Technical Papers

Technology is a driving force in the cast urethane industry, leading to new processes and products, refining the established ones, maximizing investments in time, money, talent and materials. For more than thirty years, PMA technical papers have helped map the industry future. Technical paper presentations have provided an important industry opportunity to showcase technical developments to industry leaders at PMA meetings, and are incorporated into every Annual Meeting. 

More than 300 technical papers are currently available for members to download at no fee, and non-members may purchase copies for $50 each.

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Selected papers are chosen for presentation based on their technical content, timeliness of the subject, and relevance to PMA members and the industry.

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* indicates recipient of the Best Technical Paper award

Name Author(s)  Published 
RECOGNIZING VALUE IN RECYCLING CAST POLURETHANE (352)
John Swafford, Jim Riley, Mike Lorenzo May 08, 2016
AN ALTERNATIVE TO TDI-PREPOLYMER/MOCA TECHNOLOGY: PLAN B; A PATH TO FEWER REGULATIONS (353)
David Welch May 08, 2016
CONVENTIONAL AND REDUCED-FREE PREPOLYMERS BASED ON TRANS-1,4-H6XDI: ELASTOMER PHYSICAL/MECHANICAL PROPERTIES, DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE AND CHEMICAL/SOLVENT RESISTANCE (350)
Stephen Seneker, Robert Czeiszperger, Jordan Duckett, Elizabeth June May 08, 2016
CHOOSING THE BEST ALTERNATIVES TO MOCA CURED TDI POLYURETHANES (351)
Thomas Peter, Margarita Ortiz, Ian Laskowitz, Johnathon Cribb, Priyesha Biswas May 08, 2016
ULTRA HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELASTOMERS BASED ON TRANS-BIS(ISOCYANATOMETHYL CYCLOHEXANE)* (346)
Elastomer systems based on the new aliphatic diisocyanate, trans-1,4-bis(isocyanatomethyl cyclohexane) also referred to as trans-1,4-H6XDI will be introduced. This new aliphatic diisocyanate has a very compact, linear and symmetrical structure which results in ultra high-performance properties. In particular, the resilience and tear strength are superior or comparable to other ultra high-performance elastomers based on o-tolidine diisocyanate (TODI), para-phenylene diisocyanate (PPDI) or napthalene diisocyanate (NDI). Being aliphatic, isocyanate prepolymers based on trans-1,4-H6XDI have superior stability in regards to heat history and exposure to humidity. Isocyanate prepolymers may be processed with short chain diols such as 1,4-butanediol or aromatic diamines with a wide range of pot lives. Elastomers based on trans-1,4-H6XDI have superior light stability resulting in parts that retain their color over a longer period of time than elastomers based on aromatic diisocyanates. This technical paper will present the physical/mechanical properties, solvent/chemical resistance and abrasion resistance. Results will show that elastomers based on trans-1,4-H6XDI offer superior performance properties.
Steve Seneker, Robert Czeiszperger, Jordan Duckett Apr 27, 2015
NOVEL HIGH PERFORMANCE POLYETHER BASED POLYURETHANE ELASTOMERS FOR DYNAMIC APPLICATIONS (347)
High performance polyurethane elastomers are widely used in dynamic applications, such as wheels, rollers, and tires. These applications account for more than 50% of the high performance engineering elastomer market. The majority of dynamic elastomers are based on polytrtramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG). PTMAG elastomers have excellent dynamic performance but are often found to be over engineered for less demanding applications. In this study, a new improvement in viscosity and processing. The elastomers based not he new polyol showed significant improvement over the standard polypropylene glycol (PPG) elastomers and approached the dynamic performance of PTMEG elastomers. AS a result of the work, Dow Polyurethanes is commercializing HYPERLASTTM 301 Prepolymer series.
Subodh Jagtap Apr 27, 2015
CAST ELASTOMERS FROM ETHYLENE GLYCOL AND 1,4-BUTANE DIOL CURATIVES (348)
The major curative for hot cast elastomers from methylene diphenyl diisocyanate prepolymers is generally 1,4-butane diol due to the symmetry and crystallinity of the hard segments created as these materials react. Ethylene glycol, however, is a comparatively inexpensive alternative to 1,4-butane diol which reacts with the same prepolymers to form hard segments with much higher melting points and comparatively better critical phase separation. In this study, the advantages and differences in hard segments melting point, reactivity and physical properties of hot cast elastomers cured with ethylene glycol and 1,4-butane diol are examined.
D. Kip Hillshafer Apr 27, 2015
ENTERING INTO THE WORLD OF 3D PRINTING AS PAINLESSLY AS POSSIBLE (349)
Three-dimensional printer technology has allowed urethane manufacturers to simplify and accelerate the prototyping process. It has redefined the capabilities of manufacturers to make more complex products in shorter periods of time than ever before. To that end, the goal of this paper and presentation is to help those who are thinking of entering into the world of 3D printing by identifying some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them. It will also touch on the need for skilled people to operate the system, choosing the right printer system for you and offering some examples of how Urethane Innovators, Inc. has utilized 3D printing to significantly reduce lead times on complex items.
Kurt Moberly Apr 27, 2015
NAVIGATING THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT FOR FOOD CONTACT APPLICATIONS IN THE USA - POLYURETHANES (340)
