Polyurethane reaction injection molding (RIM) technology was developed in the late 1960s by Bayer AG. Since then, the technology has evolved dramatically as more and more product designers and manufacturers have learned to tap the unique capabilities and benefits of RIM for an ever-growing range of products.
Polyurethane can be a solid or can have an open cellular structure, in which case it is called foam… and foams can be flexible or rigid. As simple explanation, manufacturers make polyurethane foam by reacting polyols and diisocyanates, both products derived from crude oil.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is an elastomer that is fully thermoplastic. Like all thermoplastic elastomers, TPU is elastic and melt-processable. Further, it can be processed on extrusion as well as injection, blow and compression molding equipment.
Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions (PUDs) are coatings and adhesives that use water as the primary solvent. With increasing federal regulation on the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that can be emitted into the atmosphere, PUDs are being used in many industrial and commercial applications.