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Urea-formaldehyde (UF)

By sensXPERT

Urea-formaldehyde (UF)

Polyurethane (PU)

Polymer Type: Thermoset

Key Properties

  • Hard and rigid
  • Chemical resistance
  • Moderate heat resistance
  • Good electrical insulating properties


  • Wood adhesives: Plywood, particle board, medium-density fibreboard (MDF).
  • Laminates and decorative surfaces: Countertops, tabletops, wall panels, flooring.
  • Molding compounds: Electrical components, buttons, knobs, toys.
  • Impregnation of textiles and paper: Improves strength, crease resistance, and flame retardancy.
  • Slow-release fertilizers: Releases nutrients gradually over time.

Additional Information

Urea-formaldehyde (UF) is a thermosetting polymer formed by the reaction of urea with formaldehyde under acidic conditions.

UF resins offer a unique combination of properties that make them suitable in different industrial applications. Their high mechanical strength and hardness make them ideal for laminates and countertops, while their excellent chemical resistance allows them to withstand harsh environments. Their good fire and heat resistance make them suitable for electrical components and high-temperature applications. Additionally, their wide range of color and finish options allows for diverse design possibilities.

However, UF resins also have some drawbacks. They can be brittle and susceptible to cracking, and they release formaldehyde during the curing process, which can be a health concern.

Despite these limitations, UF resins remain a popular choice for many industrial applications due to their various properties and relatively low cost.

Notes on UF:

  • The properties of UF resins can be tailored by varying the urea-to-formaldehyde ratio, the type of catalyst used, and the presence of additives.
  • UF resins can be filled with various materials to improve specific properties, such as impact resistance or fire resistance.
  • Several recent developments have focused on reducing the formaldehyde emissions from UF resins, making them more environmentally friendly.

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