Technical Papers

Technical Abstracts 2000-2009

Abstracts 2010-Current          Abstracts 1991-1999

Below are abstracts of technical papers presented at the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Sessions. Papers are prepared from materials submitted for the Technical Proceedings with the permission of the individual authors who are solely responsible for their content. The content has not been subjected to peer review. The PFA does not endorse or recommend the proprietary products or processes of any manufacturer. The PFA assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or use of the information presented.

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Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October 2009, Castle Harbor, NH

F09001 European SHE Initiatives Related To Flexible Polyurethane Foam Axel Kamprath, Europur

This presentation provides a contemporary update on European business conditions related to flexible polyurethane foam consumption; new environmental activities affecting mattresses, furniture and bedding products; and environmental regulatory activity that might affect the foam manufacturing process in EU states. The presentation also reports and progress and hurdles affecting REACH and notes initiatives that may affect the US polyurethane foam business. The presentation concludes with a summary of Europur Technical Committee research activities.

F09003 Principles Of Eco-Efficiency Analysis .Cristina Piluso, BASF Corporation

.The sustainability of products and processes can be measured using the Eco-efficiency analysis, which evaluates both the environmental and economic impacts of the systems of interest over the course of their entire life-cycle. Energy consumption, emissions (air, water, and solid waste), risks of misuse, health effect potential, resource consumption, and land use are quantified to assess environmental impacts, while the economic impact evaluates the total cost of using the packaging materials for materials, manufacturing, wastes, energy, EHS program costs, etc. Eco-efficiency analysis methodology was created in partnership with academia and industry and is based upon the ISO14040 standards for life-cycle assessment. It has been further developed by BASF with additional enhancements that allow for expedient review and decision-making at all business levels. Since its inception in 1996, more than 400 analyses have been completed by BASF on products ranging from vitamins and coatings to building materials and packaging systems.

F09005 Headspace Analysis Of FR Flexible Polyurethane Foam Mike Nagridge, ICL Supresta


Literature reports flame retardants used in furniture are found in homes. Concerns have been expressed by stakeholders that the mechanism of transfer may involve volatilization. This paper provides a preliminary report on initial research to determine whether fire retardants migrate from foam as a result of possible volatilization. Static and dynamic test methods were developed. Head gas analysis did not detect any fire retardants in the headspace. There was no difference in the head gas analysis collected from compressed and uncompressed foam samples. Suggestions for more rigorous study were provided.

F09002 A Catalyst Solution For Eco-friendlier Foam Jim Tobias, Air Products

The utilization of rapidly renewable resources, reducing the carbon footprint and lowering emissions have become critical issues for the long term success of any developing technology within the polyurethane foam industry, as well as many other industries. Judicious choice of amine catalyst by polyurethane foam manufacturers is essential to address product and processing needs due to today’s polyurethane industry continuing to be highly competitive and characterized by relentless efforts to improve the quality, and sustainability of its products. Additionally, polyurethane technologies are becoming more complex and require greater effort to formulate, engineer and evaluate. At the same time, industry is under pressure to reduce costs, and minimize environmental impact. An effective solution to this broad set of challenges for foam manufacturing is through utilization of more efficient catalysts, the subject of this paper.

F09004 MDI-based Flexible Foam In Pillow Manufacture John Murphy, Foam Supplies, Inc.

There has been resistance to using MDI for flexible urethane foams because of a long-held perception that this molecule 1) does not react as rapidly, nor 2) give foams of the same quality. It is the purpose of this paper to show that MDI based flexible foams, blown with Ecomate® blowing agent can produce foams with superior soft touch and ease of processibility. When used in molded pillow manufacture, the foams are easier to process, use less isocyanate, and require less heat in molds, and give earlier demold times. In addition, they have superior whiteness, and less residual odor than those foamed conventionally with TDI.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program 
May 2009, Baltimore MD

S09001 Development Of A Standard Smolder Ignition Source For Furniture And Mattress Testing Richard Gann, NIST

Current existing and proposed U.S. flammability standards for soft furnishings such as mattresses and upholstered furniture specify a “standard” cigarette as the ignition source in smoldering resistance performance tests. With the increasing prevalence of reduced ignition propensity cigarettes in the marketplace, one specific conventional cigarette that has been widely used in smolder resistance testing is no longer in production. Further, the ignition strength of existing stocks of that conventional cigarette may vary significantly. To support manufacturers and testing organizations in product design and testing, and to assist regulators in the compliance evaluation process until such time as an alternative ignition source might be identified, a continuing supply of standard conventional cigarettes is required. A key first step in establishing such a supply is the development of a measurement method for quantifying the ignition propensity of a standard cigarette similar to the one currently used for testing soft furnishings. This report describes such a measurement method. It also reports performance data for the conventional test cigarette and other contemporary cigarettes.

S09003 Software Solutions For Automated Production In The Polyurethane Foam Industry Terry Borchard, Baumer of America

Due to rising labor costs and the ever increasing pressures placed on efficiency, manufacturing costs and need to be flexible during this process, the fully automatic job processing of complete production processes becomes more and more important. This paper describes new software solutions and automation processes to allow foam producers and processors to combine all the individual components throughout the manufacturing process. The paper describes how to control the entire process from receipt of order to the final product including all the various components in the production sequence, such as long block storage, foam converting and management of rest blocks. The resulting system represents a production method that can help the industry work toward a more modern and greener foam business considering ecological values such as energy and material saving.

S09005 New Development Of Evaluating Scorch Potential Of Flexible Slabstock Polyurethane Foam Andrew Piotrowski, ICL-Supresta

Since the phase out of pentabrominated diphenyloxide flame retardants in 2004, the flexible foam industry has been actively looking for cost effective replacements that meet flammability, scorch and physical property requirements. This is a particularly difficult task for low density foams where the exotherm generated during the preparation of the foam increases, due to the high amount of added water (resulting in high heat evolution in its reaction with isocyanate to form CO2) needed to lower the density. This makes low density foams particularly sensitive to scorch. This paper will address the difficulties in reliably evaluating scorch potential of commercial and developmental flame retardants. It will also provide scorch potential data for most commercial and several experimental flame retardants generated using a new, simple and reliable scorch evaluation method developed by ICL.

