Diisocyanates are a family of chemical building blocks mainly used to make polyurethane products, such as rigid and flexible foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. Many of the products we rely upon every day are safer and more comfortable through the use of polyurethanes made possible through diisocyanates.
Polyurethane chemistry is complex, but the basics are relatively easy to understand. Polyurethanes are produced by combining diisocyanates with polyols and other chemical additives. Because a variety of diisocyanates and a wide range of polyols can be used to produce polyurethane and the speed of the reaction can be adjusted, a broad spectrum of materials can be produced to meet specific application needs. Diisocyanates are important in the production of countless products, particularly in the transportation and construction industries.
Diisocyanates used in polyurethane production are divided into two types: aromatic diisocyanates and aliphatic diisocyanates.