Polyurethanes are used to make consumer goods like mattresses, sponges, textiles, shoe soles and many other products. Polyurethane products are made from polyols and diisocyanates; once fully reacted there is no longer any monomeric diisocyanate present.
Polyurethanes are safe today and in the future
When working with chemicals like adhesives and sealants, the precautions given in the material safety data sheets are important for protecting users' health and safety. One-component polyurethane adhesives and sealants cure by reaction with atmospheric moisture, and this reaction is based on the cross-linking of pre-polymers through their isocyanate groups.
This reaction, also called curing, converts the extruded fluid product into a polyurethane polymer compound with unique properties. When applying such polyurethane products, users may be exposed to minimal amounts of unreacted monomeric diisocyanates that were used in the production of such pre-polymers. Once the product is fully cured, however, the diisocyanates have reacted and the final compounds are completely free of these reactive chemicals.
Impact of REACH legislation
|Regular Polyurethanes||Sika Purform® Polyurethanes|
|Content of diisocyanate monomers||> 0.1 wt%||< 0.1 wt%|
|Training (as per REACH)||Yes||No|
|* depending on other ingredients
The European Union has announced new legislation to further restrict the use of products containing more than 0.1% of monomeric diisocyanates.
The new European ECHA regulation requires professional construction and industrial users of products containing more than 0.1% of free monomeric diisocyanates to be trained and given instruction on the risks associated with working with diisocyanates and the corresponding required risk-management measures. As a member of FEICA, the Association of the European Adhesive and Sealant Industry, Sika is committed to keeping users ahead of these and other regulations through constant improvement of the health, safety, and environmental aspects of our products.
Sika's Options to Cope with the REACH Legislation
Sika offers its users a variety of options to comply with the restricted use of diisocyanates. Current solutions will remain available while requiring users to be trained and certified. Additionally, Sika offers a variety of solutions based on silane terminated polymer (STP) or Purform® technology that don’t require any additional measures for users.
Find Alternative Products without Training
Sika, as the leading producer of polyurethane-based sealants, adhesives and flooring, takes the health and safety of users of Sikaflex®, SikaBond®, SikaTack®, Sika Boom® and Sikafloor® products very seriously. This has led to the development of a new range of polyurethane pre-polymers with ultra-low monomer content, to allow continued, unrestricted use of our products by professionals.
Purform® adhesives and sealants with an ultra-low monomer content
"When handling chemicals, it is important to keep the exposure to them as low as possible. The European Union has introduced a new law to further restrict the use of polyurethane adhesives and sealants. The new Sika Purform® technology contains not more than 0.1% of monomeric diisocyanates and is not affected by this restriction."
By using the Purform® technology for higher-performance polyurethane adhesives and sealants with ultra-low diisocyanate monomer content, we can meet the challenges of tomorrow, today.