Breathable TPU Membranes


 Number/Link: WO2017/178482

Applicant/Assignee:  BASF

Publication date: 19-october-2017

Gist”: Semi-permeable membranes are made by phase inversion of all-hardblock TPU solutions

Why it is interesting: ‘Breathable” membranes show a high resistance to liquid water permeation (LEP) combined with a high water vapour permeability (WDD). According to this invention breathable polyurethane membranes can be prepared by dissolving an all-hardblock thermoplastic polyurethane in a polar, aprotic solvent (like N-methyl pyrrolidone) together with a water soluble compound, casting a film and coagulating the film with water. In the examples diisocyanates (MDI, TDI and HDI) are stoichiometrically reacted with chain extenders (MEG, BDO and HDO).  The resulting materials were schredded and dissolved in NMP together with some glycerol. 150 μm thick films were cast on glass and coagulated in water, resulting in membranes with an average pore size ranging between 4 and 500 nm.  The membranes are said to be useful to make breathable fabrics for outdoor wear e.g. (“Gore Tex” (TM) – type materials)






Rigid Thermoplastic Polyurethanes


 Number/Link: WO2017/146948  WO2017/146949

Applicant/Assignee: Eastman Chemical

Publication date: 31 august 2017

Gist”: A “rigid”, high Tg polyester diol is extended with 4,4′ MDI

Why it is interesting: Rigid, high modulus TPUs have been known for a long time – see e.g. Upjohn’s classic patent on ‘Isoplast’ from 1981. These materials are high hardblock TPUs made from diisocyanates, chain extenders with only a small amount of high molecular weight diol as an impact modifier. According to the current invention however, rigid TPUs can be made using less than 40% (w/w) of diisocyanate, a high Tg polyester diol and optionally some chain extender.  The polyester is prepared from ‘rigid’ diols like isosorbide or 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol together with a ‘rigid’ diacid like terephthalic acid, such that the diol has a MW of more than 400 Dalton and a Tg of more than 40°C. The diisocyanate is pref. 4,4-MDI. The rigid TPUs have a Tg of more than 145°C and a tensile modulus of 1 GPa or higher. They are said to be less moisture sensitive than conventional rigid TPUs.