286065 Urethane Foam Modeling with Soy-Based Polyols

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 3:35 PM
304 (Convention Center )
Galen Suppes, Chemical Engineering, University of Missouri Columbia, Columbia, MO and Yusheng Zhao, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Polyurethanes are very important polymers and have many commercial applications. In recent years, polyurethane (PU) foams remain the largest demand sector, accounting for two-thirds of the total PU demand. In addition, this demand for PU foams, especially in construction and transportation, continues to strengthen across the globe.

The polyurethane polymer-forming reaction occurs between an isocyanate and an alcohol. To make foams, the polyurethane polymer must be expanded or blown by the introduction of bubbles and a gas. A convenient source of gas was the carbon dioxide produced from the reaction of an isocyanate group with water. The main purpose of this paper was to initiate Matlab programming to simultaneously model the reacting, volume, and even cell formation during the foaming process.

Modeling is used to advance product development; specifically to expedite the identification of foam formulations where soy-based polyols work well.  In these studies, a soy-based polyol prepared by the oligomerization of epoxidized soybean oil with ethylene glycol and a toluene sulfonic acid catalyst.

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