Polyols for high-performance sustainable polyurethanes

Paul Boughton

A new range of Capa Lactide copolyols from Perstorp provides polyurethane formulators with increased opportunities to create high performance products with reduced carbon footprints.

Capa Lactides in the new 8000 Series are liquid polyols produced by copolymerising Perstorp’s Capa caprolactone with renewable lactide monomers. Depending on grade, they have up to 50% renewable content. They have the same high level of quality and consistency that users of Capa caprolactone polyols are already familiar with.

“They are made using a new polymer chemistry unique to Perstorp, and they have been specifically developed to enable formulators to fine-tune performance properties,” says Joel Neale, Project Manager Innovation.

All four new high performance polyols are liquids at room temperature with improved solubility, enabling formulators to reduce or even eliminate the use of solvents. They are suitable for a wide range of polyurethane elastomers, adhesives and coatings.

Capa Lactides provide enhanced performance in adhesives of various types. They increase adhesion to demanding substrates, they increase hardness without increasing isocyanate content of the final formulation, and they can also provide extra open-time.

The new copolyols are also likely to find applications in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) adhesives. They provide high resistance to wear and abrasion, as well as to oils and chemicals. Their optical clarity and minimal haze ensure the appearance of adhesive joints and cast elastomers remains consistent throughout a product’s useful life.

With their medium molecular weight, low viscosity and low crystallinity, Capa Lactides provide polyols with properties that make them particularly suitable for soft-feel coatings. These coatings are characterised by high resistance to UV radiation, a property critical for consumer electronics and applications such as automotive interiors.

Capa Lactides are transparent, contributing to the optical qualities of coatings. Their low viscosity facilitates processing, while their high quality and consistency is hard to match by other renewable alternatives.

Perstorp developed the Capa Lactides on its new pilot plant in Warrington, UK. The pilot plant is close to the company’s main production facility for Capa, ensuring fast transfer from pilot to commercial scale. The four Capa Lactides in the 8000 series are now commercially available and Perstorp will continue to work with customers to perfect the offering.