TPU Foams

Title: POLYURETHANE FOAMS AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING SAME

Number/Link: US2017/0174818

Applicant/Assignee: Lubrizol

Publication Date: 22-june-2016 (PCT oct. 2015)

“Gist”: TPUs with specific MW and polydispersity are injection moulded together with cellopener and gas in supercritical state

Why it is interesting: The invention relates to injection moulded “flexible foams”, especially useful for footwear applications. Thermoplastic polyurethanes with a Mw of 120,000 to 500,000 and a dispersity index of 1.85 to 2.51 are foamed using a gaseous blowing agent (CO2 or C1 to C6 hydrocarbons etc. ) together with a cellopener (silicone or EO/PO surfactant), such that at least 50% of cells are open.  In the examples the blowing agent is added in supercritical state to the melt before injection moulding. The type of gas used, nor the densities of the foams are mentioned.  Foaming TPU with gas in supercitical has also been file by Nike as discussed before in this blog.

Nike shoe with foamed thermoplastic midsole

 

Polyols from Natural Oils using the Alkyne Zipper Reaction

Title: POLYURETHANE MATERIALS FORMED FROM UNSATURATED PLANT OILS VIA AN ALKYNE ZIPPER REACTION

Number/Link: US2017/0166679 US2017/0166680

Applicant/Assignee: IBM

Publication Date: 15-june-2017

“Gist”: Oils are turned into alkyne alcohols, ‘zippered’ and oxidized to polyols

Why it is interesting: This is yet  another IBM patent application about interesting, albeit somewhat exotic, chemistry and featuring only “prophetic” examples. In this case unsaturated natural oils are first converted into unsaturated alcohols and then into alkynes by bromination and elimination.  The internal alkynes are then converted to terminal alkynes by an “alkyne zipper reaction” and then into hydroxyl groups by hydroboration and epoxidation/ring-opening. This series of reactions should result in polyols having two primary- and one or more secondary OH groups, useful, for example, for the preparation of sound absorbing foams.

Reaction sequence according to the invention

Preventing Ostwald Ripening in Rigid PU Foams

Title: PRODUCTION OF FINE CELL FOAMS USING A CELL AGING INHIBITOR

Number/Link: WO2017093058  (German)

Applicant/Assignee: Evonik

Publication Date: 8 June 2017

“Gist”: Perfluorinated hydrocabons reduce Ostwald ripnening in PU foam formulations

Why it is interesting: Polymeric foams form by nucleation and growth of gass bubbles in the reacting mixture followed by (or simultaneous with) ageing of the bubbles through coalesence and Ostwald ripening, i.e. the growth of larger bubbles at the expense of smaller bubbles. Ostwald ripening ultimately results in fewer and larger cells, which has a negative effect on the thermal insulation properties of rigid foams. According to this invention the ripening effect can be prevented or reduced by incorporating in the foam formulation an “Ostwald hydrophobe”, i.e. a highly hydrophobic liquid which is largely immiscible with the reacting mixture. Examples of such liquids are perfluorinated hydrocabons with a boiling point of less than 150°C, e.g. perfluoropentane, perfluorocyclohexane and perfluoroisohexene (used in the examples).

Perfluorocyclohexane

 

Free Download: PU Science & Technology Scan Nr 2: May 2017

You can download this pdf report (106 pages) for free from my web shop.

FREE download

Polycarbonate PU Foams with Reduced VOC Emissions

Title: POLYURETHANE FOAMS BASED ON POLYETHER CARBONATE POLYOLS

Number/Link: WO2017/085201 (German)

Applicant/Assignee: Covestro

Publication Date: 26-may-2017

“Gist”: Use of urea reduces the formation of propylenecarbonate from polycarbonate polyols

Why it is interesting: Covestry is betting heavily on polyethercarbonate polyols for use in polyurethane foams, using the carbon-negative footprint as a selling point. The use of polyethercarbonate polyols in PU foams can, however, result in the formation of propylenecarbonate resulting from a retro reaction promoted by conventional amine catalysts. Propylenecarbonate will contribute to the total VOC emissions of foams and other materials. According to this invention, the retro reaction can -surprisingly- be prevented or reduced by using urea or urea-derivatives in the foam formulation. In the examples urea and dimethylaminopropylurea are used together with a tin catalyst,  polyethercarbonate polyols and TDI to produce flexible foams with reduced propylenecarbonate content.

Propylenecarbonate