What Is Urethane?

Close-up of a workman applying sealant to a window pane
••• AndreaAstes/iStock/Getty Images

Urethane is a term that refers to at least three different substances: ethyl carbamate, carbamate or polyurethane. While all of these substances are related by chemical compositions of nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen molecules, they are distinct in their uses.

Ethyl Carbamate

Urethane perhaps most commonly refers to ethyl carbamate, an organic compound typically used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals or in pesticides as a solubilizer and cosolvent. Ethyl carbamate is usually seen as either white crystals or a white, granular powder that dissolves easily in water. It's chemical formula is C3H7NO2.

Carbamate

Carbamate, also called urethane, is most commonly used as pesticide, with several types of pesticides -- including sevin, aldicarb and carbaryl -- deriving from the compound. Carbamate pesticides are in common use because they break down more readily than other pesticides and are not quite as toxic. Its most basic chemical formula is NH2COOH.

Polyurethane

Polyurethanes are a group of organic plastics that have a wide range of applications. As the name suggests, the primary composition of polyurethanes are multiple urethane (or carbamate) groups. Polyurethanes are commonly used in the production of sealants, mattresses, car seats and shoes.

Related Articles

Dimethicone Vs. Silicone
How to Make Isopropyl Alcohol
The Chemicals in Salt, Pepper & Sugar
The Uses of Hydrocarbon Gas
Denatured Alcohol Vs. Isopropyl Alcohol
What Is Polyethylene Glycol?
Alternative Solvents to Benzene
What Is a Hydrocarbon Chain?
What is Sodium Benzoate?
Dimethicone Vs. Silicone
Polyethylene Glycol Vs. Ethylene Glycol
Chemical Properties of Benzoic Acid
What Are Two Major Characteristics of a Molecular Compound?
What is a Dehydration Reaction?
How Is Glycerol Made?
Isopropanol Alcohol Vs. Isopropyl Alcohol
Naphtha Uses
Differences of Sodium Hydroxide Vs. Sodium Carbonate
Uses of Polyvinyl Acetate
How to Make Isopropyl Alcohol

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!