Furniture and bedding
Modern homes, offices and communal buildings would be far less comfortable and energy intensive without polyurethanes.
Polyurethane flexible foams are soft yet give support, are durable and keep their shape. They are an excellent filling material for seating cushions and mattresses and can be produced to the density the manufacturer requires. Their versatility allows the designers to use the full scope of their imaginations.
Polyurethane foams adapt to and support the body. This is why we feel better for longer and experience less fatigue if chairs and beds use polyurethane foams. When asleep the human body loses water through perspiration. Combined with heat, this can stimulate micro-organisms to grow. Polyurethane foams help prevent such problems because their open cellular structure allows good absorption of humidity, ventilation and heat transfer. For this reason, hospitals recommend polyurethane mattresses.
Another example is the use of more rigid, but nevertheless pliant polyurethane elastomers for making the armrests of office chairs.