Polyurethanes are one of the most versatile plastic materials. The nature of the chemistry allows polyurethanes to be adapted to solve challenging problems, to be molded into unusual shapes and to enhance industrial and consumer products by adding comfort, warmth and convenience to our lives.
Polyurethanes are formed by reacting a polyol (an alcohol with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule) with a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives. Because a variety of diisocyanates and a wide range of polyols can be used to produce polyurethane, a broad spectrum of materials can be produced to meet the needs of specific applications.
It does not matter where you look, you are likely to find polyurethanes. Polyurethanes can be a found in mattresses, couches, insulation, liquid coatings and paints, tough elastomers such as roller blade wheels, soft flexible foam toys, some elastic fibers, and many other places and applications.