Polyurethane is an extremely resilient substance.
It's used in thousands of applications across dozens of industries.
Its mechanical properties make it easily manipulated through chemistry.
And it has been used to solve problems in industrial and manufacturing settings since it was invented as a substitute for rubber the 1940's
Polyurethane is also used as an industrial coating for various surfaces. And it's very beneficial to several industries.
But what are the benefits of a Polyurethane coating? Let's dig in and find out.
What Is Polyurethane And How Is It Made?
Polyurethane is a polymer.
Polymers are long, repeating chains of smaller molecules called monomers.
To manufacture this polymer, you have to combine two compounds. Diisocyanate and diol.
This resultant material is nearly indestructible. It can be smashed, scratched, and stretched without much result.
It comes in three forms: liquid, solid, or foam.
Each has its use in different applications across a variety of industries.
There are several categories of polyurethane. Each with a unique use.
Named for its elastic quality, elastomers also maintain a rigid form.
You'll find this in wheels for dollies and other carts that must take on a lot of weight.
It's useful because it can take the pressure, deform, and then return to its original shape quickly.
This plastic looks a lot like other plastics. They are smooth and rigid. They also feature a sealed surface impervious to water.
It's a plastic used in applications where durability and strength are needed.
This is a viscous form of polyurethane used to coat steel or concrete and other metals.
It's a thermosetting resin that sets and turns into a durable solid when your apply heat.
And it's the primary reason why we're here today.
What Is Polyurethane Coating Used For?
We know that polyurethane coating is a useful substance only if we know what it's used for.
Let's take a quick look at the different applications for this durable coating.
Building and Construction
At 26% of the market share for polyurethane products, the building and construction industry is the most popular place where polyurethane coatings are used.
Since polyurethane is great for preventing corrosion and make materials more durable, the construction industry coats a lot of their surfaces with this coating.
A lot of floors, steel supports, and concrete supports are sprayed with polyurethane coating. This makes them stronger and less susceptible to rust.
It's also a great way to make buildings look aesthetically pleasing.
While the coating that we put on furniture may not be the industrial strength coating found on buildings, it's still an effective coating.
Most furniture coatings are either water or oil based.
Water-based is the most popular furniture coating.
It's a low odor and low toxicity solution. And it's a clear coating, unlike oil based versions.
Water-based also dries a lot faster than oil, making it a great choice for when you don't have much time.
Because it's a thin solution, water-based polyurethane coatings do not stand up well to heat and chemicals.
Oil-based coatings are more durable. They stand up to heat better. It will change the color of the wood slightly.
And you can apply them both with a simple roller.
If you are coating your furniture yourself, make sure you use a mask as the fumes are toxic.
Again, not industrial in nature, but a cousin of the industrial coating, textile polyurethane coating is meant to make clothes water resistant.
You'll find it on outdoor clothes, swimsuits, diapers, and shower curtains.
The use of polyurethane in vehicles is widespread.
From scratch resistant paint on cars to coatings on windshields to make their surfaces stronger, polyurethane is a popular material in the transportation industry.
But it's of particular interest right now, because of the advancements being made in polyurethane coatings for transportation.
Scientists have been working on self-healing polyurethane for a while.
And it seems they've made a breakthrough.
They've combined polyurethane with a water resistant molecule called "F-POSS."
It's of particular interest to the marine industry.
One of the biggest problems with boats is the coating. It eventually scratches and abraids and has to be replaced.
If the coating isn't replaced, it creates drag on the boat. And the drag increases fuel consumption.
The claim for this new polyurethane coating is that it could reduce the fuel consumption of large vessels.
Electronics are sensitive to atmospheric changes. They can easily be compromised by water corrosion in a matter of seconds.
Polyurethane coating can stop the damage from moisture and other influences in the environment.
It's used to protect sensitive electronics such as motherboards in computers.
The only downside to coating a component in polyurethane is the inability to repair what's under the coating.
If something goes wrong with the component, it must be replaced rather than repaired.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Polyurethane Coating?
As you can see there are many uses for polyurethane.
And its benefits are just as numerous.
There is a clear benefit when using it in a construction application.
If you apply it to floors or any structure, it adds durability. A wall or a floor will last years longer than it would otherwise.
It seals the structure against chemicals. Chemicals can seep into concrete or destroy steel. Polyurethanes won't bend to these attacks.
Polyurethane won't scratch as easily as most surfaces.
It's a flexible material, so it won't crack or flake.
It's waterproof. And it's used in multi-level car garages and ice houses to keep moisture from destroying the structure.
Water will just roll right off the surface of polyurethane and it helps in drainage situations.
It bonds thoroughly to the surface of whatever you apply it to. It won't allow bubbles or loose areas to form between it and the surface.
The advantages of polyurethane are clear in so many industries and applications. It's definitely a wonder substance.
If you are interested in polyurethane coatings or any other kind of industrial coating, contact us and we'll help you out.