How to obtain better performance with Polyurethane adhesives?

July 28, 2022
blog

Polyurethane (PU) adhesives are adhesives that contains -NHCOO- and/or isocyanate group (-NCO-) in the molecular chain. Polyurethane adhesives have many polar groups, which can form covalent and hydrogen bonds with materials containing active hydrogen.

What are application characteristics of polyurethane adhesives?

  • Polyurethane adhesives have many polar groups, which can form covalent and hydrogen bonds with materials containing active hydrogen. Therefore, it has excellent chemical adhesion with foam and plastics. Or for example, leather, fabric, metal, rubber, plastic and other smooth surface products.
  • By controlling the proportion of soft and hard segments in the PU molecular chain, you can make adhesives with different hardness and elongation.
  • The bonding process is simple and easy to use. It will cure by heating or at room temperature.
  • Cures without by-products, so the adhesive layer rarely shows defects.
  • Excellent performance at low and ultra low temperatures. The adhesive layer can withstand low temperatures from -196℃ to -253℃.
  • It has good water resistance, solvent resistance and mold resistance.

What are the main categories of polyurethane adhesives?

Single-component polyurethane adhesive

Its main material contains isocyanate groups that can react with water in the air to form a strong sealant. This process is generally referred to as moisture curing. While it is convenient to use one-component adhesive, it cures slowly and creates air bubbles during the curing process. This results in a decrease in bond strength.

Two-component polyurethane adhesive

It belongs to the reactive curing type, which is composed of A and B components. The ratio beteen component A & component B = 10:1. Two-component polyurethane adhesive has the advantages of fast curing, excellent wear resistance and good weather resistance. However, this kind of polyurethane adhesive don’t have ideal heat resistance. The lightweight polyurethane adhesive is prone to photoaging, yellowing and fading when used outdoors.

Applications of polyurethane adhesive

  • Shoes; the footwear industry focuses on reducing toxicity of solvents and developing environmental friendly PU adhesives with fast curing and high peel strength.
  • Automobile industry: a large number of lightweight metals, composite materials and plastics are used into the new car structure. In high-end cars, one-component polyurethane sealant are mainly used for car windows, structural adhesive for bonding composite materials.
  • Construction adhesives: two-component adhesive is mainly used in building steel sheets and insulation material. The adhesive layer is firm and difficult to deform.

How to improve the heat resistance and anti-yellowing of polyurethane adhesive

Hindered phenolic main antioxidant & phosphite auxiliary antioxidant

The main antioxidant mainly acts as a free radical chain termination. Omnistab AN 1135 and Omnistab AN 1076 can effectively improve the thermal stability of adhesives at high temperatures.

The auxiliary antioxidant consists mainly of phosphite ester and thioester compounds, which break down hydroperoxides. Omnistab AN 626 and Omnistab AN 9228 are widely used as hydrolysis resistant auxiliary antioxidant in polyurethane adhesives.

UV absorbers

In atmospheric UV light, the most sensitive wavelength of PU chain is 330-400nm. The UV energy will lead to the photooxidation degradation reaction of PU. Then the polyurethane adhesive will turn yellow and discolor. Its mechanical properties will also decrease sharply.

Omnistab UV 571 and Omnistab UV 326 can effectively absorb the sensitive band of polyurethane and convert it into heat energy. Thus, inhibiting photooxidation degradation from the source.

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