An industrial solvent.
Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is an industrial solvent widely recognized for its unique combination of useful properties. INVISTA uses it as a resin solvent for uncured and thermoplastic polyurethanes used in coating media, such as magnetic tapes and synthetic leather. It is also used in PVC top coating, reactor cleaning and film casting—in addition to cellophane coating and printing inks for plastics.
THF, also known as tetramethylene oxide, diethylene oxide, 1,4-epoxybutane and oxolane, is a five-membered cyclic ether. Its sterically unhindered oxygen atom carries two unshared pairs of electrons—one structure favors the formation of coordination complexes, and the other favors the solvation of cations. Both properties influence the rate, and therefore the selectivity of chemical reactions. THF is a chromatographic solvent for gel permeation chromatography and a reaction solvent for:
- Grignard reagents
- Alkali metals, alkyl and arylalkali metal compounds
- Alkali metal aluminum hydrides and borohydrides
- Steroids and high-molecular-weight organic polymers