Urethane Elastomer Coating

Definition - What does Urethane Elastomer Coating mean?

A urethane elastomer coating is a formulation of elastomeric polyurethane that can be applied as a paint. Urethane elastomer coatings are useful for protecting surfaces where the properties of elastomeric polyurethane are desired, such as abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, tear strength, resistance to moisture and temperature compatibility.

The underlying polymeric structure within urethane elastomer coatings is composed of two components, an isocyanate (R-N=C=O) and alcohol (R-OH), which react to form the polymer. The type of polyurethane and its resultant properties depends on the type of isocyanate and alcohol used in the reaction. A few classes of urethane elastomers can be separated by the isocyanate component, such as:

  • Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)
  • Diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI)
  • 1,5-naphthylene diisocyanate (NDI)

Corrosionpedia explains Urethane Elastomer Coating

Urethane elastomer coatings have a wide range of applications due to its ability to add numerous resistances to the surface of many types of objects. The coating also retains its shape after compression or stretching. Examples of surfaces coated by urethane elastomers include:

  • Aerospace parts
  • Shopping carts
  • Skateboards
  • Snowplows
  • Steel parts and piping
  • Trash containers
  • Roller coasters
  • Valves and various industrial parts

The particular reason for coating a surface may vary from case to case. Piping is likely to be taking advantage of the corrosion resistance from the urethane elastomer’s resistance to moisture. A snowplow, however, is likely using it to prevent abrasion from a road surface. Some formulations may also retain the elastomeric properties at lower temperatures. Other applications may take advantage of oil, solvent and chemical resistance. Urethane elastomer coatings that include additives may also resist mold, mildew and fungal growth.

While urethane elastomer coatings dry within seconds, it may take a month to reach its full strength. These coatings generally do not use volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them more environmentally friendly than other options.

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