The History of Polyurethane in the Building Industry

The History of Polyurethane in the Building Industry

October 09th, 2017
Eric Emin Wood

The invention of polyurethane is mostly accredited to Prof. Dr. Otto Bayer (1902 – 1982), known as the father of the industry. Polyurethane was first made as a rubber substitute during World War II, borne out of a chemical process that’s now become useful in many areas of our everyday lives. It’s most commonly deployed in the construction and manufacturing sectors, in various forms including rigid or flexible foams, specialty adhesives, and sealants, as well as elastomers.

In the building industry, polyurethane has become a workhouse at maximizing energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy estimates cooling and heating costs total 56% of the average American’s energy bill, so to cut these costs, builders and construction professionals have turned to polyurethane as a way to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings, most useful as an insulator and soundproofing material.

Multi-Industry Applications
Polyurethane is also found in some home furnishings, such as cushions, carpet underlays, and some beddings.Flexible polyurethane makes upholstered furniture more comfortable, durable and supportive.

In the manufacturing industry, polyurethane is used in a number of capacities, including cars. It’s used to make car seats, bumpers, and spoilers. Rigid polyurethane products are also used to make vehicle dashboards. Seats are made from polyurethane to make them lighter.

In the packaging world, polyurethane provides added durability when shipping delicate materials such as glassware, specialized medical equipment or other electronics.

Household appliances, such as refrigerators, have thermal insulation systems made of polyurethane. It’s also used in microwaves and television housings.

Polyurethane has been successfully deployed in a number of applications, including many that touch our everyday lives. As a manufacturing or construction professional, knowing how and where to use polyurethane appropriately is critical to reaping its many benefits. Our experts at Bolair will help you find a solution that best fits your needs. We’ve spent 35 years building our reputation as a fluid handling industry leader - reach out today to see how we can help with your spraying, sealant and adhesive applications.



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