Classic PU Patent of the Month: Otto Bayer’s Invention of Polyurethane and Polyurea (1937)

Title: Verfahren zur Herstellung von Polyurethanen bzw. Polyharnstoffen

Number/Link: DE728981  (German)

Applicant/Assignee: I.G.Farbenindustrie

Publication date: 12-11-1942

Gist”: Production of polyurethanes by reacting diisocyanates and compounds containing at least two hydroxyl and/or amine groups.

Why it is interesting: This is the patent that marked the start of the polyurethane industry.   It covers both aromatic and aliphatic diisocyanates, notably NDI, MDI, TDI, HDI etc. The examples cover polyurethane and polyurea fibers and films. It is said that Bayer was trying to copy Nylon 6,6, the structure of which is very similar to a PU based on 1,6 hexanediol and 1,6 hexanediisocyanate.  The patent has only one claim:

“PATENTANSPRUCH:
Verfahren zur Herstellung von Polyurethanen bzw. Polyharnstoffen, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daβ man organische Diisocyanate mit solchen organischen Verbindungen
zur Reaktion bringt, die mindestens 2 Hydroxyl- oder Aminogruppen mit austauschbaren Wasserstoffatomen oder mindestens eine Hydroxylgruppe und mindestens eine Aminogruppe ,der genannten Art enthalten.”

Dr. Otto Bayer (1902-1982)

Dr. Otto Bayer (1902-1982)

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