Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1897–1907 | Cite as

Fabrication and Testing of Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam for Insulation and Structural Applications

  • Gurjot S. Dhaliwal
  • Sudharshan Anandan
  • K. ChandrashekharaEmail author
  • Nicholas Dudenhoeffer
  • Paul Nam
Original paper


This study is focused on the fabrication and evaluation of polyurethane (PU) foam fabricated using soy-based polyol that can potentially replace conventional petroleum-based PU foam for thermal applications. Rigid soy-based PU foam samples investigated in this study were produced by copolymerization of diisocyanate with soy-based polyol in presence of Xiameter X0193 surfactant, dibutyltin dilaurate (DBTL) as a catalyst, and water as a blowing agent. Different formulations with varying amounts of blowing agent and catalyst were investigated to optimize the mechanical and thermal properties of soy-based PU foam when compared to commercial petroleum-based foam as a control sample. The prepared samples were tested for density, compressive strength, thermal conductivity, tensile strength, dimensional stability, and thermal stability using the ASTM standards. The cellular structure of the fabricated foam samples was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. It was observed that an increase in density leads to a decrease in insulation. Overall, soy-based foams exhibited similar thermal conductivity as compared to petroleum-based foams.


Soy-based polyol Soy-based polyurethane foam Insulation foam Rigid foam 



This work is supported by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (Jefferson City, MO). The authors would like to thank Mr. John Miller (MCPU Polymer Engineering LLC. Pittsburg, KS) for providing soy-based polyol and Dr. Steven Harasin (Covestro LLC. Pittsburgh, PA) for providing isocyanate and Baydur 683 foam. Authors would also like to thank Mr. Stephan Johannesmeyer (Thermocore of Missouri, Jefferson City, MO) for his helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gurjot S. Dhaliwal
    • 1
  • Sudharshan Anandan
    • 1
  • K. Chandrashekhara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicholas Dudenhoeffer
    • 2
  • Paul Nam
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringMissouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryMissouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaUSA

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