The biggest difference is that OPC's WBPU (Water-Based PU) and PPU (Prepolymer PU) leather have eliminated a large part of the organic solvents and non-environmental materials used in the PU manufacturing process, making our process more energy-efficient and lowering our CO2 emission, while better ensuring the health of our product users.(Comparison Chart)
In WBPU, water is the medium that disperses PU resin particles, so it's eco-friendly and harmless to the human body. For PPU (prepolymer PU), we synthesize PU prepolymers then process them without adding DMF or water, so PPU is also eco-friendly and harmless. However, PPU is firmer, more durable, and more rebound resilient, suitable for products requiring high physical performance. Meanwhile, WBPU is soft and breathable, suitable for lightweight products. However, both can be adjusted to satisfy various applications.
Traditional PU polymerization involves organic solvents like DMF, dimethylformamide, to control PU viscosity so that the PU can be easily processed and coated. DMF is a colorless moisture-absorbing liquid with a pungent odor and high boiling point, soluble in water, alcohol, and acetone. Organic solvents emitted during traditional PU processing would eventually become greenhouse gases, solvent elimination consumes a lot of energy, and the traditional process cannot completely eliminate DMF from the product. Sometimes, residual solvents might induce respiratory disturbances in patients with a weak respiratory system (like asthmatic patients). EU and other nations have listed DMF as a restricted toxic substance. Various renowned European sellers have demanded that the products be DMF-free, which we (Ocean Plastics) can achieve. Note: DMF is also sometimes referred to as DMFA.
DMFu is "dimethyl fumarate." Unlike DMF (dimethylformamide--a solvent used in traditional PU synthetic leather processes), DMFu (dimethyl fumarate) is more of an anti-fungal chemical people place in their sofas or leather products to prevent mold from growing. Ocean Plastics' PU products do not use DMFu; they're DMFu-free, and we've made our products DMF-free as well.
Our eco-friendly PU product lines can replace all the products traditional PU leather can be applied on: balls, footwear, furniture, massage chairs, apparel, etc. There is NO limit on what type of product can make use of our eco-friendly PU leather.
We are able to provide Water-Based PU products with physical properties equal or even better in strength to the traditional PU after more than a decade of intense R&D and repeated experiments. We can also adjust our PU leather’s physical properties according to our clients’ needs.
PU material is affected by moisture in the air, so PU leather would crack and break down into small flakes that peel off the leather after a time period--this is called "hydrolysis." Our hydrolysis resistance lasts for about 4~5 years, which means that under normal circumstances, it will not break down until after 4~5 years. "Yellowing" refers to the phenomenon where white or light-color PU leather turns yellowish under the effect of sunlight or sources of UV rays in the surrounding environment; our material will pass the non-yellowing test with grade level 4~5 out of 5. "NOx" are chemicals that turn PU reddish brown; our material is resistant to that for a degree as well.