Adhesives Magazine

Guest Blog: Waterborne Polyurethanes

September 21, 2010
Waterborne polyurethanes will be the focus of one of the presentations at the upcoming Polyurethanes Short Course, to be held Oct. 3-4 at the Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCenter in Covington, KY.



Polyurethanes are known for adhering to a variety of substrates and for the rapid development of bond strength, which is why they are valued for many high-performance applications. Understanding the various aspects of waterborne polyurethanes will help increase one’s knowledge about this highly used technology. As such, they will be the focus of one of the presentations at the Polyurethanes Short Course, to be held Oct. 3-4 at the Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCenter in Covington, KY. Find out how waterborne polyurethanes can be used to formulate high-performance adhesives.

The presentation will cover a number of topics ranging from the synthesis of polyurethane dispersions to formulating tips. It will begin with an introduction of the raw materials used to synthesize the dispersions and how those materials influence adhesive performance.

Next, general information regarding the type of hydrophilic groups used to stabilize polyurethane dispersions will be discussed, as well as the factors that can impact the stability of the final dispersion and formulated adhesives. Polyurethane dispersions are the base polymer for adhesives used in a wide range of applications, including those in the footwear, furniture and flexible packaging industries. To supplement this information, bonding performance data will be provided.

The presentation will also explore how adhesives can be applied, either via wet bonding or heat activation processes. The heat activation method will be covered in detail, including how the polymer composition influences tack/temperature curves and the development of bond strength. The bond strength, heat and water resistance of adhesives based on polyurethane dispersions can be improved by reaction with crosslinkers in two component systems. Examples will be provided for two classes of water-dispersible, isocyanates crosslinkers-the traditional type using nonionic modification and a more recent development that incorporates hydrophilicity through ionic groups.

Understanding the complexities of waterborne adhesives is essential to maximizing their high-performance qualities. This presentation will examine a variety of topics integral to making waterborne adhesives work most effectively in a variety of applications.


Jeff Dormish will be presenting “Waterborne Polyurethanes” at the ASC Polyurethanes Short Course on Monday, October 4, from 10:00-10:50 a.m. The Polyurethanes Short Course includes a thorough review of polyurethane technologies, raw material considerations, application/dispensing and processing equipment, formulation, test methods and end-use applications. To hear Dr. Dormish’s full presentation, along with other industry experts, register to attend the Polyurethanes Short Course.

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