This paper aims to give a basic background on food contact regulations in the US (FDA) and provide an outline of ways to demonstrate compliance. It will give some practical examples and guidance on how urethanes are regulated per FDA 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), including an overview of assumptions and exemptions that can be applied to the use of urethanes in food contact applications.
Henry Su May 12, 2014
IMPROVING ABRAISION RESISTANCE (343)
One of the many reasons polyurethanes are used is their excellent wear resistance, outperforming steel at times as high as 8 to 1. For this reason they have been used in the mining industry, the transportation industry, in processing equipment as well as in many other industries. Despite the everyday use of polyurethanes laboratories have historically had problems in predicting wear life with lab tests due to the many aspects and causes of wear. Although there are many causes of wear, including erosion oxidation, UV degradation, fatigue, and abrasion; this paper will focus solely on abrasion resistance. There are many abrasion tests out there today including Taber, Pico, NBS, and DIN. These tests are used to determine a relative ranking of material based on their resistance to some types of abrasion; however, there is little correlation between these tests and field use. For this paper we chose two polyurethane materials, one a 90 Shore A TDI Ester, and the other an 83 Shore A TDI Ether to be analyzed via the Taber rotating platform, see Figure 1. A series of additives were administered, and their effects on abrasion resistance collected.
Josh Staas May 12, 2014
URETHANES AND EPOXIES SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES (344)
These two families of thermosetting resins have many common elements that make their use convenient and complimentary in the same manufacturing facility. They also have their individual strengths and weaknesses with respect to processing and final properties. This paper will elucidate the selection process to determine which product will be most appropriate based on performance criteria.
John Ulcar May 12, 2014
REMOLDS: ONE WAY TO GO GREEN AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS (345)
If organized correctly, a remold program can identify new customers, build customer loyalty, be profitable and build a pathway to help your company “go green” in the eyes of your customers and the general public. A good remold program is not hard to do, but it does take some planning and organization. Above all, a commitment from senior management is required to make it work. It may seem difficult, time consuming or not worth the effort at first, but once it has been established, its benefits will be obvious.Creative Solutions New Materials &Strong Designs
David A. Welch May 12, 2014
HIGH PERFORMANCE SOFT URETHANE ELASTOMERS FOR RUBBER REPLACEMENT (342)
Historically hot cast polyurethane systems are most effective in applications when hardness of 80 Shore A and above is required. Typical rubber formulations such as Natural Rubber, SBR, NBR etc., however perform very well at low hardness (45A– 65A). Although several hot cast urethane formulations exist for applications with hardness less than 80 Shore A, the lower concentration of hard segments and moderate phase segregation in these systems limits their performance. Most hot cast polyurethane formulations at low hardness utilize ester based backbones, as ether based systems do not offer good properties. Novel hot cast low-free (LF) MDI polyurethane formulations cured with specific amines and diols are able to achieve excellent phase segregation which provides high performance properties at low hardness values. These low hardness LF MDI based systems yield parts with excellent rebound, impingement/ slurry abrasion and cut/tear resistance, making them viable alternatives to rubber in applications that require a low hardness. Additionally, these systems also offer EH&S benefits as they are based on low free monomer technology.
Johnathon Cribb May 12, 2014
LIFE BEYOND MOCA* (341)
MOCA has been used for decades as the premier curative for TDI based polyurethane systems. It also has been in and out of health and safety regulatory concerns. In May, 1973 when 14 chemicals were identified by OSHA as suspected human carcinogens, MOCA was included. Regulations in Europe and the US may severely restrict or even ban its use in the future. A compendium of lawsuits, epidemiological studies, complicated work practice requirements, and further regulatory actions have been or are being implemented. Thus, there is increasing interest in non MOCA solutions to polyurethane chemistry, the subject of this paper. Fortunately there is an extensive assortment of polyols, isocyanates, curatives, fillers, plasticizers, and other ingredients available for this endeavor. Additionally, ratios of components and selected processing variables can also determine polyurethane elastomer qualities, helping to approximate MOCA results. Formulators and processors thus have a full cupboard of technology and art for achieving specific elastomer properties, albeit it with considerably more formulation and processing attention than with MOCA. The intent of this paper is to describe directions for formulations and processes which achieve equivalent or better properties for polyurethane elastomers when compared to MOCA containing systems. Some of these approaches are straightforward, some are difficult, yet some do in fact result in specific exceptional properties which are not achieved with traditional MOCA cured systems.
Chuck Demarest May 12, 2014
NOVEL CO2-BASED POLYCARBONATE POLYOLS FOR CAST URETHANES* (335)
