Quick Guide to Urethanes and Polyurethanes

//Quick Guide to Urethanes and Polyurethanes

Quick Guide to Urethanes and Polyurethanes


Many people are unaware of how many urethanes they interact with every day. In fact, some don’t even know that there is a difference between urethanes and polyurethanes at all. Although these two chemical compounds are based on the same core components, these two floor coatings, polyurethane floor coating and urethane floor coating, require very different application processes and are better for different locations.

Differences in Molecular Structures

Urethanes are amides created when a Carbamic acid hydrolizes its ester bond. It has the functional group R1-O-(CO) NR2-R3. Polyurethanes are a chain of these single urethane compounds. They have a more complex structure that includes compounds like polyesters, glycols, polyethers and di-isocyanates.

Differences in Toxicity

While polyurethane has been proven to be non-toxic to humans and animals in virtually every instance, urethane has high toxicity properties that can’t be overlooked. Although handling urethane has not been found toxic to humans, it is deadly to small animals like squirrels, rabbits and rats. Ingesting urethane floor finish may cause nausea in some people and may be linked to cancer in small animals.

Urethane Floor Coating Uses

Actually, urethane is not usually used in floor coating. While many suppliers tout their access to urethane floor finish, they are usually referencing a polyurethane finish or polyurethane concrete mixture. Urethane is usually used in creating veterinary medications, insecticides and in creating flexible plastics.

Urethane Floor Coating Uses

Good polyurethane coatings can extend the life of your concrete and provide a more hygienic working environment. The ability of polyurethane coatings to seal out mold, bacteria and other contaminants make it ideal for hospital floorings, correctional floors and a veterinary floor sealant. Polyurethane floor finish also has an unparalleled ability to bond with metals and plastics, which makes it an excellent solution for school gym floors and warehouse and industrial flooring. Finally, polyurethane coating is highly resistant to hydrocarbon solvents and oxidation, which is the reason it is the first choice for floor coverings in many research labs.

Polyurethane Coating Uses

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