S09002 Advances In Process Automation Through The Implementation Of Advanced Algorithms Kevin Ryan, Edge-Sweets

Manufacturers of flexible and rigid polyurethane products face continuing demand for improvement in product quality and deliveries, while at the same time trying to achieve cost reduction through increased efficiencies and reduced waste. ESCO (Edge-Sweets Company of America) has teamed with an Indian-based scientific company to develop a series of complex algorithms that allow for the optimal nesting of parts to be fabricated in automated production lines. The technology has been adopted by leading manufacturers in the furniture, packaging, insulation, and automotive sector as a key component in the implementation of lean manufacturing programs. ESCO presents an overview of this technology coupled with case studies from successful implementations.

S09004 New Silicone Surfactant For Flexible Slabstock Foams Produced Using Natural Oils Based Polyols Ladislau Heisler, Momentive Performance Materials

Consumer awareness of “green” issues and the depletion of non-renewable resources has created increasing demand for the creation of foam products using renewable content. Derived from renewable resources, Natural Oil Polyols (NOPs) are a viable alternative to petroleum-based feedstock. NOPs are increasingly used in a broad range of polyurethane foams, in combination with petroleum-based polyols. When blending such diverse polyols, some polymer properties issues arise as the concentrations of NOP increase in foam formulations. Foam manufacturers and NOP producers are addressing this through formulation and chemistry optimization, respectively. Polyurethane additive suppliers can play a positive role in this regard as well. This paper describes Mometive’s Niax® silicone L-670, a new surfactant that is an excellent candidate to consider for flexible slabstock foams produced using NOPs. Potential advantages over existing offerings are: improved processing latitude and foam physical properties (air-flow, IFD, compression set, tensile strength, elongation, and tear strength) at increased NOP use levels in flexible slabstock foam formulations.

S09006 Interpretation of FPF Analysis In CertiPUR Testing Nick Ordsmith, Hall Analyticalenbo Xu, The Dow Chemical Company

Analytical challenges faced by any laboratory require the use of standard procedures coupled with experience of problem solving and data interpretation. Different laboratories may tackle the same problem in various ways which, although scientifically valid, can yield different results. For any type of QC monitoring, it is important that the results obtained are correct but how do we define the right answer? Hall Analytical Laboratories is one of several listed CertiPUR-US laboratories and has validated in-house methods for the analysis of PU foams according to the prescribed CertiPUR protocols. Through method development studies with EUROPUR, we have developed and compared several analytical methods with a view to better understanding analytical variations. Sampling and sample preparation are other important variables that can lead to unexpected or different results being obtained. This presentation is intended to describe the areas where interpretation of procedure may lead to analytical variation and discuss the requirement for standardized procedures that can be adopted by all laboratories.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October 2008, San Antonio, TX

F08001 Natural Oil Polyols from Soybean Oil, a Sustainable Raw Material Phil Sarnacke, United Soybean Board

Natural Oil Polyols (NOP) are leading the transition to sustainable raw materials for the polyurethane industry. As is often the case with new raw materials being introduced to an established, technically sophisticated industry, many questions arise to the viability of the new material. In this presentation we will attempt to provide answers to those questions by addressing the following topics:

  • Supply vs Demand for soy beans (oil and meal)
  • Sustainability of soy oil as an industrial raw material
  • Biobased polyol content
  • Lifecycle analysis
  • Soy polyol projects sponsored by United Soybean Board
F08003 The Flexible Slabstock Industry – A Global Industry? Angela Austin, IAL Consultants

The flexible slabstock industry used to be a domestic affair, however, globalisation of raw material and finished goods industries means that foamers need to be more aware of what is happening elsewhere in the world. This paper summarizes two reports completed in 2008 by IAL Consultants describing the FPF Industry in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and describing the markets in Asia Pacific. Using this data and some additional information collected on the North American market, the paper provides an overview of some general trends and issues affecting the flexible slabstock markets and more detailed information of what is happening in China with regards to exports.

F08002 TDI Emissions and Exposure Monitoring and Control in Flexible Slabstock Plants: A 20-Year History of Safety Lynn Knudtson, Polyurethane Foam Association

A summary of industry workplace experience regarding possible occupational exposure to TDI can provide valuable information for technical investigators and for the public. To gather experience-based industry information, a survey of flexible polyurethane foam manufacturers was developed and sent to 17 identified flexible polyurethane foam manufacturing companies representing more than 90% of the United States production volume of FPF slabstock. The survey gathered experience-based historical data for up to a 20-year period, including information from sites cumulatively employing more than 1,300 production workers. The results indicated that the incidence of self-reported occupational asthma was infrequent representing less than 1% of the related worker population. Medically confirmed cases were less frequent. In fact, no medically confirmed cases of occupational asthma were reported among the 23 responding FPF production plants during the five years prior to the survey. The infrequency of occupational asthma among the U.S. flexible polyurethane foam plants participating in the survey supports the conclusion that currently applied TDI containment technologies and worker monitoring and protection procedures are both adequate and effective. Further reductions in the allowable limits of exposure to TDI (TLVs) in the workplace are not necessary.

F08004 The Measurement of Renewable Content in Natural Oil Polyols and Foams Juan Carlos Medina, The Dow Chemical Company

This paper explains the concept of renewable content, illustrated with examples of its use in polyols and finished products, and proposes to the industry the use of the method described in ASTM D6866 as a way to verify claims regarding the content of renewable materials, and for the first time present validation data for the mentioned method applied specifically to polyurethane foams obtained from NOPs. The paper emphasizes the absolute need for making a link between renewable content and foam performance properties.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2008, Baltimore, MD

S08001 Olmo Paper Technology For Slabstock FPF Production Ray Keen, Mondi Group

This presentation serves as an introduction to Mondi Group products and specifically OLMO Paper® Technology for production of flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) in the United States. OLMO Paper® is a process liner developed exclusively for Continuous Slabstock production of Ether/Ester/HR flexible polyurethane foam. OLMO Paper® is a unique product that combines kraft paper and a very thin peelable polyethylene film (LDPE or HDPE) via controlled adhesion. It is a new material option solving various production problems associated with conventional processing paper or standard polyethylene films. OLMO Paper® is a well functioning liner designed to run on all machine types such as Beamech, Cannon Viking, Hennecke and Laader Berg. 

