Diisocyanates (die-eye-so-sigh-ah-nates) sounds like a scary word. But in reality, Diisocyanates are nothing to be afraid of; they are incredible materials used to make your life more comfortable and help with energy conservation. Boom! Science.
Diisocyanates are chemical building blocks used to make numerous polyurethane products such as foams, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, sealants and more. Consumers use household items every day that are created from diisocyanates that are safe and comfortable for use. That comfy bed you sleep on, the yoga pants women wear to workout, the car you drive to work, even the high buildings downtown: you can thank diisocyanates for making these things better. Check out this 2-minute video to learn more about Diisocyanates; The Incredible Chemical Building Block: https://www.americanchemistry.com/DII-Chemical-Building-Block-Video.html.
Diisocyanates have been used since the late 1940’s and continue to be used due to their chemical composition.
Diisocyanates are used in your furniture, carpet underlay, and even your foam mattress. You can also find them in everything from the insulation in your refrigerator to the insulation in your home, and even in paints, glues and the athleisure everyone is wearing! Diisocyanates are also used in the automotive industry to create automobile parts like the foam in seats and throughout the interior and the coatings that maintain your vehicle’s glossy appearance. Diisocyanates make auto parts lighter and therefore make cars more fuel efficient, helping drivers save at the pump. Can I get an Amen?
Picture this: you find your dream car, a 1965 Mercury Comet 289 V8…oooooh baby! It needs work though; especially a paint job. This is where the brilliance of diisocyanates come in. Diisocyanates bind together the paint and hardener to create that perfect shiny wet look we all strive to keep clean. Many current cars, new or refinished, have diisocyanates in their paint. Diisocyanates are color-stable polyurethane coatings, protecting our precious cars from ultraviolet (UV) damage, harsh conditions and even bird droppings.
Now, of course diisocyanates help in the production of other products too, such as: textiles, other transportation vehicles and even some in construction buildings and bridges. Diisocyanates protect products by keeping them stronger, longer. Science says, “You’re Welcome.”
As a consumer, diisocyanates are no longer present in the finished product – they are reacted away during the production of polyurethane. Of course, when working in the auto refinishing industry, you need to take precautions when handling any industrial chemical, diisocyanates included. Covestro has created a 15-minute video on how to properly, and safely handle diisocyanates when refinishing a vehicle. This video can be found here: https://www.productsafetyfirst.covestro.com/en/resources/videos
I get it, chemistry can be hard or sometimes even scary. Don’t let it be. Educate yourself. You use safe products that have been improved by chemicals such as diisocyanates everyday. If you’d like to learn more about them, please visit the American Chemistry Council’s website www.americanchemistry.com/dii or www.americanchemistry.com/adi.
CCAR was established in 1994 as a non-profit organization that works internationally with the automotive industry, original equipment manufacturers, career and technical schools, collision and automotive repair shops, governments, municipalities and other organizations to provide best practices information and training.
In addition to being an OSHA Alliance Partner, CCAR provides training programs to address Hazardous Materials Handling requirements as outlined by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to keep automotive shop employees and students properly trained, safe and in compliance with current regulations. For more information, visit www.ccar-greenlink.org