Polyurea, also known as ‘green polyurea‘, is one of the most commonly used man-made foam materials. It is also considered as ‘fibreboard’. Polyurea is usually produced through aqueous solution process using various types of enzymes. The polyurea contains watery components, which are generally amine esters. It is usually blended with other polyureas and polyols in order to produce polyurea.
Polyurea can be formed through aqueous solution process and various chemical reactions involving alcohols and uv rays. Generally, polyurea consists of polyols, which are very light weight and inert. They do not undergo any chemical reaction during the maturation process. Amine esters present in polyureas play an important role in the polymerization process, as they help in the separation of various components in the mixture during the blending process. Polyurea comprises of various types of aromatic polyureas which vary in their strength and physical properties.
The polyurea market is witnessing rapid growth owing to its high resistance to a number of different physical characteristics, which make it suitable for industrial applications. Polyurea is low in density and low in solubility. Due to its low density and low solubility, polyurea is capable of offering high mechanical properties due to its elastic property, which help it in providing a good surface grip. Polyurea is commonly used for abrasive finishing and polishing. As it has low solubility, it does not allow the growth of bacteria during exposure to sunlight.
Bulk polymerization, which is the process through which polyureas are formed, requires an alkaline environment with high levels of fluid permeability for the process to take place. However, some kinds of bulk polymerization process yield optimum results if the alkalinity and the permeability of the media are increased by introduction of additional substances. One such substance that can increase the alkalinity and permeability of the media is urea. An increase in the level of urea enhances the bulk polymerization process by forming more solid phases in the mixture, which leads to a notable increase in the amount of moisture in the polymer while mixing.
Bulk polymerization can also be affected by external variables such as ultraviolet light, harsh weather conditions and ozone layer elevation. UV exposure decreases the structural proteins in the polyurea. The increase in the level of urea in polyureas reduces the rate of polymerization and hence the durability of the material. Ultraviolet light also weakens the structural proteins in polyureas, leading to the reduction in dimensional stability. Other external parameters that affect polyurea polymers are physical stress, solar exposure and the duration of exposure.
UV exposure, physical stress and the duration of exposure all have an impact on the polyurea coatings, especially during the initial manufacturing phase. The polyureas coatings are primarily used for vehicles since they have excellent mechanical properties. These materials also play a significant role in automobile industry as they offer excellent protection against abrasions, corrosion and heat. Polyurea coatings are extensively used for protection of parts and components in the automotive industry, which include engine bays, combustion chambers, cylinder walls, radiators, cooling vents, fuel tanks and other components.