Novomer is an emerging sustainable chemistry company which has pioneered a new-to-the-world polycarbonate polyol for urethane applications. Using a proprietary catalyst system which enables CO2 to react precisely and efficiently with epoxides, Novomer produces highly precise polyols with a unique, “high density” polycarbonate backbone, perfect –OH functionality, and very narrow polydispersity. In urethane applications, these polyols deliver extremely high tensile & flexural strength, excellent chemical & hydrolytic stability, high UV resistance, and very good transparency. In addition to exceptional performance, these new polyols are up to 50% CO2 by weight and have a 3-9x advantage in carbon footprint vs. existing petroleum-based polyols used in cast urethane systems.
Scott Allen, Jason Anderson, Chuck Demarest, Aisa and Vahid Sendijarevic, Guy Stokes and Wayne Willkomm May 07, 2013
A QUICK REVIEW OF URETHANE CASTING STRATEGIES: PREPOLYMERS, QUASI‐PREPOLYMERS, ONE–SHOT AND SINGLE COMPONENT TECHNOLOGIES (336)
Castable thermoset polyurethane elastomers have been processed in the United States since the early 1950’s. First introduced to the big established rubber companies as a new, “atomic age” synthetic rubber that had the potential of obsolescing much of conventional rubber processing equipment such as banburys, mills, kneaders, extruders, boilers and steam distribution systems, etc. In general, the major rubber companies ignored this new, disruptive technology and proceeded with the status quo. As a result, a new set of small, entrepreneurial companies seized upon this technology and took advantages of its many attributes.
David Welch May 07, 2013
A FAST DRYING ONE COMPONENT BONDING AGENT FOR CAST PU ELASTOMERS AND TPUS – CILBOND 48 (337)
Due to increased demands from the polyurethane market worldwide with regard to the need for a versatile bonding agent, Chemical Innovations Ltd.,UK has developed Cilbond 48. Cilbond 48 is a one-°©‐component bonding system that can be used for the bonding of hot and cold cure PU elastomers as well as TPU’s to a complete range of metals used for bonded components. The product will also bond cast elastomer PU and TPU’s to epoxies, fibreglass reinforced plastics, polyamides and engineering thermoplastics such as PBT, PET, PPS, PPO, PEEK and PES. This new bonding agent does not require mixing with a curative and is suitable for use in a wide range of applications and offers excellent resistance to challenging environmental conditions and casting process parameters. In terms of environmental resistance, Cilbond 48 exhibits excellent heat resistance, salt spray resistance, boiling water resistance and resistance to oils, fuels and brake fluids. Series of tests have demonstrated the resistance of this new PU bonding agent to heat, boiling water and salt spray. The following paper presents these results and provides useful comparative data for processors of PU cast elastomers.
Aissa Benarous May 07, 2013
CHOOSING A MACHINE FOR EFFICIENT PROCESSING OF CAST POLYURETHANE (338)
Many experienced and knowledgeable people in the cast polyurethane industry purchase processing equipment based strictly on price and not processing capability. The user’s present and future processing needs are never properly evaluated and used to purchase the machine which offers the optimum value. This paper will provide parameters to help a molder evaluate their machinery needs. These parameters will then be used to help determine the machine output range, optimum number of chemical components, tank sizing, and number of additive injection units. In addition, machine controls, level controls, agitator selection, and required accessories for degassing and feeding and melting of MBOCA will also be reviewed.
Jim Riley May 07, 2013
DIAL-A-DUROMETER (DAD): A VERSATILE APPROACH FOR POLYURETHANE ELASTOMER PRODUCTION (339)
Dial-a-Durometer (DAD) is an elastomer production approach where one uses a low-hardness and high-hardness TDI prepolymer and blends the two to get any hardness in between. One can achieve a hardness from 70A to 75D using this approach. Physical/mechanical properties of these systems will be presented and compared to the traditional single prepolymer approach. The positives and negative of DAD will be presented. The versatility of this approach will be highlighted.
Stephen Seneker, Jordan Duckett, Robert Czeiszperger and Jessica Lampkowski May 07, 2013
REACH AND ITS IMPACT ON THE UNITED STATES (334)
REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, and is the chemicals regulation of the European Union (EU). REACH affects manufacturing and distribution companies that have a supply chain that runs through the EU in any way; that import or source from the EU; or that manufacture, sell or plan to sell in Europe. Depending upon your view point, it is either a complicated and costly new chemicals management program, or it is an innovative system of chemical regulation that will provide crucial information on the safety of chemicals used in industry. Pittsburgh Plastics Mfg. (PPM) is a contract manufacturer of products for medical, foot care, safety and other industrial markets with a focus on polymeric cushioning solutions. PPM has customers located in Europe, and these customers require information regarding REACH compliance. PPM in turn requests information from our raw material suppliers. One purpose of this technical paper is to help our U.S. suppliers understand REACH; another purpose is to look at how REACH impacts U.S. chemical producers and manufacturers of finished goods.
George A. Paleos May 07, 2013

* indicates recipient of the Best Technical Paper award

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