Polyurethane (PUR) are plastics which can be elastomers, thermoplastics or duroplastic materials (thermosets), depending on their chain structures and cross-linking degree.
In terms of quantity, polyurethane foams, whether hard or soft, are the most prevalent. However, they are also used as molding compounds for compression molding, as casting resins (isocyanate resins), elastic fibrous fabrics, polyurethane varnishes and as polyurethane glues.
Soft PUR foams are used for an extremely wide range of applications, but above all as upholstery material for mattresses, seat cushions for furniture or car seats, carpet backings, for lining textiles, for cleaning sponges, shoe soles or as filter material. Soft PUR foams are mostly multicellular (open-celled) and are available in many varying degrees of hardness and density.
Hard PUR foams are mainly applied for thermal insulation, e.g. in buildings, cooling devices, heat and cold storage as well as in a number of pipe systems (composite pipe sheaths made of plastic, flexible composite pipes).