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Polyester polyols – high-performance adhesive

Polyester polyols

Polyester polyols (PP) are versatile organic compounds with many applications. For instance, they are used in the production of polyurethane-based materials (e.g. foam and elastomer). Depending on their composition, their end products can take on different properties. TER Chemicals supplies polyester polyols to its industrial customers for various applications, including the production of reactive adhesives, sealants and coating systems, and is well connected to international polyester polyol manufacturers. Examples of polyols include polyethylene glycol and polypropylene glycol.


Polyester polyols are derivatives of dicarboxylic acids and polyols, which are organic compounds with several groups of hydroxyl. Those with two, three and four hydroxyl groups are called diols, triols and tetraols respectively. In general, a polymer is simply referred to as a polyol once it has more than four hydroxyl groups. The "polyester" part of the name indicates the presence of ester groups. Polyester polyols are mostly linear polymers with oxygen and carbon branches and can react with isocyanate to form prepolymers. They are mainly synthesized from petroleum but can also be made from plant-based oil. Newer methods even allow them to be produced using recycled materials. One main application of polyester polyols is for the production of polyurethane, which itself is a starting material for various plastics. This process involves the reaction of polyester polyols with diisocyanates.

Polyester polyols can help materials achieve a high level of resistance to light and heat. In addition, PP-based coatings exhibit high strength and abrasion resistance. Polyurethane is a polymer created by the reaction of diols or other polyols (which can be polyester or polyether polyols) with polyisocyanates. Polyols form the flexible segments in polyurethane and therefore have an effect on the material's rigidity. Polyester polyols with high molecular weight are suitable for making soft, flexible polyurethane, whereas those with relatively low molecular weight will result in a more rigid material. Their viscosity also increases with their molecular weight. Polyester polyols can impart the following properties to polyurethane:

  • Water resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Cut resistance

How resistant the resulting polyurethane is to water, abrasion and cut depends on the molecular weight of the polyester polyol selected.


As a trusted chemical distributor, TER Chemicals supplies polyester polyols for the manufacture of reactive adhesive systems and coating systems. Polyester polyols are mainly used as an ingredient in the production of polyurethane (PUR). Polyurethane is a raw material that has many applications in both the industry and our everyday lives. As a result, it accounts for a significant percentage of total plastics production by volume. Polyester polyols can be found as an ingredient in various mixtures: 

  • The good physical and chemical properties of polyester polyols are useful in the formulation of reactive adhesion systems. They are especially well suited for bonding and laminating adhesive materials. The compounds are available as liquid systems or solids (such as granules or powders) for different processing methods.
  • Paint and coating systems are able to benefit from polyester polyols' resistance to water and abrasion.
  • Polyester polyols are used to create cast resins for tools, components and models.
  • Furthermore, polyester polyols are used in the production of polyurethane foam. This material can be found in furniture upholstery, insulation and automotive interiors. The rigidity of a polyurethane foam is determined by the structure of the polyols provided by the suppliers.
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