Sustainable systems and additives for the polyurethane industry

Sustainable systems and additives…

Specialty chemicals company Lanxess is presenting its extensive product portfolio for the polyurethane industry at UTECH Europe 2024. This includes novel, more sustainable and high performing polyurethane solutions and polyurethane additives such as flame retardants, modifiers, crosslinkers, plasticizers, catalysts and hydrolysis stabilizers. The trade fair will take place from April 23 to 25 in Maastricht, Netherlands, at the MECC congress and event center.

Adiprene Green: focus on sustainability

With the Adiprene Green product line,Lanxess offers polyether-based polyurethane systems that contain renewable raw materials and can replace fossil-based products. Within its sustainability targets to become climate-neutral by 2040, the company has introduced new Adiprene Green products for polyurethane cast elastomer and adhesive applications.

In the area of cast elastomers, the Adiprene Green MDI and pPDI polyether prepolymers work as drop-in substitutes for conventional Adiprene products. Processed identically as other hot cast polyurethane elastomers, Adiprene Green’s reactivity profile, demolding times and final properties are similar to fossil based polyether prepolymers. When cured with 1,4-butanediol, Adiprene Green MDI polyether prepolymers offer an excellent performance profile and a broad range of hardness from 80 Shore A to 60 Shore D. For outstanding performance conditions, Adiprene Green pPDI based systems are the ideal solution.

In addition, Lanxess is expanding its Adiprene Green brand to include adhesives, sealant and OCF (one component foam) applications. The new Adiprene Green prepolymers are suitable for hot melt applications. Their low free monomeric MDI (< 0.1 wt.%) content allows for safe working conditions and compliance with EU regulations, while decreasing CO2 footprint and maintaining high performance.


Hot cast/cold cure systems enable energy savings

A further solution for sustainable PU production is offered by LANXESS’ hot cast/cold cure systems, which are available in both polyether and polyester versions.

Energy costs associated with typical cast PU processing operations are a significant expense within the overall cost of manufacturing polyurethane components. The new hot cast/cold cure system developed by Lanxess Urethane Systems is a recent initiative that enables PU processors to save energy and costs. This is possible due to the elimination of heat curing and post-curing steps needed in traditional polyurethane processing, thus contributing to production optimization and a lower carbon footprint.

Furthermore, the three component systems (ether and ester versions) have been chemically designed to give the PU processor full flexibility in the manufacture of a wide range of elastomers, delivering:

  • a full hardness range from 60A to 55D (an external catalyst injection can be utilized if required),
  • a practical pot life for each hardness, thus allowing adequate time to fill the mold,
  • and an efficient demolding time to achieve good productivity.

Combining high performance and accessible cost

A high performing MDI-based polyurethane elastomer system was developed to address the technical requirements of demanding dynamic applications such as wheels and rollers. The target of this system is to offer a suitable and cost effective alternative to other more costly polyurethane systems, based on more expensive isocyanate grades. The MDI-based prepolymer counts upon two different curative options to reach elastomers with 75A and 94A hardness.
New prepolymer grades for adhesives, sealants and OCF applications

Moreover, Lanxess Urethane Systems have developed prepolymer grades with high NCO level and low viscosity for adhesives, sealants and OCF applications. These grades include low free MDI prepolymers with below 0.1 wt.% free monomer.