OLMO Paper® offers 5 major benefits including reduction in material loss, greater protection from isocyanates prior to cure, cleaner and more efficient work environment, improved foam properties, and recyclable / reusable Kraft paper content.

This presentation provides background on the Mondi Group and details regarding the benefits of using OLMO Paper®.

S08003 Polyurethane Foam Manufacturing and Ambient Toluene Diisocyanate Gary T. Yoder, O’Brien & Gere

In response to community complaints of odors and alleged health affects related to Trinity American Corporation’s (Trinity) polyurethane foam manufacturing operation in Genola, NC, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) intervened and issued a public health advisory citing 2, 4- and 2, 6-toluene diisocyanate (TDI) emissions as the compound affecting residents. This intervention ultimately led to the closure of the Trinity facility in September 1997. Following in 2003, polyurethane foam manufacturers became aware that the ATSDR was preparing to continue their investigation of the health affects of TDI emissions on residents near other North Carolina foaming operations. In light of published errors in the original ATSDR Trinity study, these affected foam facilities acted to collect independent data through parallel ambient air TDI sampling. This presentation will summarize parallel ambient sampling of TDI emissions from four North Carolina polyurethane manufacturers over a 12-week period in 2007. The ATSDR sampling protocol will be compared to actual field monitoring set up and procedures as well as the results from the sampling efforts.

S08005 Introducing Renewable Resource Derived Polyols for Conventional Slabstock Foam Production Susan McVey, Micah Moore and Stanley Hager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC

Bayer MaterialScience has developed two new bio-based polyols, MULTRANOL®Polyols R-3524 and R-3525, containing ~20% renewable feedstocks. These polyols can be substituted at up to 100% for standard commercial polyols used in the production of conventional slabstock foam. The polyols were designed to provide near drop-in processing performance with virtually no loss in foam physical properties versus polyols based largely on petroleum based raw materials. 

The renewable content of these new polyols is derived from glycerin, soybean oil and/or castor oil. Using the proprietary Impact catalyst technology, the oils are converted to ~ 3000 MW polyether polyols. This unique polyol process technology reduces monol formation and minimizes deleterious side reactions that occur when conventional strongly basic catalysts are used. Through careful optimization of the polyol composition and process conditions, polyols are produced that are close to the commercial polyols used widely in the industry. 

These new polyols have been carefully evaluated in the production of diverse grades of polyurethane slabstock foam both in the lab and on a continuous pilot scale slabstock Minimax machine with Novaflex capability. This presentation will review the foam processing and physical property findings through these early stages of product development.

S08007 Introduction Of A New Fixed Isocynates Detector For The Measurement Of Airborne Isocynates Concentration Frank Gambino, DOD Technologies, Inc

While fixed detection systems of airborne Isocyanates have been available for 30+ years, the current available systems were designed over 20 years ago. Although functional, these products use outdated electronics and require extensive maintenance. Users typically complained of expensive repairs, high cost of the tape consumable and limited if any data collecting capability. DOD Technologies, Inc has introduced a new isocyanates monitor designed to eliminate many of the issues that are common in existing instruments, the DOD Technologies ChemLogic 1 (CL1) incorporates a new optics system which eliminates false alarms and dramatically reduces maintenance. The CL1 has gone through vigorous testing in both factory environments and in outdoor chemical plant environments in Southern Louisiana. In addition to the advanced diagnostics and extended tape life, the CL1 has been designed using reliable PLC technology. To meet the ever increasing requirements of collecting and storing data, the CL1 incorporates data logging of all concentrations. The CL1 is designed to meet a possible TDI TLV of 1ppb.

S08002 A Discussion Around Renewable Content In Flexible Foams and Other Commonly Asked Questions About BiOH™ Polyols Ricardo De Genova and Timothy W. Abraham, Cargill Incorporated

Interest in polyols due to their renewable content is increasing for a variety of polyurethane applications. Cargill Incorporated introduced its BiOH™ polyols product line for the production of flexible foams, which leverages the company’s integrated global supply chain and deep knowledge of processing oilseeds and vegetable oils. BiOH polyols are performance products derived from a chemistry that is detached from propylene or ethylene oxide and do not the have odor and quality consistency issues encountered with other natural oil-based polyols. BiOH polyols constitute a new product supply option, with increased supply stability and the opportunity for differentiation with performance essentials compared to petroleum-based products at current levels of incorporation. Because BiOH polyols are a new product line based on innovative chemistry there is a need for clarity regarding renewable content, their impact on the environment, their applicability in different foam grades and appropriate nomenclature for the final foam. This paper discusses the successful utilization of BiOH polyols in different foam grades, the market drivers for renewable content, the concept of green foam as well as a methodology to measure renewable content and the impact that these products have on the environment and food supply.

S08004 Replacing Tributyltin: New Chemistries, New Solutions” Thomas E. Robitaille, Arch Chemicals | Arch Biocides

Tributyltin compounds (TBT) are commonly used as antimicrobials to inhibit the growth of microorganisms in flexible foams. As global regulatory restrictions on TBT tighten, antimicrobial alternatives are being sought by leading foam and bedding product manufacturers. Alternatives to TBT chemistry, n-butyl-1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one (BBIT) and zinc pyrithione (ZPT), are introduced and characterized. This work focuses on the impact of these alternative antimicrobials on polyurethane foam reaction parameters, physical properties of finished foams and antifungal/antibacterial efficacy compared to a TBT-based antimicrobial.

S08006 Environmentally Sustainable Flame Retardant Choices for Flexible Foam Susan D. Landry, Albemarle Corporation

The use of flame retardants in polyurethane foam has resulted in a substantial reduction in fire deaths. In the end-use application, flame retardants delay the spread of fire or delay the time of flashover in order to enable people more time to escape the effects of the fire. 
Emerging regulations in Europe and North America are focusing on the need for characterizing all chemical substances currently used, in terms of their environmental and human health impacts. These current programs will influence regulations to be developed for other parts of the world. 

Even though there is no scientific basis to support a negative perception surrounding halogenated flame retardants, the pressure to be Halogen-Free has become a marketing tool. The selection of flame retardants is dwindling as manufactures strive to identify what may be perceived as a Green product that also has the best possible performance properties. 

