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Toluene diisocyanate

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Toluene diisocyanate Basic information

Product Name:
Toluene diisocyanate
  • 1,3-diisocyanatomethyl-benzen
  • 1,3-diisocyanatomethyl-Benzene
  • Tolylene Diisocyanate (2,4- ca. 80%, 2,6- ca. 20%)
  • Toluene diisocyanate, 98%, mixture of 80% 2,4- and 20% 2,6-form
  • Tolylene Diisocyanate (2
  • Tolylene diisocyanate 26471-62-5 TDI
  • benzene,1,3-diisocyanatomethyl-
  • benzene,1,3-diisocyanato-methyl-(2,4-and2,6-(80:20)
Product Categories:
  • 26471-62-5
Mol File:

Toluene diisocyanate Chemical Properties

Melting point:
Boiling point:
refractive index 
1.5660 to 1.5700
Flash point:
137 °C
storage temp. 
Store below +30°C.
miscible with Ether,Acetone,Benzene
clear liquid
Colorless to Light yellow
Water Solubility 
124mg/L at 25℃
3.43 at 22℃
CAS DataBase Reference
26471-62-5(CAS DataBase Reference)
2B (Vol. 39, Sup 7, 71) 1999
EPA Substance Registry System
Toluene diisocyanate (26471-62-5)

Safety Information

Risk Statements 
Safety Statements 
HS Code 
Hazardous Substances Data
26471-62-5(Hazardous Substances Data)
A designated hazardous waste (EPA). It is a colorless to yellow solid, melting at about 20°C. TDI and MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) are used in the manufacture of polyurethane foams by reaction with polyhydroxy compounds. These foams are used for insulation, upholstering, etc. Exposure is commonly by inhalation of the vapor. Both TDI and MDI can cause irritation of eyes and mucous membranes, in severe cases leading to pulmonary edema. Sensitization to TDI is common and frequently rapid, leading to an allergic reaction and some loss of lung function. In the United Kingdom, the threshold limit value is 0.02 ppm for not more than 20 min, or 0.005 ppm for 8 h.

Toluene diisocyanate Usage And Synthesis


Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is an aromatic diisocyanate that is a clear, pale yellow liquid with a sharp, pungent odor, which is insoluble in water and miscible with most common organic solvents. TDI (CAS No. 26471-62-5) consists of two isomers: toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (2,4-TDI) (CAS No. 584- 84-9) and toluene-2,6-diisocyanate (2,6-TDI) (CAS No. 91- 08-7), which is commercially produced in different ratios. The most common ratio is 80% 2,4-TDI/20% 2,6 TDI. TDI is widely used and accounted for 34% of the global isocyanate market in 2000.

Chemical Properties

Toluene diisocyanate is a colorless, yellow, or dark liquid or solid. It has a sweet, fruity, pungent odor. Toluene diisocyanate (technical, 26471-62-5) is an 80: 20 mixture of 2,4-and 2,6-isomers. A solid above 71/F/22℃. The Odor Threshold is 0.4-2.14 ppm.


Toluene diisocyanates are used primarily to manufacture flexible polyurethane foams for use in furniture, bedding, and automotive and airline seats. Other, smaller uses are for polyurethane elastomers (for automobile bumper covers, industrial rollers, sport soles and boots, and mechanical goods) and coatings (for automotive refinishing, wood finishes, and high-performance anti-corrosion coatings)(ICIS 2009). Toluene diisocyanate–based rigid polyurethane foam is used in household refrigerators and for residential sheathing or commercial roofing in board or laminate form (IARC 1986). “Pour-inplace” or “spray-in” rigid foam is used as insulation for truck trailers, railroad freight cars, and cargo containers. Polyurethane-modified alkyds contain approximately 6% to 7% isocyanate, mostly toluene diisocyanates, and are used as coating materials, such as floor finishes, wood finishes, and paints. Moisture-curing coatings are used as wood and concrete sealants and floor finishes. Aircraft, truck, and passenger-car coatings often are composed of toluene diisocyanate prepolymer systems. Castable urethane elastomers are used in applications requiring strength, flexibility, and shock absorption, and are resistant to oil, solvents, and ultraviolet radiation. They are used in adhesive and sealant compounds and in automobile parts, shoe soles,rollerskate wheels, pond liners, and blood bags. They are also used inoil fields and mines. Certain elastomer products are produced from the pure 2,4 isomer rather than the 80:20 mixture.


