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Mechanical and Thermal Properties of High-Density Rigid Polyurethane Foams from Renewable Resources

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The most common sustainable solution for polyurethane (PU) materials is their production using renewable resources. Polyols derived from biomass and recycled polymers are the most promising way to do that. This study compares five different sustainable polyols as a possible raw material for production of highdensity rigid PU foams for automotive application. The goal of our study was to show that biobased polyols are a suitable replacement for polyols derived from petrochemical products. The influence of the chemical structure of polyols on the PU polymer matrix and foam properties was investigated. Two sources of PU raw material feedstock were studied: the plant biomass and the side stream of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) production. Three different polyols from renewable resources were investigated as well as two aromatic polyester polyols. High-density rigid polyurethane foams were developed from these raw materials. This was done to choose a material, which could be used as the core of structural elements for lightweight vehicles. The focus was put on the sustainability and competitive properties of the developed materials. The obtained results led to the conclusion that recycled PET polyols show a higher mechanical strength. Nevertheless, renewable resources are closely matched.
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Keywords: RENEWABLE RAW MATERIALS; RIGID POLYURETHANE FOAMS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2016

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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