PCM Containing PU Gels

Title: Temperature Regulating Polyurethane Gels

Number/Link: US2017/0210961

Applicant/Assignee: Technogel

Publication Date: 27 july 2017

“Gist”: Fatty acid ester PCMs are incorporated into Technogel-type gels without encapsulation

Why it is interesting: Polyurethane gels have been discussed before in this blog. The current invention is about “Technogel-type”  gels, made at low NCO-index and high functionality, that contain phase change materials (PCMs). The PCMs are esters of fatty acids that can be blended in molten state with the low EO polyol to form a clear solution, which is then reacted with isocyanate to form the gel. Despite not being encapsulated or forming a separate phase, the PCMs can reversibly melt and crsytallize while in the fluid phase of the gel. In the examples blends of lauryl laurate (C12-C12) and myristyl myristate (C14-C14) are used as PCM such that the phase change temperature is about 22-38°C.  The gels are said to be useful for ‘close to body’ comfort applications especially for use in matresses to improve sleeping comfort.

Lauryl laurate


TPU Shrink Wrap


Number/Link: WO2017/108920

Applicant/Assignee: BASF

Publication Date: 29-jun-2017

“Gist”: Shape memory TPU is used as shrink wrap

Why it is interesting: A thermoplastic polyurethane with a shape-memory is prepared from a diisocyanate, a chain extender and a polyol comprising an ‘aromatic polyester block’, especially a polyethylenetherephthalate block. The composition is chosen such that the TPU has a melting point between 160 and 230ºC and another phase transition between 30 and 80ºC (the “switching temperature”). Films of this material are then stretched at a temperature higher than the switching temperature but below melt temperature and then cooled in stretched state. The stretched films are said to be useful as shrink wrap, especially for foodstuffs. No examples are given.
A surprising application for TPU but hardly a surprising TPU invention i.m.o.

Shrink-wrapped Helicopters (Wikipedia)

Matte, Self-Healing Polyurethane Powder Coatings


Number/Link: WO2017/074835

Applicant/Assignee: Valspar

Publication Date: 4 May 2017

“Gist”: Coating composition comprising isocyanate and two polyester polyols having a similar Tg but a widely different equivalent weight.

Why it is interesting: Conventionally low gloss or “matte” coatings are the result of a microtextured surface achieved by certain fillers or by incompatible polymers and the like. According to this invention “ultra matte” finishes can also -surprisingly- be achieved from a (powder) coating composition comprising a (blocked) isocyanate and a mixture of two polyester polyols. Both polyols have a Tg between 40 and 60ºC prefereably differing not more than 5 to 8ºC, while the OHv of the first polyol is between 150 and 325 and that of the second between 15 and 35.  The ratio between first and second polyol is from about 1:1 to 1:3 w/w. Also surprisingly, the resulting coatings are said to show self-healing properties. An interesting composition but no examples of the polyesters or isocyanates used are given.

Car with matte finish

TPU with Anti-Biofouling Surface


 Number/Link: WO2017/007899

Applicant/Assignee: BASF

Publication date: 12-jan-2017

Gist”: TPU containing silicone diol and having microstructured surface

Why it is interesting: Biofouling of surfaces e.g. in the marine environment or of medical implants is a problem.  For example the growth of barnacles on the hulls of vessels, subsea cables, pipes and energy generating structures has a significant economic impact. According to this invention, thermoplastic polyurethane articles with a surface energy of about 20 mN/m and a microstructered surface topography show an improved resistance to biofouling. The TPU is produced by incorporating 5-15% on the total composition of a PDMS diol with a OH value of 15 to 150, and by pressing onto the surface a 3D topology with ‘peaks’ and ‘valleys’ of an order of magnitude of 10μm.

Microstructured surface according to the invention

Microstructured surface according to the invention

Liquid Crystalline Polyurethane Elastomers


 Number/Link: US 2016/0376396

Applicant/Assignee: Toyo Tire & Rubber

Publication date: 29-dec-2016

Gist”: Specific mesogenic diols are used together with high MW polyols and high functionality isocyanate

Why it is interesting: The invention is about thermotropic liquid crystalline PU elastomers, where the liquid crystalline (LC) phase is formed at relatively low temperatures (e.g. near room temperature). This is accomplished by preventing the mesogen to crystallize, such that it shows no melting point between its Tg and Ti (LC phase -to- isotropic phase transition temperature). This, in turn, is accomplished by using a high molecular weight polyol together with a high functionality isocyanate and a mesogenic diol of the structure shown below where Y represents -N=N-, -CO-, -CO-O- or -CH=N- and X represents a C3 to C20 alkylene.  Under stress the elastomer extends in the orientation direction by increasing the LC content and shrinks by reducing LC content.  It can therefore be used as a temperature-controlled actuator.

General structure of the mesogenic diol of the invention

General structure of the mesogenic diol of the invention