Toluene Diisocyanates(TDI): Emerging Applications Explored

Explore the world of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), the essential component in flexible mattresses. Learn about its chemical composition, versatile applications in various industries, potential toxic effects, and the increasing market demand for products containing TDI. Stay informed and make conscious choices as a consumer.

September 04, 2022

Have you ever wondered what the base component of your flexible mattress is? It is nothing but toluene diisocyanate (TDI).

It is an organic compound that has become popular in various industries for its quick applicability and availability.

You might not know about this completely. Hence this short guide will enlighten you about this compound that is in demand presently.

Chemical composition of this product

The nitration of toluene is vital to obtaining TDI. The flexible polyurethane foam is produced with the help of this compound which is used as an intermediate.

1. It comes in a liquid form which is crystal clear and pale yellow having a distinct pungent smell that helps in quick detection. 

2. Being highly volatile, toluene diisocyanate can produce toxic gases with high concentrations of cyanides and nitrogen oxides even at room temperatures due to its combustibility in high temperatures.

3. Aside from this, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the secretion of chemokine arising from bronchial epithelial cells, can be done with its help.

Practical usability

Previously, while your relaxation, you have never paid attention to the raw materials used in making various products that you use in day-to-day life.

Some of the major areas where it is used are stated below.

1. It is one of the most sought-after raw materials for flexible polyurethane foam, especially in the preparation of cushions, mattresses, garments, pads, gloves, and packaging materials.

2. The paints manufacturing companies completely rely on toluene diisocyanate for its usage in polyurethane coatings that are required in automotive refinishing, wood paints and coatings, and highly effective anti-corrosive finishes.

3. Though unknown to many, you can also use it as a shock absorbent.

4. PU-based alkyd paints, wood varnishes, floor treatment, and wire and powder coating, all these products comprise this compound.

Allied applicable areas

This high production volume chemical is used to produce elastomers which is a rubbery material preferred in manufacturing tires for vehicles, adhesives, pencil erasers, etc.

Indirectly, via the polymers, the toluene diisocyanate is applied in printing rollers, wheels in skates, lightning applications, paper industries, abrasion resistant sheathings in mining.

Its toxic effect

There are certain pitfalls to using this compound. But generally, the industries where it is used refine it and make it go through several processes to reduce its toxic level.

1. In case, you have asthma, then coming in contact with this chemical will aggravate your condition, which is not at all desirable on your end.

2. Do not rub your eyes if this liquid is present on your hands for any reason. It may cause you an eye infection.

3. Skin being the largest organ of your body, is often exposed to this compound, and you need to be extra cautious while dealing with it.

As a consumer can you avoid it?

If you are a responsible individual, you will always emphasize the product label and safety precautions that are to be strictly adhered to before using the products containing toluene diisocyanate.

The prospects 

The flexible foam market is rapidly increasing with the urban crowd like you preferring this product. Thereby, leading to an increase in the sales of this compound.

1. The manufacturing of automotive seats is also high, and there is an anticipation of it growing in the coming five to six years. This, in turn, will propagate the use of the compound in manifolds.

2. In short, it can be said that all the comfortable products that you use either to relax like the mattress or to beatify your house like the paints, all of them might contain it, about which you were previously unaware. 

This article highlights the prime functions of Toluene Diisocyanates and various industries where it is incorporated to get the best result.
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