Polyurethanes and protection

Polyurethanes are used for protective purposes in a diversity of forms. Below, you can learn more about how they offer protection in our day-to-day lives.

Insulation

Polyurethane insulation helps to ensure increased energy efficiency in buildings, thus protecting the Earth's valuable resources by reducing the need to burn oil and gas. It is estimated that wider application of existing technology based on rigid polyurethane foam across the EU would reduce overall CO2 emissions by 10% and enable the EU to meet its Kyoto commitments by 2010.

Find out more about polyurethane insulation.

Refrigeration

Similarly to building insulation, insulation of refrigerators and freezers means that less electricity is needed for them operate effectively. In the ten years leading up to 2002, EU energy efficiency initiatives resulted in efficiency gains of 37%. Such substantial savings were only possible thanks to the unique properties of polyurethanes. Their use in the cold food chain also prevents food from perishing by maintaining cool environments.

Learn more about the use of polyurethanes in the cold food chain.

Transport

Because polyurethanes have excellent cushioning properties, they are ideal for use in cars and other forms of transportation. If an accident occurs, the polyurethanes within the vehicle are able to absorb some of the impact of the collision and protect the people inside.

More information about polyurethanes in cars. Learn more about their broader use in transportation.

Packaging

Flexible polyurethane foam has excellent cushioning and shock absorption qualities, making it ideal for the packaging of delicate products such as electronic equipment or certain foodstuffs. Knowing that a product will reach its destination in optimal condition gives manufacturers and retailers peace of mind.

Footwear

Use of polyurethanes in footwear ensures that our feet are well protected when we walk and run. The cushioning qualities of the material mean that our bodies are better able to absorb the constant high levels of impact experienced in our everyday lives. Safety shoes are also often made of polyurethanes.

For more information about the protective features of polyurethane in shoes, click here

Underlay

Use of polyurethane underlay beneath carpets protects them by decreasing wear and tear by 50%. This results in longer-lasting carpets that do not need to be replaced so often, which also serves to reduce waste.

Coatings

Various polyurethane coatings are used to protect a range of items and components from corrosion and wear, including floors, walls, buildings, bridges, industrial structures, pipes and cables.

Find out more about protective coatings by clicking here.

Air filters

Polyurethane air filters ensure better air quality, both in the home and the workplace.

Other applications

There are numerous other small but nevertheless important polyurethane applications, which serve to protect us in many aspects of our daily lives, such as ear plugs, raincoats, wire and cable insulation and safety glasses.