Polytetrahydrofuran or PTMEG, also called poly (tetra methylene ether) glycol or poly (tetra methylene oxide), is a chemical compound with formula (C4H8O) nOH2 or HO-(-(CH2)4O-) n-H. It can be viewed as a polymer of tetrahydrofuran, or as the polyether derived from 1, 4-butanediol.
The product is commercially available as polymers of low average molecular weights, between 250 and 3000 daltons. In this form it is a white waxy solid that melts between 20 and 30 °C. The commercial product can be processed further into polymers with molecular weights of 40,000 and higher.
The main use of polytetrahydrofuran is to make elastic fibers such as spandex (elastan) for stretchable fabrics and for polyurethane resins. The latter are polyurethane prepolymers dissolved in solvent.They are used in the manufacture of artificial leather. These elastomers are either polyurethanes made by reacting PTMEG with diisocyanates, or polyesters made by reacting PTMEG with diacids or their derivatives.
The polymer is also a starting material for thermoplastic polyurethane, thermoplastic polyesters, polyetheramide and cast polyurethane elastomers, used for instance in the wheels of roller skates and skateboards.
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