Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane is a chemical compound used as a coating in industrial and building applications. The chemical makeup of aliphatic acrylic polyurethane makes it tough and flexible, and it is added to many products to create a durable finish. Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane is most commonly used in sealants or coatings intended for outside use.
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Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane is a polymer, which are made up of long chains of repeating molecules. Case Reservce University explains that this makes them versatile because the chains can be chemically manipulated to be more or less flexible and strong. Polyester, PET and PVC are all polymers. Aliphatic refers to the compound being made of open-chain hydrocarbons, which are molecules containing carbon and hydrogen that have some open bonds. The word "acrylic" means that the chemical contains an acrylic compound, such as acrylic acid (C3H4O2) or acrylonitrile (C3H3N).
Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane dries to a tough finish and is highly resistant to water and ultra-violet rays, so it will not quickly break down or turn yellow when exposed to sunlight. According to the website Rot Doctor, aliphatic acrylic polyurethanes have a high tensile strength and flow slowly, even in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it easier to apply them as a thick film, even in higher temperatures. Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane also bonds easily to epoxies, so it can be applied on top of epoxy as a sealant. Most commercial aliphatic acrylic polyurethane products come in either gloss or matt finish and in a variety of colors.
Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane is an ingredient in sealants and coatings used to cover asphalt, wood, metal, fiberglass, plastics, concrete and other surfaces. According to Rot Doctor, coatings containing aliphatic acrylic polyurethane provide a tough, waterproof finish and are used on decks, tennis courts, boats, patios, swimming pools and other outdoor surfaces. Coatings containing aliphatic acrylic polyurethane are also used on machinery or other surfaces to prevent prevent abrasion, such as scratches and damage from chemicals. These coatings are generally sold only to professionals.
Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane is an ingredient used in commercial products, and is not available for home use directly. However, many brands of coating and sealant, such as those produced by Rustoleum, use aliphatic acrylic polyurethanes, and these might have differing properties and tolerances. Always read the instructions with the product before using it. Aliphatic acrylic polyurethane can be difficult to clean up, and could require a special thinner to remove. The fumes from coatings containing aliphatic acrylic polyurethane can be dangerous to breathe, so you should wear a respirator when working with them and always ensure you have proper ventilation. It is difficult to remove aliphatic acrylic polyurethane from clothing, so always wear protective clothing when using these products.
Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.