The functional groups in TDI react with hydroxyl groups to form urethane linkages, which are used in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foams for use in furniture, bedding, and automotive and commercial transportation seating. Other uses include polyurethane elastomers used in automobile bumper covers, industrial rollers, sporting footwear, as well as mechanical goods and coatings (metal, wood, and highperformance anticorrosion coatings). TDI-based rigid polyurethane foam is used in household refrigerators and for residential construction such as sheathing and commercial roofing. TDI spray-in rigid foam is used as insulation for truck trailers, railroad freight cars, and overseas cargo containers. Moisture-curing TDI coatings are used as wood and concrete sealants and floor finishes.

General Description

A clear colorless to pale yellow liquid with a pungent odor. Denser than water. Burns, but may be difficult to ignite. Vapors are heavier than air. Vapors irritate the respiratory system. Toxic under prolonged exposure to vapor in low concentrations or short exposure to high concentrations of vapor. Carcinogenic. Produces toxic oxides of nitrogen during combustion. Used to make polyurethane foams and paints.

Air & Water Reactions

Reaction with water liberates carbon dioxide.

Reactivity Profile

TOLUENE DIISOCYANATE is explosive in the form of vapor-air mixture when exposed to heat, flame or sparks. Potentially violent polymerization reaction with strong bases or acyl chlorides. Reaction with aniline may generate enough heat to ignite unreacted portion and surrounding materials. Reaction with water liberates carbon dioxide. Potential explosion if stored in polyethylene containers due to absorption of water through the plastic. Emits toxic fumes of oxides of nitrogen when heated to decomposition[Lewis, 3rd ed., 1993, p. 1251].

Fire Hazard


Flammability and Explosibility


Contact allergens

Toluene diisocyanate is a mixture of 2,4-TDI and 2,6- TDI. It is used in the manufacture of various polyurethane products: elastic and rigid foams, paints, lacquers, adhesives, binding agents, synthetics rubbers, and elastomeric fibers.

Safety Profile

Confirmed carcinogen with experimental carcinogenic and neoplastigenic data. Poison by inhalation. Moderately toxic by ingestion. Severe skin irritant. Human mutation data reported. Capable of producing severe dermatitis and bronchal spasm. A common air contaminant. A flammable liquid when exposed to heat or flame. Explosive in the form of vapor when exposed to heat or flame. To fight fire, use dry chemical, COa. Potentially violent polymerization reaction with bases or acyl chlorides. Reaction with water releases carbon dioxide. Storage in polyethylene containers is hazardous due to absorption of water through the plastic. When heated to decomposition it emits highly toxic fumes of NOx. See also IS0CYANATES .

Potential Exposure

Toluene diisocyanate is used in the production of polyurethane flexible foams, coatings, paints, and elastomers. It is more widely used than MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate). Polyurethanes are formed by the reaction of isocyanates with polyhydroxy compounds. Since the reaction proceeds rapidly at room temperature, the reactants must be mixed in pots or spray guns just before use. These resins can be produced with various physical properties, for example, hard, flexible, semirigid foams; and have found many uses, for example, upholstery padding; thermal insulation; molds, surface coatings; shoe inner soles; and in rubbers, adhesives, paints, and textile finishes. Because of TDI’s high volatility, exposure can occur in all phases of its manufacture and use. MDI has a much lower volatility, and problems generally arise only in spray applications.


Toluene diisocyanates are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals.

