What is Polyurethane?


To inquire about Polyurethane products and export for your market, please contact your nearest representative:

Tosoh Corporation
Shiba-koen First Bldg.
3-8-2, Shiba, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-8623
Contact Form

Tosoh Asia Pte. Ltd.
63, Market Street, #10-03
Bank of Singapore Centre
Singapore 048942
Tel: +65 6226 5106
Fax: +65 6226 5215
E-mail: [email protected]

Tosoh Europe B.V.
Rembrandt Tower
Amstelplein 1
1096 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 565 0010
E-mail: [email protected]

Tosoh Specialty Chemicals USA, Inc.
1720 Windward Concourse
Suite 125
Alpharetta, Georgia 30005
Tel: +1 770 442 9501
Fax: +1 770 442 2785
E-mail: [email protected]

Tosoh (Shanghai) Polyurethane Co., Ltd.
The Place, B1605 & B1607
100 Zunyi Road, Changning
Shanghai, China 200051

Tel: +86 21 6219 3399
Fax: +86 21 6219 7117
E-mail: [email protected]

Polyurethane Diagram

Isocyanate groups are extremely reactive and for this reason, this reaction proceeds without the addition of heat. A major feature is that, once reacted, an extremely stable structure is adopted. In other words, the external appearance of polyurethane takes on various forms, such as foamed products, films, elastomers, powders, liquids, and emulsions.

Compounds that include isocyanate groups include the following:

  • 2,4 or 2,6-Toluene diisocyanate (a.k.a. tolylene diisocyanate or TDI)
  • 4,4' or 2,4'-Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (a.k.a. MDI)
  • 1,6-Hexamethylene diisocyanate (a.k.a. HDI)

    There are many more isocyanate compounds in addition to the above.

Compounds possessing two or more hydroxyl (OH) groups are called polyols and generally speaking, the following types are utilized.

  • Polyetherpolyol
  • Polyesterpolyol
  • Polycarbonatepolyol
  • Polycaprolactonepolyol

In addition, in place of hydroxyl groups, compounds such as carboxylic acids and amines, which possess active hydrogen, can be utilized in combination. On this account, when speaking of polyurethanes, one can say that there are limitless types.

Leveraging these features, polyurethanes are employed in a wide variety of areas, such as flexible foams, rigid foams, elastomers, adhesives, coatings, and binders.