Problem Solved! Identification of a New Synthesis Route for Producing Methyl-based Organotins for Polyurethanes

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September 29, 2022

As most companies over the last few years have struggled with supply chain issues, REAXIS was no exception. “We identified early in 2022 that there may be an issue in obtaining a key raw material used to manufacture our methyl-based tin products” states Dr. Michael Washington, Manager of R&D.  “Our team of chemists identified an alternative new synthetic route that uses more commonly available raw materials.”

Organotins are the workhorse catalysts in catalyzing specific polyurethane formulations. Methyl-based organotins are used for their high reactivity, typically in formulations such as elastomer and rigid foams. A common sub-family of the methyl-based tins are functionalized with sulfur to increase both delayed reactivity and hydrolytic stability. These sulfur-based methyl tins have been difficult to obtain recently due to key raw material availability.

Like all new products, product development involved initial lab scale work, followed by the pilot lab scale up, then finally moved to the plant for commercial production.  During this process, it became apparent that in using this new raw material, we saw an increase in product quality, yielding a higher purity and consistency. 

This process from the identification of alternative raw materials and synthesis route to full commercial production took 6 months.  During this time, we were able to supply our customers with material manufactured via the new process.

“I am very pleased that our R&D team identified a problem early, evaluated and was able to adapt an alternative synthetic approach to solve a problem, and never had a customer shut down from supply issues of this catalyst”, Dr Brett Allen, President.