Rigid polyurethane foam : Mechanistic study and catalyst development

  • Hartpolyurethanschaum: Mechanistische Studie und Katalysatorentwicklung

Al-Nabulsi, Abdulghani; Müller, Thomas (Thesis advisor); Leitner, Walter (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2018, 2019)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, RWTH Aachen University, 2018


The goal of this study is to identify new trimerization catalysts which are active at low temperatures (40 to 70 °C) for both trimerization and polyurethane formation. Ideally, these catalysts are characterized by low activation energy. In order to get closer to ideal catalysts, the project was divided into three areas of investigations (Figure 6). The first is about the mechanistic understanding, as a good understanding of the trimerization mechanism is required in order to define guidelines for a better selection of trimerization catalysts. In the second area of investigation, different catalysts were proposed, synthesized and tested using a model system of mono-functional alcohol and isocyanate instead of a real foam system. Additionally, kinetic measurements were carried out during testing to compare their activity towards trimerization. Finally, the best candidates were tested in a real foam system using polyols and polyisocyanate provided by the industrial partners, and the produced foams were characterized by different analytical methods.


  • Department of Chemistry [150000]
  • Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry [154110]