Environmental Fate

TDI is a synthetic organic chemical. It is a natural derivative of primary amines with the general formula R–N]C]O which does not occur naturally in the environment. At room temperature, it can be a liquid or crystal. It is miscible with alcohol, diglycol, monoethyl ether, ether, acetone, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, chlorobenzene, kerosene, and olive oil; however, it may react violently with alcohol, water, acid, bases, and strong alkaline materials and tertiary amines and generate enough heat to self-ignite and release toxic combustion products. TDI reacts with water and most acids producing unstable carbonic acids, which subsequently decarboxylate yielding relatively chemically inert and insoluble polymeric urea. Studies indicate that hydrolysis is the dominant process in determining the overall environmental fate, transport, and bioaccumulation potential of TDI.
Although their rapid hydrolysis in surface water reduces persistence and bioaccumulation in the environment, diisocyanates may be stable long enough to be transported some distances through the atmosphere and inhaled. Since the hydrolysis products formed are irritants, there is a potential for inhalation exposure. The degree stability is a function of humidity. It is expected that TDI does not bioaccumulate because the tendency to hydrolyze rapidly makes uptake and accumulation very unlikely. The bioconcentration factor ranges from 151 to 1183 and the bioaccumulation factor is 380. These values indicate that TDI has a low potential for bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms. TDI is expected to hydrolyze rapidly into its transformation products, making TDI generally unavailable to aquatic organisms. The highly reactive properties of diisocyanates are likely to be metabolized/ degraded at rates significant enough to counter any potential for bioaccumulation or biomagnification. It is anticipated that TDI released to water will primarily form inert polyureas, which have the potential to be deposited to sediment, forming an inert component of the sediment strata. While these polyureas are persistent, studies have indicated that they pose virtually no potential for adverse impacts on the aquatic environment.


UN2078 Toluene diisocyanate, Hazard Class: 6.1; Labels: 6.1-Poisonous materials.

Toxicity evaluation

TDI is a highly reactive compound. The toxicological properties of isocyanates are attributed to the –N=C=O group. It is thought to react vigorously and exothermically with water forming an unstable carbamic acid that dissociates to form a primary amine with liberation of CO2. Hence, the primary amine will react further generating a urea derivative. TDI also reacts readily with all organic compounds resulting in polymerization. Such reactions denature proteins, form abnormal cross-linkages, and generally disorganize the protein resulting in alteration of its normal function. This reactivity with proteins can account for its potency as a sensitizing agent. Thus, more than one reaction may occur in a system at a given time. The toxic effects of TDI can be attributed to two possible toxic actions:
1. A primary irritant action on the mucous membranes of the eyes, and the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, and 2. Bronchospasm due to either a pharmacological or an immunological reaction.
This pharmacological reaction can be attributed to altered β-adrenergic function or the blockade of the S-adrenergic system by diminishing the formation of c-AMP after catecholamine stimulation or perhaps to local histamine release. TDI may also react with naturally occurring proteins or polysaccharides to form immunohapten complexes.


May form explosive mixture with air. Isocyanates are highly flammable and reactive with many compounds, even with themselves. Incompatible with oxidizers (chlorates, nitrates, peroxides, permanganates, perchlorates, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.); contact may cause fires or explosions. Reaction with moist air, water or alcohols may form amines and insoluble polyureas and react exothermically, releasing toxic, corrosive or flammable gases, including carbon dioxide; and, at the same time, may generate a violent release of heat increasing the concentration of fumes in the air. Incompatible with amines, aldehydes, alkali metals, ammonia, carboxylic acids, caprolactum, alkaline materials, glycols, ketones, mercaptans, hydrides, organotin catalysts, phenols, strong acids, strong bases, strong reducing agents such as hydrides, urethanes, and ureas. Elevated temperatures or contact with acids, bases, tertiary amines, and acyl-chlorides may cause explosive polymerization. Attacks some plastics, rubber and coatings. Contact with metals may evolve flammable hydrogen gas. May accumulate static electrical charges, and may cause ignition of its vapors.

Waste Disposal

Consult with environmental regulatory agencies for guidance on acceptable disposal practices. Generators of waste containing this contaminant (≥100 kg/mo) must conform with EPA regulations governing storage, transportation, treatment, and waste disposal. Controlled incineration (oxides of nitrogen are removed from the effluent gas by scrubbers and/or thermal devices). In accordance with 40CFR165, follow recommendations for the disposal of pesticides and pesticide containers. Must be disposed properly by following package label directions or by contacting your local or federal environmental control agency, or by contacting your regional EPA office.

Toluene diisocyanateSupplier

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