A team of researchers from China conducted study on mechanical, thermal properties and flame retardancy of rigid polyurethane foams (PUF) prepared from modified castor oil (MCO) based polyols. The polyurethane foam was prepared in two stages. The first stage is the conversion of castor oil into glycerides by alcoholysis with glycerol and pentaerythritol. Next stage is the synthesis of polyester polyols by condensation alcoholysis of castor oil and phthalic anhydride. Results from various analyses showed that components of the MCOs and commercial polyester polyol PS-3152 are similar in their foaming behaviour. Results from analyses like mechanical testing, flame retardancy testing, thermogravimetric analysis and cone calorimetry showed that PUF from modified Castor oil based polyols had a better mechanical properties and thermal conductivities than PS-3152 based Polyurethanes. High thermal stability is exhibited by MCO based PUFs, during pyrolysis.
It is also found that addition of ammonium pyrophosphate decreased their heat release rate, total heat release and mass loss, thereby having synergistic effect with phthalic anhydride polyester polyols. All of these unique properties of MCO-modified rigid PUFs were correlated to the structures of these PUFs.
These findings may lead to the development of a new type of polyurethane foam using castor oil.
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Researchers from University of Technology, Baghdad, have synthesized castor oil-based polyurethanes–organoclay (COPUs-Cloisite 30B) nanocomposites by mixing polypropylene glycol polyol and dehydrated castor oil (15 %), with C30B nanofillers at different weight percentages. Various analyses such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Fourier scanning Electron Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray diffraction were performed to evaluate the physico-chemical properties of COPUs-Cloisite 30B. Thermal stability and tensile strength were found to improve upto ~30 C and ~240% respectively, with 5 wt% of C30B . These improved properties allow it to be used in coatings, adhesives and automotives.
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Jayant Agro Organics Ltd, an Indian oleochemical company, have entered into a joint venture agreement with two Japanese firms – Mitsui Chemicals Inc and Itoh Oil Chemicals Co Ltd – for manufacturing castor oil based polyols. The firms are investing in the equity shares of Vithal Castor Polyols Pvt Ltd in the ratio 50:40:10 respectively.
This is a second deal announced by Jayant Agro Organics this year. In April 2013, Jayant Agro entered into an agreement with Arkema, a French chemical company, to form a strategic joint venture through its subsidiary Ihsedu Agrochem Pvt Ltd (Ihsedu). According to the JV agreement, Arkema will acquire around 25% equity stake in Ihsedu. The JV aims to develop castor oil production, which will provide Arkema long term, secure and competitive access to the strategic raw material for the manufacture of its bio-sourced polyamides.
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