The multibillion-dollar coatings industry has recently seen more scrutiny on polyurethane and its application. Most of this focus has been on worker safety by OSHA, which has created new standards and recommendations for businesses who use polyurethane. Typically an applicator will adorn a full protective suit with coverage from head to toe due to the toxicity of isocyanates in the polyurethane substance. Although there are thousands of applications, such as foam spray on pipes and protective coatings on automobiles the biggest concern is with industrial floor coatings.
These industrial floor coatings are used in wherehouses, airport hangars, hospitals, restaurants, schools and other industrial situations. While coating floors with traditional polyurethane there is always the risk of over exposure to toxic substances called isocyanates in the coatings. Isocyanates, when into close contact with, have been known to cause asthma, vomiting, and chest throat and nose irritation and in some cases, even death. Its no secret that in the Bhopal disaster in India, isocyanates leaked from a Union Carbide plant killed well over 10,000 people and today’s applications of conventional polyurethane haven’t changed much.
So is it really feasible to create a non-toxic polyurethane? This is the question Dr. Oleg Figovsky, Director of Research & Development at Hybrid Technologies Inc. set out to answer almost 10 years ago. As one of the most well-recognized and accomplished scientists and inventors in the nanotech industry with over 40 years of experience in the field of special coatings, adhesives, sealants and corrosion protection field Dr. Figovsky is most certainly the most likely person to find he answer.
The answer to non-toxic polyurethane was of course invented by Dr. Figovsky and coined “Green Polyurethane™”. Green Polyurethane™ (also referred to as “HNIPU” – hybrid non-isocyanate polyurethane) is a “hybrid” material, which combines the high chemical resistance properties of epoxy and advanced durability and wear resistance properties of polyurethane, making it the perfect application for protecting high traffic and corrosive surface areas, especially those with higher safety and sanitary application requirements. Due to its 100% solids, specific curing formulation, Green Polyurethane ™ can be applied in one layer (depending on substrate), providing a welcome cost-saving substitute to currently used multi-layered flooring systems. Green Polyurethane™ also provides the first sound solution to the environmental and health hazards associated with isocyanates in polyurethane. Its zero isocyanate, zero VOC safety features allow it to be applied without the interruption of business due to public exposure, creating a 30-60% savings on application costs for customers.