Toluene Diisocyanate: Products and Applications

Toluene Diisocyanate: Products and Applications

30 December 2021

The two isomeric forms of toluene diisocyanate (2,4-toluene diisocyanate and 2,6-toluene diisocyanate) have comparable features and effects. Commercially, toluene diisocyanate is made up of an 80:20 mixture of the two isomers (2,4-toluene diisocyanate:2,6-toluene diisocyanate). The mixture is a clear, pale yellow liquid with a distinct, pungent odour at room temperature. It should be kept refrigerated and kept free from light and moisture in a firmly sealed container in an inert environment. Toluene diisocyanate is water insoluble and miscible with the majority of organic solvents.


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To produce carbamate (urethane) linkages, the isocyanate functional groups in TDI react with hydroxyl groups. The reaction rates of the two isocyanate groups in TDI are different: The 4-position has a four-fold increase in reactivity over the 2-position. Because 2,6-TDI is symmetrical, it has two isocyanate groups with identical reactivity, similar to the 2-position on 2,4-TDI. However, because both isocyanate groups are linked to the same aromatic ring, the reactivity of the second isocyanate group will vary as a result of the reaction of the first. It's also utilised in rocket propellants on occasion.


It's utilised to make hard polyurethane foams with excellent temperature stability.


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TDI containing products that customers can use:


When consumers use items containing uncured or unhardened TDI and similar compounds, they may be exposed to these pollutants. Spray-applied sealants and varnishes contain these compounds. Consumers may be exposed through skin contact and inhalation prior to complete cure.


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TDI may be present in small levels in consumer products such as paints, elastomers, adhesives, and sealants (less than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers that increasing the use of any of these chemical chemicals in consumer items above existing levels could considerably increase human exposure, and that such an increase should not occur without EPA evaluation and regulation.