Difference Between Polyurethane and Polycrylic

Main Difference – Polyurethane vs Polycrylic

Polyurethane and Polycrylic are polymer compounds. Polycrylic is the brand name of the line of Polyurethane produced by a company named MinWax. However, there are differences between Polyurethane and Polycrylic when their properties are considered. The main difference between Polyurethane and Polycrylic is that Polyurethane is composed of urethane linkages whereas Polycrylic is composed of copolymers of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and their simple esters.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Polyurethane
      – Definition, Production, Uses
2. What is Polycrylic
      – Definition, Properties, and Applications
3. What is the Difference Between Polyurethane and Polycrylic
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Alcohols, Isocyanates, Minwax, Monomers, Polycrylic, Polymer, Polyurethane

Difference Between Polyurethane and Polycrylic - Comparison Summary

What is Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a polymer that is not made out of urethane monomers, but it is composed of urethane linkages. The monomers used for the production of polyurethane are alcohols with two or more –OH groups and isocyanates having more than one reactive isocyanate group.

Alcohols used for this production can be diols, triols, etc. Isocyanates used are diisocyanates or polyisocyanates. Presence of more than one reactive functional group per monomer is essential in order to undergo polymerization. The production process is exothermic.

Main Difference - Polyurethane vs Polycrylic

Figure 1: Urethane Linkage in Polyurethane

The process of manufacturing polyurethane includes two main steps: production of monomers and production of polymers using these monomers. Polyurethane is produced via mixing two liquid streams that contain two monomers. These liquid streams are composed of catalysts, surfactants and other components required for the production of the polyurethane polymer.

Some common applications of polyurethane are in paint production, cushioning with rigid foam or flexible foam, adhesives and sealants, coatings, shoe production, fiber production, etc. Polyurethane is used for these purposes due to favorable properties such as low density, flexibility, thermal insulations, long shelf life and many others.

What is Polycrylic

Polycrylic is the brand name used for the line of polyurethane produced by one company, MinWax. Polycrylic is mainly used as paints. It is used as a protective finish. Polycrylic can be applied on wood surfaces and many other surfaces in order to protect them from water and other solvents. Polycrylic contains copolymers of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and their simple esters.

Polycrylic protects and adds beauty to interior wood surfaces including woodwork, furniture, doors, and cabinets, etc. This gives a crystal clear finish Polycrylic dries quickly after application. The surface can also be cleaned easily using warm water. Since it dries quickly, a second coating can be applied within 2 hours after the application of the first coating.

Polycrylic has a slight odor and is non-flammable Apart from that, Polycrylic resists damages from abrasion, chipping and chemicals as well.

Difference Between Polyurethane and Polycrylic

Figure 2: Polycrylic can be applied on wood surfaces as a protective finish.

However, when applying Polycrylic over light-colored surfaces, a slight ambering can occur. Therefore, before applying, a spot test can be used to ensure whether the color change is unfavorable or not.

Difference Between Polyurethane and Polycrylic

Definition

Polyurethane: Polyurethane is a polymer composed of urethane linkages.

Polycrylic: Polycrylic is the brand name used for the line of polyurethane produced by MinWax company.

Components

Polyurethane: Polyurethane is composed of urethane linkages.

Polycrylic: Polycrylic is composed of copolymers of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and their simple esters.

Applications

Polyurethane: The applications of polyurethane include cushioning with rigid foam or flexible foam, adhesives and sealants, coatings, shoe production, fiber production, etc.

Polycrylic: The major application of Polycrylic is as a protective finish

Drying

Polyurethane: Polyurethane takes some time to dry when applied as a paint.

Polycrylic: Polycrylic dries quickly.

Effect on Surface

Polyurethane: Polyurethane paints provide a shiny surface.

Polycrylic: Polycrylic paints does not provide a shiny surface, but adds protection and beauty to the surface.

Conclusion

Polyurethane is a polymer compound composed of urethane linkages. Polycrylic is a mixture of copolymers of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and their simple esters. This is the main difference between polyurethane and Polycrylic.

References:

1. Lazonby, John. “Polyurethanes.” The Essential Chemical Industry online, Available here.
2. “Polyurethane.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Nov. 2017, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Polyurethane” By Cyfer from zh (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia [label added]2. “1744953” (Public Domain) via Pixabay

About the Author: Madhusha

Madhusha is a BSc (Hons) graduate in the field of Biological Sciences and is currently pursuing for her Masters in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. Her interest areas for writing and research include Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry.

Leave a Comment