Billingham, UK - Processors of cast polyurethane elastomers now have an alternative to mercury catalysts that give the same or better physical properties, according to the Vertec business of Johnson Matthey Catalysts.
Johnson Matthey Catalysts has launched a new Snapcure 2000 series of mercury-replacement catalysts that are hydrolytically stable and can be fully pre-mixed with the polyol without loss of activity, the company claims.
For anyone in the polyurethane elastomers market who is still using mercury catalysts, or looking for the properties once achieved with mercury, the Snapcure 2000 series may provide a valuable alternative, according to Vertec.
These catalysts have been designed to replicate, and in some cases exceed, the physical properties achieved with mercury catalysts - while being completely stable in water.
"Having solved the issue of stability with some novel chemistry, and then adjusted the formulation to match the properties required in the elastomer products, it was important that we had these claims verified by sampling the market," said Vertec business manager Paul Armitage, in a company statement. "We are delighted that the feedback confirms not only the excellent storage stability at elevated temperatures, but also the final elastomer properties achieved," Armitage added.
The Snapcure 2000 series has been designed to replace mercury catalysts in elastomers based on MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate). They can be used in polyester, PTMEG (polytetramethylene ether glycol) and most polyether polyols, provided the latter are greater than 80 percent primary alcohol.
Johnson Matthey said the products are compatible with a variety of fillers and chain extenders and can be pre-mixed with the polyol.
Depending on the formulation, the products have also been shown to work in certain other polyurethane CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomer) applications, although the company said that these depend on the reagents used and it is advisable to discuss such uses with the supplier first.