Albemarle Corporation is responding to the challenge to insure that flame retardants are sustainable. A program has been undertaken to develop a non-halogenated flame retardant that offers very good environmental and human health properties, efficiency, processability, and minimal scorch. Details of the development and properties of Antiblaze 117HF, a non-halogenated flame retardant for flexible polyurethane foam will be presented along with the current regulatory status of flame retardants used in polyurethane foam. This includes updates on the status of the EU Risk Assessments, North American activity, and EU REACH for flame retardants used in polyurethane foam.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October 2007, Point Clear, AL

F07001 Chlorophosphate Flame Retardants Used in Flexible Polyurethane Foam – A Regulatory Update Raymond B. Dawson, Sylvia Jacobi, Susan D. Landry, and Nancy O’Malley, Albemarle Corporation

The use of flame retardants in polyurethane foam has resulted in a substantial reduction in fire deaths. In the end-use application, flame retardants delay the spread of fires or delay the time of flashover in order to enable people more time to escape the effects of the fires. The purpose of flame retardants in many everyday products is to save lives and property. Information is being generated on the potential health and environmental effects of the flame retardants that are used in polyurethane foam. Several of these chlorophosphate flame retardants are currently undergoing EU Risk Assessments, some of which will be completed in 2007. Some evaluations have also been performed in the US. The new EU chemical regulation “REACH” requires industry to register all existing and future new substances (including flame retardants) with the new European Chemicals Agency. This paper will address the current regulatory status of chlorophosphate flame retardants used in flexible polyurethane foam. Updates on the status of the EU Risk Assessments, US activity, REACH, and worldwide regulations involving these flame retardants will be presented.

F07003 A New Method for Measuring Dimensions of Foam Buns Daryl K. Rutt, CIA Engineering

Current methods for determining foam slabstock as-poured dimensions typically rely on hand measurements of bun sample pieces. Hand measurements are difficult to perform with consistent accuracy, and being costly, are only performed on a small percentages of buns poured. This practice invariably leads to conservative estimates of the maximum rectangular block dimensions that could be cut from a batch of buns and hence to excessive scrap margins. A measurement method based on a laser/rangecamera technique has been developed to capture closely-spaced dimensions of the entire top and side surfaces of a bun along its complete length, providing a computer-based model of the bun’s surface size shape. The technique is non-contacting and measurements are collected in real time as a bun passes past the laser/rangecamera, for example on a pouring line or on a transfer conveyor. Advantages of this new method include:

  • 100% measurement of every bun vs. statistical sampling
  • Elimination of human measurement error
  • Faster information feedback to pouring head controls
  • Reduction of scrap margins
  • Automated generation of QC reports for each bun, batch and formulation run
  • Storage of software models of bun size and shape for subsequent use in downstream Processes

Subsequent processing of the stored bun shape software models produced by the laser/rangecamera can yield further advantages in the area of process automation and product traceability, such as:

  • Calculating maximum possible cut-block sizes of each pieces of a foam bun as it is cut into shorter lengths
  • Calculating predicted final cured bun dimensions using pre-determined shrinkage factors
  • Reviewing bun size and shape data versus pouring parameters to optimize pouring settings
  • When compared with square block sizes exiting rail saws, calculating amount of scrap material produced
F07005 Ecomate in Flexible Slabstock Foams, Part 2 John Murphy, Foam Supplies, Inc

Last year we introduced Ecomate to the flexible slabstock industry. At that point we had no full scale commercial runs. With two under our belts at the time of this writing, we would like to share these success stories demonstrating the safety and low cost of conversion, the ease of use, and the properties obtained. Ecomate produces foams similar to those blown with acetone or methylene chloride, but with a lower boiling point [more efficient]. Ecomate is a safer alternative to acetone. Because of its excellent solubility, Ecomate gives slightly softer foams than those formerly achieved with HCFC-141b. It produces very low density foams with very good hand.

Ecomate is vastly superior to water, which builds polyurea giving a boardy feel to foams, and which is poorly compatible with many urethane raw materials. Hydrocarbons suffer from extremely poor solubility, from high flammability, and have VOC issues. Because of these deficiencies, neither is considered as a blowing agent for flexible slabstock foam.

An ideal combination of boiling point and solubility mimicking the solubility and boiling point of 141b makes Ecomate an ideal blowing agent in slabstock foams. No special equipment is needed to dispense it. With about half the molecular weight of 141b and very similar to that of acetone, it compares very favorably to acetone as a foam blowing agent. Because of its lower boiling point it could save on catalyst costs. Combining this efficiency and economy of use with the environmentally friendly nature of Ecomate [zero ODP, zero GWP, and VOC-exempt] there is no doubt that it can be highly appealing to this market.

F07002 Novel Environment-friendly Catalyst for Flexible Slabstock Foams Hiroyuki Kiso, Hiroyuki Kometani, and Yutaka Tamano, Tosoh Corporation Chemical Research Laboratory

Flexible slabstock polyurethane foams have been widely used in automotive interior parts, residential upholstered furniture and bedding. In recent years, the market for flexible slabstock foams has witnessed rapid growth worldwide and the flexible foam industry has been increasing the production capacity, especially in emerging country. In addition, the automotive and furniture industries have a demand for environment-friendly products. In order to increase the productivity and reduce the effects on the environment, the flexible foam industry has improved raw material, manufacturing equipment and production method, however has not considered catalysts very well.

Stannous octoate and Triethylenediamine (TEDA) has been generally used as a catalyst for flexible slabstock foams, however these catalysts have been found to contribute to VOC emissions. Especially, there is a move to reduce stannous octoate (tin catalyst) from the formulations because tin catalyst has a negative effect on the environment. TOSOH Corporation has performed a comprehensive investigation from the viewpoint of catalysts for years. We have developed TOYOCAT-SL20 which is a novel amine catalyst for use in slabstock foam formulation.

TOYOCAT-SL20 exhibit high catalytic activity and makes fine cell foam compared to conventional amine catalyst. Even in case of producing low density foam, it will not cause defoam problem and can improve split or crack problem with wide tin catalyst process range. Also, SL20 contributes positively to the foam cure. It means SL20 can help the productivity improvement. Moreover, SL20 enables to reduce VOC emissions problem because this catalyst can cut tin and amine catalyst amount.

In this report, we will introduce these results and new knowledge on catalysts. In addition, we would like to discuss the influence of catalysts on foam properties and VOC emissions.

