Preserving Two-Part Polyurethane Catalyst in Storage

      Moisture degrades 2K poly catalyst. Here's advice on storing it. March 12, 2015

I trust my colleagues on WOODWEB who have helped me so much through the past fifteen years more than what the sales rep has been telling me and what the spec sheets are telling me. I know from vast experience with post-cat that refrigeration can extend pot life. Now that I'm new to 2k poly, can I extend the shelf life of the catalyst by keeping it cold?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From Contributor M

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No, this will attract moisture which is really bad for isocyanate hardeners. It works for CV because that is a catalyst that causes a chemical reaction, cooling it down stops the reaction. The best thing to do is get some nitrogen (or Bloxygen which is Argon I believe) and squirt a little in there after you're done using the catalyst. They are gasses that are heavier than air and sit on top of the catalyst preventing oxidation. Once the hardener turns milky it's no good. Most hardeners will probably last six months without doing anything so the safe thing to do is not order more than you can use in that time frame.

From contributor F:
Transferring unused catalyst to a smaller container, filling it all the way to the top so as to leave no room for air also helps extend the shelf life.

From contributor C:
What works best it to vacuum pack it. Use mason jars and a machine that allows you to seal them. Pull the air and there is no moisture.

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