Have you noticed “2K polyurethanes” or simply “2K urethanes” are “having a moment” on social media lately?
I certainly have, and I must admit, I have some concerns about what is being said (or not said) about these products, particularly the ones being marketed as “safer” because they are water based.
If you haven’t heard of them, 2K or “two-part” polyurethanes (also called “2-pack,” or “2K-PU”) consist of two components that are mixed together just prior to being used.
The benefits, in general, are superior durability and higher solids, so you can obtain high levels of physical performance and sometimes get away with using fewer coats.
2K waterborne polyurethanes and their cousins, 2K waterborne conversion varnishes, certainly have their place in high-performance environments.
However, it is the use of a specific type of catalyst – a highly toxic and reactive polyisocyanate based on hexamethylene diisocyante (HDI) – that is being used by untrained finishers, in poorly ventilated environments, that is raising my concerns.
It’s these downsides (the health and safety profile) that I’m concerned is not being talked about enough – at least not on the blogs and social media posts I’ve been seeing…and the ones you might be seeing, too.
That’s why I am in the middle of a bit of a research project.
Unlike some of the people showing up in our inboxes and social media feeds, I am trying to get the FACTS (not just clicks and attention) before I give you my better-informed opinion about these products in an upcoming post.
I’m waiting on a few expert sources to answer some specific questions I have, and I’d like to incorporate yours, too, if you have them.
I’d love to know what YOU think about 2K polyurethanes. Do you have any experience with or questions about them?
Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below in the comments section.