F07004 Additives For Emulsions And Dispersions In Flexible Foam Formulations Ralf Hoffmann, Johannes Büscher and Erin Kelly, BYK

Incompatibility issues are well known even in today’s standard foam formulations. A typical example is the use of fillers such as calcium carbonate in polyol components. Also in more special foams such as supersoft and viscoelastic grades it is essential to use formulation components of different chemical compositions. The products range from limited solubility to complete incompatibility. The desired qualities can only be achieved when homogeneous mix of the formulation occurs.

Inhomogeneity can result in a reduction of physical properties. In the future, the situation is likely to become more complex. In an effort to meet the ever changing market demands, typically requiring improved properties new flexible foam formulations are being tested and introduced. Many include new materials increasing the potential for the formulators to face compatibility issues more often than in the past.

Typical problems are phase separation of liquids, sedimentation and flotation of solid particles or agglomeration of finely dispersed materials. Without proper mixing and sufficient stabilization of the emulsions and dispersions, the targeted improvements are likely be hindered due to phase separation of the incompatible formulation components. Sources for incompatibility in liquid to liquid blends are from the use of a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic polyols or the application of new polyols from renewable sources with high hydrophobic characteristics. Problems with sedimentation of solid particles are observed when fillers, solid flame retardants, pigments and powders are part of the formulations. The paper will elaborate concepts of the stabilization of solid-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces. With the help of examples the paper will offer additive solutions for the application of incompatible formulation components, hence allowing new and interesting physical properties for future flexible foams.

F07006 Voluntary Emissions Control Action Program Glade Squires, BSEF

VECAP is the Voluntary Emissions Control Action Program for commercial brominated flame retardants (BFRs). It was established in 2004 by the BFR industry to identify, control and reduces emissions of BFRs into the environment through partnership with the supply and customer chain. VECAP is a product stewardship industry initiative that reinforces first the control and then the reduction of emissions throughout the manufacturing process by fostering a culture of continuous improvement. The initial results show that VECAP is both practical and a cost effective means of controlling emissions of BFRs and other raw materials utilized by industry. VECAP contributes also to fostering more supply chain communication. The VECAP model is supported by the European regulatory authorities not only as a sustainable solution for managing brominated flame retardants but also as a precursor to handling environmentally sensitive chemicals in general under REACH.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2007, Baltimore, MD

S07001 Development of Halogen-Free Flame Retardant Solutions for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Jeff Stowell, Supresta

Flame-retardant additives are often used to reduce the risk and severity of polyurethane foam combustion. A wide variety of flame retardants are known and commercially available for this purpose. The phase out of the widely used flame retardant pentabrominated diphenyl ether in 2004 due to its persistent and bioaccumulative properties has prompted the flame retardant industry’s move towards the use of more sustainable halogen-free flame retardant alternatives. In recent years Supresta has introduced two sustainable halogen-free flame retardant solutions Fyrol® HF-4 and Fyrol® PNX for flexible polyurethane foam. Building on this knowledge, we continue to develop sustainable next generation products for use in flexible polyurethane foam. In this paper, we will discuss scorch, flammability and physical property performances of our halogen-free product solutions.

S07003 New Silicone Surfactant Designed for Viscoelastic Foam Ladislau Heisler, Momentive Performance Materials

The volume of visco-elastic foam used in bedding continues to increase. Active programs to improve the processing latitude to help reduce foam manufacturing loses have been a continuing effort for additive suppliers. This paper describes a new silicone surfactant offering that provides cell opening and stabilization for both TDI and MDI viscoelastic foam, and can be used alone or in conjunction with a stabilizing surfactant depending on level of stability required. The new silicone surfactant provides enhanced cell-opening characteristics; reduced foam shrinkage and scrap rate; improved processing latitude, non-hydrolyzable type structure; superior product consistency, emission reduction – lower VOC and odor, and lower viscosity, providing improved handling of the surfactant stream.

S07005 Development of Environmentally Friendly Bromine Based Flame Retardants for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Stephen Falloon, Chemtura

Flexible polyurethane foam is highly flammable. Flame retardants are used to reduce this hazard and to enable foam to comply with fire safety standards. Recently, there have been increased concerns about the effect of flame retardants upon the environment. This paper discusses recent development of environmentally friendly bromine based flame retardants for flexible polyurethane foam.

S07002 Advances in Natural Oil Based Polyols Chemistry and Supply Options for the FPF Industry Ricardo De Genova, Cargill Incorporated

Interest in polyols derived from natural oils has been increasing in recent years for a variety of polyurethane applications. Key drivers are: production from renewable resources, bringing a new product supply option, supply stability, and the opportunity for product differentiation. Until now, the successful use of natural oil based polyols in flexible slabstock applications has been limited due to issues with quality consistency, odor, impact on physical properties and processing limitations. Most recently Cargill Incorporated introduced BiOH(TM) polyols product line for the production of flexible foams. BiOH polyols are performance products produced with a chemistry that is completely detached from propylene or ethylene oxide that have resolved the odor and quality consistency issues previously encountered with other natural oil based polyols. This paper describes the large-scale evaluation results of the BiOH polyols first generation in different foam grades.

S07004 Preliminary Analysis of FPF Samples for CertiPUR-US William Stegeman, Stork Twin City Testing

This paper provides a summary of laboratory analyses for nine polyurethane foam samples including six categories of analysis:
1. Extractable heavy metals
2. Tributyltin (TBT)
3. Sum of six specified phthalate plasticizers
4. Pentabromodiphenylethers (PBDE’s) – fire retardant
5. 2,4 Toluenediamine (TDA) and 4,4’ Diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA)
6. Specified Volatile Organic Compounds and total Volatile Organic Compounds

S07006 Advances in Adhesive Technology for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication Gary Groat, Worthen Industries, UPACO Adhesives. Div.

