There’s been a long spell of exciting growth trends for polyurethane. However, the peak in demand is still a long way off. What are future polyurethane uses?
Regular readers of our polyurethane guides and insights will know that we believe this versatile material is limitless in its ability to craft parts and components. Whatever the dimensions, performance requirements or tensile properties, and even if that polyurethane product is intricate and exacting.
We also believe that our faith in polyurethane’s ability to rise to any challenge will be fully tested in 2022 and beyond.
Why will interest in PU continue to grow? Mainly as it is increasingly recognised as the best material to precision engineer parts for a wide range of industrial applications. However, it’s also finding niches in homes, gardens and especially vehicles.
This is a dynamic topic, but here are just some future polyurethane uses in 2022 and beyond.
Greater emphasis on sustainability
The search for ‘greener’ ways to produce machinery parts – and mass-produce everyday items – will no doubt gain momentum in the future.
There are important polyurethane attributes that make it a great solution for these specifiers who want sustainable product materials. That includes the incredible durability of polyurethane, reducing how often parts need to be replaced.
Is polyurethane recyclable? It most certainly is!
Also, it involves a low-energy manufacturing process. You can read more about this in our polyurethane manufacturing explained guide.
Also, natural, sustainable elements (water and carbon dioxide) are used to create flexible PU foam. Plus, polyurethane in all its forms is light in weight and offers valuable insulating advantages, adding to energy efficiency in construction for example.
The steps involved in creating, moulding and finishing polyurethane are governed by strict regulations and controls. Adding to the value of polyurethane as a safe, non-toxic material.
Also, it’s the ideal material for water jet cutting. The skilled engineers at Custom Moulded Polyurethane shape polyurethane (and other materials) using advanced waterjet technology, as it is such an environmentally-sound method. It also produces a flawless finish.
Lean manufacturing and cost control
This is another current industry trend likely to ramp up future polyurethane uses. Particularly in the automotive sector, where profit margins are ever-sharper, and pressure is on to find sustainable solutions.
However, polyurethane uses by industry are expanding all the time, from aerospace companies to firms who create car parks!
One of the main reasons for this industrial diversity is price. Despite its ability to match if not improve on the properties of rubber, polyurethane is highly advantageous when costing out prototypes. Or, to produce parts in large quantities.
The longevity of items engineered from polyurethane has cut down on machinery downtime, repairs and part replacement projects too. All of which contribute to improved productivity.
How many more industries will switch to polyurethane parts? Our guess is many!
Lighter side of future polyurethane uses
As it’s so vital for industrial parts, it’s easy to forget that polyurethane applications can also be highly creative and innovative. Including feather-light foams in household furnishing furniture, and bedding.
Versions of polyurethane are used to manufacture clothing and footwear, a trend on a definite upward trajectory. Innovative future polyurethane uses are likely to also include new ways of optimising its abilities as a coating or adhesive agent.
As the properties and colours of polyurethane are infinitely changeable, it is likely to be used for many more everyday household items. Such dependable and safe toys and play equipment, durable kitchen and gym equipment and even decorative statement walls in homes.
Could there be whole buildings made from polyurethane one day soon? As it can be produced to be as hard as stone – and impervious to moisture, mould and extreme temperatures – that’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.
It is already the material of choice for many companies who make outdoor furniture, or artists who create pieces to display in open spaces.
Even the world of film and TV production is increasingly embracing the advantages of polyurethane, to create lightweight but realistic props and special effects.
What future uses of polyurethane do you have?
The team at Custom Moulded Polyurethane could explore the theme of polyurethane products and exciting future applications for hours. As we understand its incredible potential, and the opportunities to manufacture polyurethane to match any specification.
The big question is, how are you going to ‘mould’ the many benefits of polyurethane into your development plans?