyether according to Performance of polyether products.

Polyether Polyurethane Applications

There are many kinds of polyether polyols for polyurethane (PU). PU materials with different performance can be obtained with the reaction between different initiators and olefin polymerization.

By modifying the PU raw materials or changing the catalyst, polyether performance can be modified. These initiators include diethyl alcohol, ternary alcohol, tetrahydrofuran, and aromatic polyether polyols, etc.

Polyether polyols are oligomers containing ether linkages (— R — O — R —) in the backbone and more than two hydroxyl groups (— oh) in the terminal or pendant groups. The polyether polyol is prepared by taking low molecular weight polyol, polyamine or a compound containing active hydrogen as an initiator and carrying out ring-opening polymerization on the initiator and olefin oxide under the action of a catalyst. Polyether polyols with different functionality can be prepared according to the number of active atoms contained in the initiator.

Polyether polyols have low cohesive energy of ether bonds in the molecular structure and are prone to rotation. Therefore, the polyurethane material prepared from the polyether polyols has good low-temperature flexibility and excellent hydrolysis resistance.

Although the mechanical properties are not as good as polyester polyurethane, the viscosity of the raw material system is low, it is easy to dissolve with isocyanate, additives and other components, and the processing performance is excellent. Generally, automobile seat cushions are made of polyether polyurethane foam.

Polyether Polyurethane Development

With the application of Polyurethane (PU), as one of PU raw materials, polyether polyol has already attracted worldwide attention. More and more PU advantages had been shown. The demand is also grown.

The demand for polyether polyol is mainly used in PU rigid foam, soft foam, and molding foam products. The production of polyether polyol is mainly in the hands of BASF, BAYER, DOW Chemical, and Shell Chemical. The PU industry is fast growing in Asia, and China is the fastest in Asia.

In recent years, foreign companies have invested rapidly in China, and domestic manufacturers have been developing rapidly in the polyurethane. China will be the fastest growing country in the Asian polyurethane market.

At present, several major polyurethane manufacturers in China already have a lot of products comparable to that of large foreign polyurethane manufacturers.

Polyetheramine T Series

Product NameT-5000T-3000T-403
ApperanceColorless to pale yellow transparent liquid
Molecular Weight50003000440
Color (Pt-Co/APHA)≤50≤60≤50
Primary Amine≥97%≥97%≥90%
Amine Value0.50-0.570.90-0.986.10-6.80
Water Content≤25%≤25%≤25%

Polyetheramine D Series

Product NameD-2000D-400D-230
ApperanceColorless to pale yellow transparent liquid
Molecular Weight2000400230
Color (Pt-Co/APHA)≤25≤50≤25
Primary Amine≥97%≥97%≥97%
Amine Value0.95-1.05 mmol/g4.10-4.70 mmol/g8.10-8.70 mmol/g
Water Content≤0.25%≤0.25%≤0.25%

Polyether Polyurethane Market Demand

At present, China polyether polyol is dominated by soft foam and rigid foam market. In 2017, China’s soft foam polyether polyol consumption is about 1 million. China’s auto production has been growing rapidly in recent years, and the demand for soft PU foam applied to cars will grow rapidly as the production of cars increases.

In the next few years, the building insulation technology of hard foam will become the fastest consumption area in the PU industry.

Polyurethane material has penetrated into many areas. As one of its raw materials, polyether polyol has been widely valued by people. The development of new products has become an urgent problem for manufacturers. Especially the synthesis of environment-friendly polyurethane.

Therefore, polyether polyols have good development.

IRO Coating Additive Co,.Ltd, founded in 2009, is a company specializing in coating additives. As a China coating additives manufacturer, the quality of polyurethane (PU) products has been confirmed by many clients.

For more details, contact us.


Application of Polyether Polyol in Polyurethane (PU)