This paper provides an overview of adhesives used in the foam fabrication industry including solvent adhesives that can be flammable or non-flammable; water-based adhesives produced from either natural rubber latex, or synthetic rubber emulsions often used with viscoelastic foam products; hot melt adhesives primarily used with low tension laminations, and PSA adhesives for use in tape applications, typically applied to release paper and transfer coated onto foam substrates. Adhesive technology has improved through improved formulations and through the development of automation to improve production efficiency. The development of adhesives using acetone as the only solvent in a formulation has provided end users with a fast drying adhesive that requires no VOC reporting. Hot melt formulations are now capable of “structural” bonds to foam; with very long open time and firm, but flexible final bonds. New developments in automated spray bridges help expand opportunities for use of hot melt adhesives. Water-based one-part synthetic rubber adhesives now provide fast set and foam tear, with less dimpling of final bonds and are particularly suited for use with memory foams. Formulations for roll coater applications allow one-way application, and improvements have been made in mechanical stability and in faster set speeds, which creates more efficiency. Additionally, cleaning solutions for roll coaters have dramatically reduced the time and effort that has been expended in recent years to clean equipment after production. New developments include heat-reactive film adhesive products, films produced and supplied in web form. Advances in automated adhesive application are also discussed.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October 2006, Santa Barbara, CA

F06001 Report From The Viscoelastic Technical Task Group Roy Pask, BASF Corporation

The PFA Viscoelastic Foam Task Group was formed in 2003. In the previous Task Group technical presentation made at the May, 2004 PFA Technical Program, the group reported the results of round robin testing of density, resilience, IFD, recovery time, air flow and compression set. The purpose was to determine whether the test methods specified in ATSM D-3574 were appropriate for use with viscoelastic foam products.

This paper and slide presentation report the results of additional round robin testing to determine the effect of temperature and humidity on compression set testing, and to determine whether the pounding fatigue test specified in ASTM D-3574 was reproducible with viscoelastic foam samples. The report also addresses the question of whether viscoelastic foams lose their slow recovery performance after fatiguing.

F06003 Antibody Assays: Limitations And Appropriate Uses Cynthia Graham, Huntsman Corporation

Specific IgG for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) human serum albumin (HSA) was reported in 8% of residents living close to a foam manufacturing facility that used TDI (Environmental Health Perspectives: 665:1998). However, because comparable data were not obtained in populations without such facilities, the significance of this finding is uncertain. In a recent study of a general population, specific and non-specific IgG antibodies reactive with HDI- and TDI-HSA were detected in subjects with no known exposure to isocyanates.

The correlation between diisocyanate antibody testing and occupational asthma has been investigated for decades. These assays have not proven sufficient to identify individuals diagnosed with diisocyanate-induced asthma. Assays vary with each lab; a validated method is still not available. Since antibody testing can not identify disease or exposure in potentially exposed workers, it is unlikely that these tests can be reliable markers of diisocyanate exposure in non-worker populations.

F06002 Regulatory Issues For Flame Retardants Used In Flexible Polyurethane Foam Susan Landry, Albemarle Corporation

Flexible polyurethane foam is used in products that we encounter everyday, such as upholstered furniture, automobiles, carpet underlay, and bedding. Flame retardants are used in many of these applications to help protect society. In the end-use application, flame retardants delay the spread of fires or delay the time of flashover in order to enable people more time to escape the effects of the fires. The ultimate purpose of their use is to save lives and property. Research has shown that the use of flame retardants in upholstered furniture has results in a substantial reduction in fire deaths.

Some flame retardants have received negative publicity due to perceived environmental and toxicological issues. Many of the conclusions that have been drawn are broad generalizations that are only applicable to specific flame retardants. Information is being generated on the potential health and environmental effects of the flame retardants that are used in flexible polyurethane foam. Several of these flame retardants are currently undergoing EU Risk Assessments and evaluations in the US. This paper addresses the current regulatory status of flame retardants used in flexible polyurethane foam. The presentation includes updates on the status of the EU Risk Assessments, US activity, and worldwide regulations involving these flame retardants. Also included is an update on fire safety regulations related to polyurethane foam applications. 

F06004 Ecomate in Flexible Slabstock Foams John Murphy, Foam Supplies, Inc

The ideal combination of boiling point and solubility mimicking the solubility and boiling point of 141b makes Ecomate an ideal blowing agent in slabstock foams. With about half the molecular weight of 141b, it is all the more economical for this application. Combining this efficiency and economy of use with the environmentally friendly nature of Ecomate [zero ODP, zero GWP, and VOC-exempt] there is no doubt that it can be highly appealing to this market.

Ecomate is vastly superior to water, which builds polyurea giving a boardy feel to foams, and which is poorly compatible with many urethane raw materials. Hydrocarbons suffer from extremely poor solubility, from high flammability, and have VOC issues. Ecomate produces foams similar to those blown with acetone, but with a lower boiling point [more efficient]. Because of its excellent solubility, Ecomate gives slightly softer foams than those formerly achieved with HCFC-141b. It produces very low density foams with very good hand.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2006, Washington, DC

S06001 New Innovations in Combustion Barrier Technology Harrison Murphy, Ventex Fabrics

Abstract: For foam mattresses the challenge has been to design combustion barrier systems that optimize the”feel” benefits of the latest innovative foams. Many mattress manufacturers will discover that the nonwoven batting style barriers may cause all products to “feel the same”, regardless of content. The “sameness in feel” can be eliminated by switching to an engineered textile barrier system that can accent the properties of contouring foams and provide an optimum sleeping surface for the consumer. This presentation will include test data, photos, samples, and discuss issues related to this innovation and why it benefits foam producers strategic objectives.

S06003 Interlaboratory Study on Smoldering Ignition Stephen Falloon, Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry / Chemtura Corporation

An interlaboratory study (ILS) was conducted on three pairs of materials (foam and fabric) in eleven laboratories in accordance with the May 2005 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) protocol for cigarette smoldering ignition of upholstered furniture mockups. The foams of 1.35 and 1.80 pcf density and compliant with the draft revision for Calif. TB117 (TB117+). The fabrics were the cotton velvet product specified in the CPSC protocol. Evaluation of the statistical results revealed a large variation in results for both of the foams. Thus, it is possible that results from a variety of laboratories could have a significant range in weight loss. The practical result of this variability is that “failures” (i.e., greater than 10 percent mass loss in a single test run) were recorded in this ILS and more would be anticipated, even though the vast majority of these tests passed the proposed CPSC criteria. This paper will identify some of the physical variables associated with the protocol and offer a number of observations that may affect test outcomes.

