Industrial Applications of Polyurethane

There are many kinds of polyurethane, allowing for a flexible and wide range of different applications in various industries. It can be molded into just about any shape, making it useful in the manufacturing of both industrial and commercial products.

Different types of polyurethane

Polyurethane can take many forms depending on what you need it to do for you. In its many forms, polyurethane will make a huge impact on your manufacturing process. Here are some types of polyurethane you may consider using in your plant or factory.

Rigid Polyurethane Foam

There are few better insulators out there than rigid polyurethane foam. It’s incredibly versatile and energy-efficient, making it a top choice for insulation. When a builder wants to cut down the energy bill for the home and lower the noise pollution from outside, they’ll often turn to rigid polyurethane foam to accomplish both goals.

Flexible Polyurethane Foam

Flexible polyurethane foam is one of the most popular types of polyurethane in North America, covering 30% of the North American polyurethane market. It’s not quite the insulator that rigid polyurethane is, but it’s great for making things soft and comfortable. Flexible polyurethane foam is mainly used in bedding, furniture, and automotive seating since it can be made in a wide range of shapes and firmness.

Reaction Injection Molding (RIM)

In typical injection molding processes, the products you can create are a bit more constrained than what you get from the polyurethane RIM process. Using RIM, you can create thin or thick-walled plastic parts, foamed cores, and encapsulated inner portions of a part. The parts created through RIM also have high levels of dynamic properties, thermal insulation, dimensional stability, and heat resistance. These properties and versatility of manufacturing make RIM products popular in the construction, furniture, appliance, automotive, and sporting goods industries, among many others.

Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, and Elastomers (CASE)

Polyurethane is well regarded in CASE of applications since it can both improve a part’s appearance as well as extend its useful life as a coating. Polyurethane creates a tight seal when used as a sealant, and it offers strong bonding when used as an adhesive. As an elastomer, polyurethane can take nearly any shape you need, while remaining lighting than metal and providing better stress recovery.

Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions (PUDs)

PUDs use water as the main solvent in coatings and adhesives. Federal regulations are cracking down on how many VOCs and HAPs can be released into the atmosphere, and there’s no sign of those regulations letting up. PUDs are a more environmentally friendly option, so they have grown in popularity within the industrial and commercial communities.

Applications of Polyurethane

There are tons of industries that use polyurethane every day, here are a few.


Polyurethane is found all throughout your vehicles and for good reason. Its lightweight increases fuel economy and the lifetime of the vehicle, it has anti-corrosion properties, and it’s great for insulation and noise cancellation. Polyurethane can be found in bumpers, car seats, spoilers, the body of the vehicle, interior ceiling, windows, and more.


The discovery that polyurethane fibers can be combined with nylon changed the clothing industry. This combination creates a stretchy, durable material that’s perfect for activewear. Polyurethane is also used to create a variety of man-made leather, as well as many different accessories.


With all of the tiny, delicate pieces that go into electronics, it’s only logical to have something to protect them from damage when you move the electronics around. Polyurethane does this job well, earning the name in the electronics industry of “potting compounds.” These polyurethane compounds are designed to encapsulate fragile parts of the electronics so that they are protected from damage and elements.


Polyurethane makes a great cushion, so it’s become popular in the furniture industry. You can make polyurethane foam into really any shape or firmness you want, so it can be used in bedding, carpet underlay, couch and seat cushions, and more. Polyurethane foam can make for a plush cushion that you sink into, or a firm but comfortable cushion that offers great support.

Plastic Service Center | Polyurethane supplier throughout North America

If you’re in one of the many, many industries that use polyurethane regularly, you need a reliable and fair supplier to keep your factory or plant running as it should. Plastic Service Center wants to be your go-to supplier, we can handle whatever order you need and we’ll provide you with the best customer service you can find. At any given point, we’re carrying over 4 million pounds of inventory throughout our warehouses. These warehouses are strategically placed around the country so that we can ship orders quickly all throughout America, Canada, and Mexico. Come to us for your polyurethane needs, we’ll make sure you get exactly what you need right when you need it.

To learn more about our polyurethane products, give us a call at (586) 474-5313 or visit our website today!