17th February 2020

ISOCYANATE-FREE POLYURETHANE

A polyurethane that eliminates the use of isocyanates has won the 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award given by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hybrid Coating Technologies is being recognised for developing a safer polyurethane for use on floors, furniture and in foam insulation.

Exposure to isocyanates is known to cause skin and respiratory problems and prolonged exposure has been known to cause severe asthma and even death. Isocyanates are also toxic to wildlife. When burnt, they form toxic and corrosive fumes including nitrogen oxides and hydrogen cyanide. As a result, isocyanates are regulated by the EPA and other government agencies.

HCT’s hybrid non-isocyanate polyurethane (HNIPU), also called ‘Green Polyurethane,’ is formed from a reaction between mixture of mono/polycyclic carbonate and epoxy oligomers and aliphatic or cycloaliphatic polyamines with primary amino groups. The result is a crosslinked polymer with β-hydroxyurethane groups of different structure.

HCT developed a novel concept for generating new multifunctional modifiers for cold cure epoxy-amine compositions, namely hydroxyalkyl urethane modifiers (HUM), and subsequently developed HUMs based on renewable raw materials (vegetable oils), which are now used for SPF and UV-cured acrylic polymer based coatings. HUMs provide the cured composition with superior coating performance characteristics including pot life/drying times, strength-stress properties, bonding to a variety of substrates and appearance.

Other characteristics, such as weathering and chemical resistance, are also strengthened while HNIPU is not sensitive to moisture in the surrounding environment. HCT also developed a version of its epoxy amine hydroxyurethane grafted polymer that replaces corrosive low-molecular weight amines with less hazardous high-molecular weight amines.

HNIPU is a safer chemical formulation for use in polyurethane and epoxy applications such as coatings and foam. It also has improved mechanical and chemical resistance properties, replaces up to 50 percent of its epoxy base with renewable resources (vegetable derived) and is said to be cost competitive compared to other conventional polyurethane and epoxy products.

HCT is currently manufacturing coatings in California, with a production capacity of 100,000 tons. Applicators using HNIPU coatings report cost savings between 30-60 percent due to the product’s improved safety profile and excellent properties. HCT expects to see similar benefits for applicators using its spray polyurethane foam once it becomes commercially available in the next one to two years.

www.hybridcoatingtech.com