S06005 Negotiating RACT for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Manufacturing Facilities Hubie Gallagher, RTP Environmental Associates, Incorporated

Abstract: Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements are applicable to flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) manufacturing facilities located throughout the U.S. in ozone non-attainment areas. These areas are designated by U.S. EPA and are monitored for compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). When Ambient Air Quality Standards change, they tend to become more stringent and the Nonattainment areas have expanded. As the regional air regulations become more stringent, they increase the potential for the requirement for FPF manufacturers to control pourline emissions. These increased control requirements can apply to existing sources even if they currently have valid air permits. This paper discusses the options available to FPF production facilities that become subject to state and federal RACT Requirements.

S06007 Overview on Bio-based Polyols for FPF Production Phil Sarnacke, United Soybean Board


This presentation will review the status of the development work being done by various polyol producers to produce soy based polyols for use in flexible Polyurethane foam formulations. The efforts sponsored in part by the United Soybean Board are an attempt to expand the product offerings to all segments of the polyurethane industry. A discussion of economic potential and technical progress to date along with a preview of soy polyol products to come for the slabstock industry will be covered in the presentation.

S06002 Improved Phosphorus-based Combustion Modification Heiko Tebbe, Lanxess Corporation

The paper will introduce new phosphorus-based flame retardants for polyurethane foams addressing market demands for low scorch and low emissions. The paper will present the properties of the products in formulations for furniture as well as in automotive formulations along with its health and environmental characteristics. Test results will demonstrate the flame retardant efficiency, low scorch characteristics and low fogging levels.

S06004 An Industry Economic Review of the CPSC Staff Draft Proposal for a Flammability Standard for Upholstered Furniture Russell Batson, American Home Furnishings Alliance

At the request of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), and the Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC), CRA International (CRA) reviewed the Consumer Product Safety Commission staff’s (CPSC) draft upholstered furniture flammability standard. Based on its review, CRA concluded that the CPSC staff’s preliminary regulatory analysis fails to support the draft standard. This presentation will discuss compliance with the requirements detailed in the CPSC Staff Draft Proposal might affect future FPF economics in upholstered furniture.

S06006 TDI Air Sampling Methods Dana Pelc, Weston Solutions

In 1996 the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted an investigation of Trinity American Corporation (Trinity) located in Glenola, North Carolina. Under pressure from the ATSDR, the North Carolina Department of Health and local residences, ATSDR continued its investigation of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) emissions and in 2004; ATSDR released a protocol for continued investigations of TDI in the atmosphere near other FPF manufacturing sites in North Carolina (ATSDR, 2004). The protocol was designed to: 1) Identify four communities with potential for exposure to diisocyanate emissions; 2) Characterize exposed populations and select comparison populations; 3) Verify the presence or absence of diisocyanate releases in the ambient air of target and comparison communities; 4) Further refine exposure characterization using air sampling/air modeling in both exposed and comparison communities; 5) Recruit adult participants, aged 18 years and older, who reside in the study areas; 6) Assess potential for occupational exposure to diisocyanates or exposure to other sources of diisocyanates among participants; 7) Assess the presence of diisocyanate antibodies in blood samples from participants in both target and comparison communities; 8) Assess respiratory health among participants using screening questions. The protocol outlined monitoring methods for sampling for TDI that would be used in the study. In 2005 the protocol was revised to provide an updated approach to TDI monitoring for the proposed study (ATSDR, 2005). This paper will discuss the various TDI monitoring methods and their advantages and disadvantages with regard to the proposed ATSDR studies.


Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October 2005, Charleston, SC

F05001 FlatPack™ Foam Bun Compression System Bill Blackwell, Beamech Group Ltd.

The cost of foam bun transport and storage has a serious impact on the final sales cost of the foam bun to the converter.  In addition, foamers are continuously looking at transporting products over greater distances including overseas transit.

This paper describes a process that can be used to compress and wrap full sized foam buns to allow significant reductions in both transport and storage costs.

F05003 New Flame-Retardants For Flexible Polyurethane Foams Ted Halchak, Supresta US LLC

New flame retardants for flexible polyurethane foams that are introduced to the market must meet a number of environmental and health criteria and at the same time be cost efficient. A number of alternatives to pentabrominated diphenyl oxide have been designed and successfully commercialized. Development of new flame retardant solutions for polyether and polyester flexible polyurethane foams is an ongoing process, addressing market needs. This paper compares the performance of E-AF120, a new FR solution, to that of E-AF074, which is a halogen-free product.

F05005 Reduced VOC And Fog Emissions In Flame Retardant Automotive Foams Hoover Chew, Albemarle

This paper reviews the fogging and VOC characteristics, along with the flammability performance, of ANTIBLAZE TL-10-ST, a thermally stable, high molecular weight flame retardant with exceptionally low fugitive emissions, and compares characteristics to various commercially available flame retardant additives for flexible polyurethane foam.

F05007 FlatCon Slabstock Conveyor System Jim Shoup, Hennecke Machinery, Bayer MaterialScience

The paper presents measured yield improvements for the FlatCon version conveyer system, a processing system that was designed to replace existing conveyors while keeping the existing portal and out-feed systems including the cut-off saw. 

F05002 Low Odor Non-fugitive Amine Catalysts Ladislau Heisler, GE Advanced Materials

For more than a decade there has been a need for more effective non-fugitive amine catalysts. The drivers are well known: government regulations, health and safety standards and demands from the automotive industry.  This paper describes two non-fugitive tertiary amine catalysts that offer improved performance. NIAX EF-600 is a candidate to replace standard gel amines like Niax Catalyst A-33.  And Niax Catalyst EF-700 is a blow amine that can be used in place of Niax Catalyst A-1. The paper reports fugitivity measurements by GCMS headspace analysis of foam.

F05004 A New Highly Sophisticated Silicone Surfactant For Flame Retarded FPF Roland Hubel, Degussa

This paper discusses the dependency of the chemical structure of universal and FR-surfactants and their contribution to flammability, as well as other performance characteristics, and introduces a highly sophisticated surfactant capable of providing optimal FR-properties while maintaining the advantages of conventional and universal surfactant products in flexible polyurethane foam applications.

F05006 Formulating Efficiencies For Flexible Slabstock Polyurethane Foam Jane Kniss, Air Products & Chemicals

This paper reports on a new surfactant that processes well across a wide range of foam densities and firmnesses, provides good nucleation, a high degree of emulsification, excellent froth stability, and good bulk stability. Discussion emphasizes the advantages related to processing very low density, low hardness, and low density FR foam grades.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2005, Washington, D.C.

