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Closed Cell Rigid Polyurethane Foams Based on Low Functionality Polyols: Research of Dimensional Stability and Standardised Performance Properties

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Laboratory of Thermal Insulating Materials and Acoustics, Institute of Building Materials, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Linkmenu st. 28, LT-08217 Vilnius, Lithuania
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Institute of Polymer and Dye Technology, Lodz University of Technology, Zeromskiego 116, 90-924 Lodz, Poland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(6), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13061438
Received: 17 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 21 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance Research of Polyurethane Foams and Composites)
Currently, polyurethane foam producers come across the several problems when petroleum-based polyols are replaced with low functionality biomass, or waste-based, polyols. In addition, the dilemma is intensified with regulations that require full or partial replacement of blowing agents that can cause high ozone depletion with alternatives like water, which causes the formation of CO2. Therefore, these gases diffuse out of the foam so quickly that the polymeric cell walls cannot withstand the pressure, consequently causing huge dimensional changes at ambient temperature and humidity. Even though the theoretical stoichiometric balance is correct, the reality shows that it is not enough. Therefore, polyethylene terephthalate waste-based polyol was chosen as a low functionality polyol which was modified with high functionality sucrose-based polyol in order to obtain dimensionally stable polyurethane foams in the density range of 30–40 kg/m3. These more stable foams are characterized by linear changes no higher than 0.5%, short-term water absorption by partial immersion no higher than 0.35 kg/m2, and water vapor resistance factors up to 50. In order to obtain thermally efficient polyurethane foams, conventional blowing agents and water systems were implemented, thus, assuring thermal conductivity values in the range of 0.0198–0.0204 W/(m·K) and obtaining products which conform to all the requirements for performance of sprayed and factory-made polyurethane foam standards EN 14315-1 and EN 13165. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyurethane foam; waste-based polyol; dimensional stability; performance properties; circular economy polyurethane foam; waste-based polyol; dimensional stability; performance properties; circular economy
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Kairytė, A.; Kremensas, A.; Balčiūnas, G.; Członka, S.; Strąkowska, A. Closed Cell Rigid Polyurethane Foams Based on Low Functionality Polyols: Research of Dimensional Stability and Standardised Performance Properties. Materials 2020, 13, 1438.

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