Makers of inflatable structures, such as advertising blimps and rafts, continually improve their products with a dynamic range of polyurethane applications. Due to its slick, abrasion-resistant durability, it seems only natural. The variety of formulations derived from the synthetic polymer makes polyurethane material popular with inflatable manufacturers particularly when their products require supple, impervious coatings. So, what exactly is polyurethane used for within the inflatable and advertising industries?
Outdoor Inflatable Advertising and Rigid Signage
Nothing gets public attention like things floating in the sky. As a lightweight, impervious coating on a substrate of fabric or as a bladder inside a structure, polyurethane products retain air or even helium securely for inflatable advertising. Tethered to the ground or a roof — maybe even towed by an airplane — inflatable blimp advertising gets the message out.
For indoor advertising, polyurethane can be fashioned into an inflatable wall panel. These work beautifully at trade shows to create free-standing booths with company logos and advertising copy. The lightweight nature of inflatable walls makes set-up and tear-down a snap. Uses of urethane advertising appear as printed floor and wall panels in malls and lobbies, as well.
Whether the use of polyurethane goes into advertising balloons and blimps or air-filled walls and rigid signs, its versatility gives marketing professionals a multitude of budget-friendly options.
Inflatable Airships and Aerostats
Polyurethane uses spread beyond un-powered advertising balloons to inflatable airships. Light, flexible, and elastic, polyurethane is also used to create radio-controlled airships, unmanned surveillance vehicles, and earth tethered aerostats used in military grade surveillance systems. The puncture-resistant polyurethane coatings reduce air drag for efficient and quiet passage overhead.
Inflatable Rafts and Boats
For the same reason’s polyurethane serves so well in inflatable aircraft, it also solves problems inherent in inflatable watercraft. If polyurethane elastomers hold in air, they also hold out water. River rafts, life rafts and pontoons coated in robust polyurethane gain extra life. With superior resistance to abrasion, easy repair properties and unmatched durability, inflatable boats can remain in service longer with polyurethane epoxy resins, coatings, and adhesives. For commercial enterprises, urethane elastomer products allow for easy stenciling of brand identification.
Personal Flotation Devices
Some of the many applications of polyurethane in water sports include inflatable stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, and life preservers. Rigid foam, shaped and coated, has provided surfers with boards they can easily port and ride for 60-plus years. For those who prefer a more leisurely sport, inflatable paddleboards designed with polyurethane are light and can be packed in the back of the car for the trip to the lake. Urethane products also go into emergency life savers.
When it comes to inflatable products, for any number of uses, polyurethane brings significant performance qualities to the table. As a tough fabric coating, print medium, foam, stiff panel or molded part, the uses of polyurethane almost have no end. Present and future innovations in urethane formulas will continue to open up markets for inflatable advertising and other pneumatic applications.