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Polyurethane in day-to-day life

Polyurethane is everywhere we look. Be it as a high-performance insulation material for energy-efficient buildings, as comfortable upholstery for your favourite chair, steering wheels in cars or art: Polyurethane is everywhere. It is even used in the worlds of sport and medicine.

Construction foam from a can

Construction foam from a can is the classic product used to insulate windows and fit doors. But that is not all that PU foam from the can is capable of when building houses. Anywhere where openings and inlets need to be sealed and insulated, the assembly foam is the first choice: roof valleys, roller blind boxes, the installation and insulation of water pipes outdoors are just a few examples. Find our more in chapter "Application fields".

Insulate roofs, walls, floors and ceilings with PU

Save energy and protect the environment. Polyurethane insulating materials are made up of billions of minute cells. This honeycomb structure minimises the transfer of heat or cold – an ideal property for high-performance insulation elements. This is important for the environment and for your purse as well - a poorly insulated roof will allow up to 30 percent of the heating energy to escape. Anyone looking to save money, is well advised to opt for high-performance PU hard foam boards. They offer high thermal protection and are comparatively thin. This not only saves on square metres but ensures that walls do not end up looking like those of a castle. Even half-timbered houses that cannot be insulated from the outside can be thermally insulated on the inside using special high-performance insulating boards made of PU foam.

Polyurethane means mobility

Pure metal cars? That's all changed now! The value of these plastics has long since been recognised by the automotive industry. Polyurethane is not only used in car seats, but also as sound insulation below the car bonnet. PU bumpers ensure passive safety. Steering wheels and gear sticks made of PU are not only durable and keep their shape, they are also pleasant to the touch. There are also many other parts, as well as adhesions and parts of the paint. PU-based paints have a reputation of being very durable.

Well insulated: Refrigerators and freezers

Storing food in a cool, fresh and hygienic manner: refrigerators have been a fixed part of every household for decades. Most refrigerators and freezers across the world are insulated with polyurethane hard boards. The benefit of the PU foam lies in its excellent insulating properties combined with its light weight and low volume. This keeps transport costs low and creates space in the refrigerator. Refrigerators make up to 30 percent of the total electrical consumption in a household: so, anyone who insulates perfectly with polyurethane today, saves money tomorrow. Currently, refrigerators bearing the A++ label are 60% more efficient than refrigerators that were used 15 years ago.

Comfortable and durable: Mattresses made of polyurethane

And wherever there is upholstery on furniture, you can bet there is polyurethane inside as well. PU is not only suitable for creating different levels of hardness to achieve the required level of sitting comfort, PU foam material can be brought into almost any required shape. This is what makes it so popular among designers, product creators and mattress manufacturers alike.

Sports

Sports are only half as much fun without polyurethane, because most modern sports shoes are largely made of polyurethane today. PU has established itself in the field of sport shoes because it covers a wide range of properties that can be combined in the shoe sole. Protecting sensitive feet. And the official ball for the World Cup 2014, which the German team won, was made of polyurethane.

Polyurethane in the medical field

Thanks to its flexibility and low reactivity, polyurethanes are also popular in the medical field, for instance in prostheses or when tending wounds. In a current research project, tests are being carried out to see if polyurethane heart valves can combine the biological and mechanical advantages of heart valve prostheses without any of their weaknesses. 

(Picture source: © www.medi.de)

PU in art

Easy to work with and lightweight: these properties make polyurethanes and construction foams in particular popular with artists. Also, this material can be easily painted - allowing enough room for unusual projects and creativity.