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ILM Consultant Technical Editor Karl Flowers discusses the intricacies of shape memory polymers and their applications in leather finishing. This technical article is available now exclusively on the ILM app.
Polymers are chains of atoms that interact and fold to produce flexible or malleable materials that can be shaped or moulded into any shape that designers require. The most versatile polymer used in surface coating or finishing are the polyurethanes.
A polyurethane is the combination of a polyol and a diisocyanate. The result is a urethane group that is repeated as many times as the finisher wants them to be. Hundreds of these urethanes give us the polyurethane (PU) – an exceptionally durable, functional polymer that can be tailored to any requirement.
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