Polyurethanes are polymers that are produced in a big range of different forms. They can be either very light or heavy, depending on the density, and can be made as elastomers or foams in different hardness ranges. Today, polyurethanes are produced by using raw materials that are known for years to people skilled in the art. However, the drive for cleaner and environmentally friendly products and the increasing awareness of customers is pushing the industry towards systems that are not based on suspected chemicals.
The list of potential alternatives and their combinations is almost infinite. In order to find the most suitable alternatives, the use of combinatorial chemistry and high throughput screening methods could offer a lot of benefits. In this process the synthesis and characterization of the materials is done in parallel on miniature samples arranged in an array format, resulting in cost and time savings. Because of the recent advancements in analytical instrumentation, robotics and computer software, this method is getting more and more accepted in research. The present project will allow for the first time to apply this methodology to polyurethane materials, what may lead to new structure / property relationships.
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