Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is an organic compound with the formula CH3C6H3(NCO)2. Two of the six possible isomers are commercially important: 2,4-TDI (CAS: 584-84-9) and 2,6-TDI (CAS: 91-08-7). 2,4-TDI is produced in the pure state, but TDI is often marketed as 80/20 and 65/35 mixtures of the 2,4 and 2,6 isomers respectively. It is produced on a large scale, accounting for 34.1% of the global isocyanate market in 2000, second only to MDI. Approximately 1.4 billion kilograms were produced in 2000. All isomers of TDI are colorless, although commercial samples can appear yellow.
The isocyanate functional groups in TDI react with hydroxyl groups to form carbamate (urethane) links. The two isocyanate groups in TDI react at different rates: The 4-position is approximately four times more reactive than the 2-position. 2,6-TDI is a symmetrical molecule and thus has two isocyanate groups of similar reactivity, similar to the 2-position on 2,4-TDI. However, since both isocyanate groups are attached to the same aromatic ring, reaction of one isocyanate group will cause a change in the reactivity of the second isocyanate group.
It is used in the production of flexible polyurethane foams.