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How Does Polyurethane Improve Our Daily Lives?
Polyurethane is an extremely versatile material and is found in products all throughout the world. Many everyday items contain polyurethane in some form; it’s used in buildings, cars, shoes, mattresses and hundreds of other products too. Whilst reading this post you’re probably sitting on, or within arms-reach, of a product containing polyurethane foam!
Let’s take a look at how polyurethane foam makes our lives better every single day...
One of the greatest features of polyurethane foam is that it can be extremely comfortable. Flexible PU foam is used for cushioning in shoes, forming the bulk of a mattress, padding the inside of hard-hats, providing a soft cushion in office chairs and car seats, and the list goes on.
Products constructed with PU foam don’t bunch up or lose their shaping easily, they can bounce back into their original shape for many years. However, PU foam can also maintain an impression for longer periods of time - take memory foam mattresses for example; memory foam is produced using polyurethane foam as well as additional chemicals which increase the density and viscosity of the foam. This foam is commonly known as ‘Viscoelastic’ foam. Take a look at this short documentary all about memory foam.
Polyurethane as an insulation material reduces the amount of heat loss in property, which subsequently has a positive impact on the environment! By improving energy efficiency, energy consumption is reduced. Polyurethane cavity injections are widely used for walls, and polyurethane spray foam is often used in roofs.
Not only is polyurethane used to stop heat escaping, but it’s also installed as a means of sound absorption! Whilst completely sound-proofing a room is a complex task that requires much engineering, flexible PU foam has sound absorption properties which make it perfect for acoustic treatment and dulling offensive sounds.
Prototyping a product before it goes into production is important in order to avoid costly errors in the manufacturing process and save time. Polyurethane foam is widely used to create full size or scale prototypes of products. It’s much easier to prototype a design this way, rather than attempting to build a single item using the full production process. Polyurethane is used to prototype everything from cars to buildings, with architects using it to make small scale prototypes of buildings and developments.
The soft, yet hard-wearing qualities of PU foam make it the ideal material for certain safety products. Flexible foam edge or profile protectors are used in workplaces to define and protect areas of flooring, walls and equipment. It’s often featured in helmets and protective gear such as knee pads, crash mats for gymnastics and wound dressings.
Perhaps one of the most surprising industries to use polyurethane heavily is the film and TV production industry. Set and prop designers often use the material to make all sorts of items, from character moulds to cars and full-blown sets. The material is easy to mould and carve away into the desired shape. Once painted, and with some TV trickery, PU foam can be made to look like; armour, spine chilling statues and even the biggest of muscles! Dressing 100 film extras in real armour might consume a large part of a producer’s budget. Whereas, the same, realistic-looking armour can be produced in polyurethane quickly and for a fraction of the cost.
Evidently, polyurethane is an extremely versatile material. Its importance in our everyday lives is growing continuously as more and more uses for it become known.
Here at Rojac Urethane we specialise in production with flexible PU foam. With many years of experience, we’re able to provide valuable insight and help bring your project to life. For more information, contact our friendly team today by calling +44(0)121 502 6549 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.