Non Toxic Polyurethane - What Is The Best Green Alternative
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Non Toxic Polyurethane   -   What is the Best Green Alternative

It’s now a known fact that most polyurethane is toxic. This type of polyurethane gets its toxicity from isocyanates, which can cause respiratory problems during application and in cases like the Bhopal disaster in India, over 10,000 deaths. Not only is most conventional polyurethane toxic from its isocyanates, but it’s also porous and suffers from weak hydrolytic stability. For example, when subjected to water, oil and other liquids conventional polyurethane cannot withstand the damage indefinitely and will give way to the substrate which it covers, creating even more problems for business owners and individuals who use it as a floor covering.

When researching safe and environmentally friendly coating materials, a typical business will eventually find themselves making an alternative choice between a green polyurethane or an epoxy resin. Both are legitimate alternatives for industrial floor coatings, yet have very different properties and benefits.

Upon closer examination we find that an epoxy has higher chemical resistance compared to its competitor materials, yet suffers from a shorter lifespan. Its high chemical resistance allows it to withstand intense pressure from chemicals and liquids that may spill or cover its surface. Epoxy’s shortened lifespan is due to its inferior components, which begin to deteriorate in as short as 6 months and as long as 2 years.

On the other hand, a polyurethane which is considered “green” and has no negative impact on workers or the environment has the most durability and longest lifespan for all industrial floor coatings. These “green polyurethanes” use a hybrid material, which combines elements of epoxy resins and conventional polyurethanes without isocyanates, to form an ultra strong bond that is less permeable than conventional polyurethane.

By combining the beneficial elements of epoxy resin and conventional polyurethane, green polyurethane increases its lifespan to twice that of conventional polyurethane for industrial floor coatings. But perhaps most importantly is the fact that this non toxic polyurethane doesn’t require shutdown of HVAC systems or employee workers because there are no toxic fumes from its application. With greener solutions workers can apply coatings without having to wear masks as there is no toxicity and very little odor.

Recently OSHA and the EPA have begun to recommend greener solutions to the polyurethane industry, which include non toxic polyurethane. What is important is that anyone considering using polyurethane get educated on the green alternatives, which could not only save you from a lot of pain and illness but money from reduced cost of application. For more info visit the EPA’s website or search for green polyurethane solutions.


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