A new range of MDI polyether prepolymers containing renewable, bio-based raw materials developed by Lanxess to replace the fossil-based polyether prepolymers used to manufacture polyurethane elastomers. The new prepolymers are marketed under the brand name Adiprene Green.
The ‘green’ prepolymers allow PU processors to produce components such as roll covers, wheels, press sleeves, non-pneumatic tires and more, with a reduced CO2 footprint. Depending on the system, a reduction of CO2 of between 20 to 30 percent is possible compared to fossil-based prepolymers due to the use of polyether starch-based polyols.
The share of bio-based raw materials varies between 30 to 90 percent dependent on the targeted system hardness. The processing capabilities remain unchanged and the properties of the final polyurethane elastomer are said to be similar to conventional elastomers based on fossil based polyether or even better.
When reacted with 1,4 butanediol, a range of PU elastomers with a hardness from 40 Shore A to 60 Shore D can be achieved. As the PU system is versatile, Adiprene Green can be hand-mixed or machine mixed. Moreover, the prepolymers can be processed with Vibracat catalysts from Lanxess.
According to Lanxess, Adiprene Green prepolymers are easy to handle and they are processed in an identical manner to conventional prepolymers. No modifications to material handling, process temperatures or mixing ratios are necessary. In addition, the reactivity profile and demoulding times are similar to fossil based polyether prepolymers.