Polyurethanes are produced in four different forms: elastomers, flexible foams, cross-linked foams and coatings. Out of the four, flexible foams comprise the largest market for polyurethanes and are often found in furniture and mattresses as cushioning material.
Here’s a brief breakdown of polyurethane applications:
Elastomers are used for their strength, flexibility and shock absorption. Used as base materials for footwear, automobile parts and other mechanical goods. TPE injection moulding and TPU injection moulding is a popular material of choice.
Polyurethane coatings are used for their solvent degradation resistance and impact resistance. They’re commonly used on dance floors and in bowling alleys. Water-based versions are used for painting automobiles, aircraft and other industrial equipment.
Cross-linked polyurethanes are used to produce insulation in the form of laminate insulation or board insulation. Laminates are used extensively in commercial roofing and other parts of the construction industry.
Flexible polyurethane foams, as mentioned, are mainly used as cushioning for furniture and mattresses. They’re also used as padding or cushioning for other applications, made into sponges or other cleaning supplies and some forms of packaging.