POLYETHER POLYOLS - what compounds are called polyols?
Polyols are long-chain compounds with polymeric structure ending in at least two hydroxyl groups. Depending on the number of OH groups in the molecule, they are called diols (2 hydroxyl groups), trioles (3 -OH groups), tetrols, etc. This group of compounds includes polyether polyols, also referred to as polyetherols, and polyester polyols.
Polyether polyols – structure and properties
The polyethers are alkoxylated glycols or polyhydric alcohols which are formed by the reaction of these alcohols with ethylene and / or propylene oxide. Among them, depending on the structure, there are, inter alia, sugar, sorbitol, amine and aromatic polyols.
Polyether polyols have high resistance to hydrolysis. They are usually in the form of colourless liquids, insoluble in water. Their disadvantage is the tendency to oxidize at elevated temperatures. The polyether polyols are soluble in most organic solvents.
Polyether polyols react with isocyanates to form polyurethane materials. Depending on the polyol used, plastics with different characteristics are obtained. Some polyols give polyurethanes softness and flexibility as well as resistance to low temperatures. Thanks to these properties, they are used in the production of flexible foams. However, if there is an aromatic ring or cross-linking agent containing amino groups in the polymer main chain, then the polyurethane is characterized by high hardness and heat resistance.
Applications of polyether polyols
In the PCC Group, polyether polyols are manufactured under the trade name Rokopol® and are intended for the production of various types of polyurethane materials. Currently, polyurethanes have become one of the fastest growing fields of polymer technology, due to the possibility of their comprehensive use, as well as the unique properties of finished products. Polyurethanes are widely used in all fields of technology and economy.
Polyethers can be divided into several groups in terms of applications:
polyols for the production of rigid polyurethane foam (used in insulation: in refrigerators, industrial cold stores, refrigeration trucks, in sandwich panels used in construction, showers, cast coatings, one-component sealing foams, acoustic insulation),
polyols for the production of elastic block foams (used in household goods, furniture industry, mattresses, protective packaging for the transport of delicate materials, fillers of pillows and quilts),
polyols for the production of flexible moulded foams (used in the furniture industry, in floor mats, in the car industry in seats, dashboards and soffits, for the production of high-resilient block foams and floor coatings),
polyols for CASE applications (Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, Elastomers) – used in the mining, automotive, textile, aviation, medical, furniture, construction, printing and food industries, they are also used in the manufacture of office and sports products, as well as in electronics,
polyols for non-polyurethane applications – used as lubricants for specialist compressors, liquids for metalworking, hydraulic fluids and transmission oils.
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