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Comprehensive Enhancement of Prepolymer-Based Flexible Polyurethane Foams’ Performance by Introduction of Cost-Effective Waste-Based Ground Tire Rubber Particles


[ 1 ] Instytut Inżynierii Materiałowej, Wydział Inżynierii Materiałowej i Fizyki Technicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 2 ] Instytut Mechaniki Stosowanej, Wydział Inżynierii Mechanicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 3 ] Instytut Technologii Materiałów, Wydział Inżynierii Mechanicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.8] Materials engineering
[2.9] Mechanical engineering

Year of publication


Published in


Journal year: 2022 | Journal volume: vol. 15 | Journal number: iss. 16

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • polyurethane foam
  • ground tire rubber
  • composites
  • prepolymer
  • recycling

EN Material innovations in polyurethane (PU) foams should ideally combine performance enhancement, environmental impact limitation, and cost reduction. These goals can be achieved by applying recycled or waste-based materials without broader industrial applications, implicating their low price. Herein, from 5 to 20 parts by weight of ground tire rubber (GTR) particles originated from the recycling of postconsumer car tires were incorporated into a flexible foamed PU matrix as a cost-effective waste-based filler. A two-step prepolymer method of foams manufacturing was applied to maximize the potential of applied formulation changes. The impact of the GTR content on the foams’ processing, chemical, and cellular structure, as well as static and dynamic mechanical properties, thermal stability, sound suppression ability, and thermal insulation performance, was investigated. The introduction of GTR caused a beneficial reduction in the average cell diameter, from 263.1 µm to 144.8–188.5 µm, implicating a 1.0–4.3% decrease in the thermal conductivity coefficient. Moreover, due to the excellent mechanical performance of the car tires—the primary application of GTR—the tensile performance of the foams was enhanced despite the disruption of the cellular structure resulting from the competitiveness between the hydroxyl groups of the applied polyols and on the surface of the GTR particles. The tensile strength and elongation at break were increased by 10 and 8% for 20 parts by weight GTR addition. Generally, the presented work indicates that GTR can be efficiently applied as a filler for flexible PU foams, which could simultaneously enhance their performance, reduce costs, and limit environmental impacts due to the application of waste-based material.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

5728-1 - 5728-20




License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor


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