DBTO as a blowing agent component of polyurethane foam

2024-07-10by admin

Dibutyltin oxide (DBTO), as an organotin catalyst, is widely used in the production process of polyurethane (Polyurethane, PU) foam . Due to its excellent properties, such as good thermal insulation, sound insulation, shock absorption and durability, polyurethane foam has been widely used in construction, furniture, automobiles, packaging, thermal insulation and other fields. DBTO plays a vital role in this process, not only accelerating the formation of polyurethane foam, but also affecting the microstructure and properties of the foam.

The formation principle of polyurethane foam

The formation of polyurethane foam is based on the chemical reaction of isocyanate and polyol. This reaction is called polyurethane reaction. Under the action of a catalyst, an addition reaction occurs between isocyanate and polyol to generate a urethane segment. Then in the presence of water, the isocyanate further reacts with water to generate carbon dioxide gas and urea segment (Urea). The generation of carbon dioxide gas is key to the foaming process, forming bubbles in the reaction mixture, causing the mixture to expand and form a porous structure known as polyurethane foam.

The mechanism of action of DBTO

DBTO mainly plays the role of a catalyst in the foaming process of polyurethane foam. It significantly accelerates the reaction rate between isocyanates and polyols and between isocyanates and water, thereby accelerating foam formation. Specifically, DBTO enables the reaction to proceed at a lower temperature by reducing the reaction activation energy, which is crucial for controlling the heat release during the foaming process and avoiding deformation or damage of the foam due to overheating.

In addition, DBTO can also adjust the foaming time and curing speed of the foam, which is very important for controlling the microstructure of the foam (such as pore size, pore distribution, etc.). The appropriate pore structure not only determines the mechanical strength and elasticity of the foam, but also directly affects its thermal conductivity and acoustic performance.

The effect of DBTO on foam properties

The addition amount and activity of DBTO directly affect the performance of polyurethane foam. An appropriate amount of DBTO can ensure that the foam foams evenly and forms a dense and uniform pore structure, thereby obtaining higher compressive strength, lower thermal conductivity and good resilience. However, excessive DBTO may cause the foam to solidify too quickly and the internal gas cannot fully escape, thereby forming a closed cell structure, which may reduce the breathability and sound-absorbing properties of the foam.

Environmental and health considerations

Although DBTO plays an indispensable role in the production of polyurethane foam, organotin compounds including DBTO pose potential risks to the environment and human health. Long-term exposure to organotin compounds can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even neurological damage. Therefore, the industry is actively looking for safer and more environmentally friendly catalyst alternatives to reduce environmental impact and protect worker health.


DBTO, as a key catalyst in the foaming process of polyurethane foam, plays a decisive role in promoting chemical reactions, controlling the foam formation process and optimizing foam performance. However, its potential environmental and health risks have also prompted the industry to continuously explore and develop new and safer catalyst systems in order to achieve more sustainable and environmentally friendly production practices while maintaining the excellent properties of polyurethane foam. As the concepts of green chemistry and sustainable development become increasingly popular, future polyurethane foam production will pay more attention to environmental protection and human health, pushing the entire industry to develop in a greener and safer direction.

Extended reading:

CAS:2212-32-0 – Manufacturer of N,N-Dicyclohexylmethylamine and N,N-Dimethylcyclohexylamine – Shanghai Ohans Co., LTD

N,N-Dicyclohexylmethylamine – Manufacturer of N,N-Dicyclohexylmethylamine and N,N-Dimethylcyclohexylamine – Shanghai Ohans Co ., LTD

bismuth neodecanoate/CAS 251-964-6 – Amine Catalysts (newtopchem.com)

stannous neodecanoate catalysts – Amine Catalysts (newtopchem.com)

polyurethane tertiary amine catalyst/Dabco 2039 catalyst – Amine Catalysts (newtopchem.com)

DMCHA – morpholine

N-Methylmorpholine – morpholine

Polycat 41 catalyst CAS10294-43-5 Evonik Germany – BDMAEE

Polycat DBU catalyst CAS6674-22-2 Evonik Germany – BDMAEE