Sealing also fine, and often better, without PUR foam

24-07-2017 Jamie de Boer, specialist in synthetic materials Imbema SMT (NL)


“Builders are no longer able to seal homes properly without PUR or polyurethane”, wrote newspaper De Telegraaf in May this year. This statement came in response to major fires in a PU plant in Germany and China, which caused global production to take a hit. According to De Telegraaf, prices have already increased by 25%, and the shortage is definitely set to continue into 2018. But is it true that it’s no longer possible to seal buildings without PUR or polyurethane? Our specialists in synthetic materials don’t believe this to be the case. After all, they have an alternative that is readily available and works even better: PE foam.

Long-term effect

PU foams are mega popular in the construction industry. You won’t find a building site where there isn’t a box of empty cans of PUR foam lying about somewhere. And that’s no surprise, because it’s very easy for building site workers to make a seal using PUR foam. However, working with PU as a sealant is no longer purely beneficial, as it:

  • has a limited service life, so holes may appear in the seal after a number of years;
  • ages quickly under the influence of weather conditions;
  • has limited elasticity, so it can tear without anyone noticing;
  • is an open-celled foam, which moisture can pass through from outside to inside;
  • tends to go to waste, because more material is often sprayed than is actually necessary;
  • is non-recyclable.

There is an alternative that has additional benefits too

Our specialists offer alternatives with considerably better mechanical properties. What’s more, they are also a bit better for man and the environment, because they use polyethylene (PE) as the basis for seals. Foam products are made from PE, such as sealing tape for door and window frame joints.

The benefits:

  • closed cells, making it air and moisture proof;
  • long service life;
  • permanently elastic and won’t tear over time;
  • resistant to extreme weather conditions such as torrential rain;
  • no additional material wasted;
  • recyclable.

More applications

But there are also many more applications where PE is a better alternative to PU. Want to find out more? Please contact our specialists on +31 (0)88 1306030 or ask a question via our online contact form.


Related to this item