What is polyurethane foam?
Flexible polyurethane foam helps in providing comfort to everyone, every day.
It is best known for supporting our body for a large part of the day, in mattresses, upholstered furniture and car seats. What is sometimes less known is that we enjoy the benefits of hundreds of polyurethane foam articles without even noticing. Its applications are virtually endless, ranging from small but essential items such as sponges in the kitchen, medical dressings to large filters and soundproofing systems that keep our environment clean and quiet.
Polyurethane is a leading member of the wide-ranging and highly diverse family of polymers or plastics. 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. A series of additives are necessary to produce high-quality PU foam products, depending on the application the foam will be used for.
Each form of polyurethane foam has many uses:
- EUROPUR represents the producers of flexible polyurethane foam blocks used in the applications presented on this website (bedding, furniture, automotive and many others).
- Some flexible PU foams are also moulded, especially for use in the automotive sector, mainly for car seats. For more information on moulded foam applications, please visit the website of Euro-Moulders, the European association of manufacturers of moulded polyurethane parts for the automotive industry.
- Rigid foams are mainly used for thermal insulation of buildings and are in the remit of our partner organisation, PU Europe, which has developed a website specifically dedicated to answer all questions on building insulation with polyurethane foam.
Learn more quickly about the many applications of polyurethane through the video below, developed by ISOPA, the European Diisocyanate and Polyols Producers Association. For more extensive information on all applications of polyurethanes, please visit Polyurethanes.org