What is it about?

This study is aimed at developing rigid polyurethane foam using high bio-based polyester polyol content without sacrificing the mechanical or thermal insulation performance associated with traditional polyether polyol based rigid polyurethane foam. In this paper, we quantify the properties of a model rigid polyurethane foam formulation based on a commercially available polyether polyol and then systematically substitute the polyether polyol with a commercially available palm kernel oil based polyester polyol.

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Why is it important?

The future depletion of petroleum resources is driving development of sustainable alternatives based on biomaterials.


Rigid polyurethane foams were successfully prepared by blending up to 50% of palm kernel oil based polyol with polyether polyol. Mechanical and thermal properties, as well as dimensional stability of rigid polyurethane foam with up to 30% palm kernel oil based polyester polyol gave comparable or better properties to the 100% polyether polyol based foams. Improved compressive strength without compromising thermal insulation was achieved at around 20% palm kernel oil based polyester polyol. This can be due to the formation of hard block segments of rigid urethane linkages composed of palm-based-polyols, into the discrete domains. In terms of the thermal conductivity, the improved thermal insulation properties were achieved at a composition of around 10% palm kernel oil based polyester polyol. Upon substitution of palm based polyols, while the onset degradation temperature was slightly reduced, stability (50% weight loss) above 350 °C was improved.

Dr Pratheep K Annamalai
University of Queensland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A systematic study substituting polyether polyol with palm kernel oil based polyester polyol in rigid polyurethane foam, Industrial Crops and Products, April 2015, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2014.11.053.
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