Polyurethanes: An introduction - Science, Applications, Technology

Organised by Smithers

This course will provide a simplified explanation of the manufacture of polyurethanes; the generic chemistry by which they are all formed and how additives are used to achieve the modifications that give us the wide range of properties that make these materials so versatile.

The unique structure of the polyurethanes supply chain will also be explained in relation to the process stage and application.

The course is intended as an introduction for people who may have had little formal training or experience of these materials.  It will also be useful to people whose core business lies outside PU manufacture who supply into or purchase from PU manufacturers and require a reasonable technical appreciation of the industry.

This course can also be used as a preparation for people intending to join the higher level ‘Understanding Polyurethanes’ seminar.

This activity is approved for Professional Development by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.


What is a polymer? A generic introduction

What are Polyurethanes? An overview of this highly versatile polymer; its products and applications.

The basic science that makes the applications work!

  • A very concise but important overview of the (complex) chemistry involved and the various basic building blocks that are required to produce the wide range of products, both thermosetting and thermoplastic.
  • How molecular structure affects the properties of these materials.

Quality Control Techniques: for measuring consistency of these products

The Structure of the PU Supply Chain – Chemical Packages, Systems Houses and Customers - an explanation of the structure of the PU Supply Chain: e.g. the chemical manufacturer, the systems house, the manufacturer or the end user and the economic and logistical factors that impact upon the ‘chemical package’ that the customer purchases.

Additives: The function of additives: blowing agents (including water), catalysts, surfactants, UV stabilizers & antioxidants, cell modifiers, flame retardants and others which help to determine and control the properties of PU materials.

Processing & Quality Control Techniques:

  • Key processing criteria
  • Machines
  • Selected applications

Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers (TPU’s)

Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, Elastomers

PU and the environment:

  • Environmental Agencies, considerations
  • Recycling (end of use) opportunities


4 Mar 2020 - 5 Mar 2020


Shropshire, United Kingdom

Course type:

Training - CPD course

Organiser Type



Smithers MSE Ltd
United Kingdom

Organised by


+44 1939 252408

Approved for Professional Development by IOM3

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