Polyurethane Composition with Enhanced Thermocompression Characteristics

Title: Polyurethane Composition with Enhanced Thermocompression Characteristics that Enable Reprocessing at Lower Temperatures

Unmet Need: Challenges recycling and reprocessing polyurethane foams due to their thermoset behaviors

Polyurethane foams are thermosets and accordingly, at their useful end of life, it may be challenging to reuse or recycle such polyurethane foams. The reprocessing of polyurethane is usually a slow process, especially for those prepared from petroleum-based ether polyols. Though high processing temperatures (like 180 – 220 °C) can promote the network rearrangement and hence improve reprocessability, thermal degradation and decomposition of polyurethane likely occur at temperature > 160 °C.

The Technology: A polyurethane composition with thermoplastic-like malleability at lower temperatures, enhancing reprocessing

The inventors have developed a polyurethane composition that exhibits thermoplastic-like malleability at temperatures of 40~160 °C, whereas the petro-polyol based sheets retained their thermoset properties and displayed poor malleability at these temperatures. As such, these foams could be easily recycled through thermoplastic processing techniques. These sheets also retain strength after successive rounds of reprocessing, which is not practically feasible with petro-polyol based foams.

Applications:

  • Vehicle interiors (seats, headliners, etc.)
  • Bedding, furniture, carpet underlay, packaging, etc.
  • Ideal for applications with high recycling/reprocessing rates

Advantages:

  • Lower temperatures required for thermocompression
  • Thermoplastic-like malleability exhibited by foam for recycling
  • Reprocessed sheet maintains mechanical properties, even after multiple rounds

Patent Information:

Provisional patent filed

Contact Information

TTO Home Page: https://wsu.technologypublisher.com

Name: Scott Steiger

Title: Associate Director

Department: Office of Commercialization

Email: scott.steiger@wsu.edu

Phone: (509) 335-7065