S05001 "Environmentally-Preferable Approaches for Meeting Furniture Fire Safety Standards" Kathleen Vokes, EPA DfE Program

 Abstract: This presentation will compare and contrast the environmental and human health risk factors associated with 14 combustion modifying additives offered as possible alternatives to PBDE materials. The decision-making criteria used to rank risk factors will be explained.

S05003 "Enforcement of National Flammability Standards" Gib Mullan, CPSC

 “Enforcement of National Flammability Standards”  Gib Mullan, CPSC

Abstract: This presentation will summarize CPSC enforcement strategies with a focus on imported goods and will describe a unique opportunity presented by the U.S. Flammable Fabrics Act to allow domestic manufacturers an opportunity to differentiate their products from overseas competitors.

S05005 "Low Scorch Flame-Retardants For Flexible Polyurethane Foams" Danielle Bright, Supresta U.S.

 Abstract:  This paper will present information about two proprietary flame retardant additives for polyether and polyester flexible polyurethane foams addressing market needs for improved scorch resistance for low density formulations. Both products exhibit good hydrolytic stability and thermal ageing properties.

S05007 "Fire Retarded Foam Flammability Consortium " Jeff Gilman, NIST

Abstract: This presentation will provide information on planned research to develop foam formulations and quantitative flammability measurement methods to aid FPF manufacturers and additive suppliers in developing fire safe foams that are environmentally safe and cost effective. The primary outcome of this work being the creation of a structure-flammability property database for polyurethane foams.

S05002 "Development of a Flammability Standard for Residential Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses " Dale Ray, CPSC

Abstract: The presentation will summarize the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission work-to-date on development of a national flammability standard for residential upholstered furniture. 

S05004 "Improved Flame Retardants For Flexible Polyurethane Foams " Richard Rose, Great Lakes Chemical

Abstract: Recently the health and environmental impact of some traditional flame retardants have caused concerns. Certain traditional flame retardant products have recently been voluntarily withdrawn from the market. Although alternatives have now been successfully introduced, further improvements are desired. This paper discusses the issues being raised and the next generation of flame retardants being developed to address these performance concerns.

S05006 "Fire and Toxicology Aspects of Polyurethane Foam" Filippo Gavelli, Chester Clarke, Exponent, Inc.

 Abstract: This presentation will describe the basic steps of the fire investigation process. It will provide examples of how the area of origin and fuel first ignited may be determined, which is the first step towards assessing fire liability. The presentation will focus on the behavior of FPF involved in such fires including the toxicological and health effects of burning FPF. The different products of combustion of FPF, with or without fire retardant treatment, will be described as well as their related toxicology.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October 2004, Albuquerque, New Mexico

F04001 "Specialty Organosilicone Surfactant For Use In Combustion Modified Flexible Slabstock Foam" Greg Pickrell, GE Advanced Materials, Silicones

Abstract: GE Advanced Materials, Silicones has developed a new organosilicone surfactant for use in flexible slabstock foam applications that require the use of flame retardants. This surfactant is specifically designed to minimize the amount of flame retardant required to pass the California Technical Bulletin 117 combustibility test. Performance improvement in other combustibility tests, like MVSS-302, is also expected. The typical range of FR reduction is 10 ? 30% less than presently required using existing “FR” silicone surfactants like Niax® silicones L-620, L-618 and L-635. This new product can be used in conventional foam manufacturing processes as well as those that use CO2 as auxiliary blowing agent.

F04003 "Reactive Flame Retardants For Flexible Polyurethane Foams" Samuel Bron, AmeriBrom, DSBG

Abstract: Usually, the flame retardancy of polyurethane foams is achieved by addition of combustion modifiers or flame retardants. Most flame retardants used today have an additive character in the sense that they do not react with any other ingredient present in the foam formulation. The notable exceptions are in the field of rigid polyurethane foams: bromine-containing diols and polyols. For flexible polyurethane foams the leading flame retardants are non-reactive: chlorinated phosphate esters and penta-bromo-diphenyl ether. The former are less effective, particularly in view of forthcoming more severe fire regulations. The later will be banned for use for HSE reasons starting of 2008, and the manufacturer announced that its production will be ceased by the end of this year.

The present work deals with a different concept for making flexible polyurethane foams flame resistant: use of reactive flame retardants. Their inherent advantage resides in the creation of covalent bonds with the polyurethane network during the foam formation. Thus, the flame retardant is no longer free to migrate out of the foam. Our tests indicate that at most, only a small part of the FR could be extracted using an organic solvent at a long contact time and relatively high temperature. On the other hand, any other additive flame retardant for that matter, can be almost completely extracted using an organic solvent in exactly the same conditions.

The reactive flame retardants may affect to some extent the reaction path. This may result in some changes in the properties of the foam. However, we shall show that small adjustments in the design of the reaction mixture allowed us to bring the foam properties to the same level they were when a non-reactive FR was used. Examples will be given involving mono-functional bromine-containing flame retardants: FR-513, an off-the-shelf flame retardant, and FR-1335X, a recently developed, proprietary flame retardant produced by the Dead Sea Bromine Group.
1 – TAMI (IMI) – Institute for R&D, P.O. Box 10140, Haifa Bay 26111, Israel
2 – Dead Sea Bromine Group, Makhleff House, P.O. Box 180, Beer-Sheva, 84101, Israel

F04005 "Micro-Springs FPF Replacement For Metal Spring Units in Furniture construction" Todd Green, BASF Corporation

Abstract:  Conventional cushioned furniture construction usually involves the use of metal-spring elements supporting upholstered foam cushions. This method, while widely used, could be labor intensive and may have its own set of safety concerns for the furniture manufacturer.
We have developed Micro-Springs™ foam technology based on BASF’s Pluralux™ foam chemistry that allows the metal spring elements to be replaced with a block of suitably engineered polyurethane foam. This paper reports on the testing of such materials in a love seat designed to accommodate both a metal-spring section and another section for interchangeable foam blocks. The foam samples were thoroughly characterized for physical properties. Once installed in the furniture, their performance was evaluated using human subjects in both pressure mapping studies and “comfort” opinion surveys. Several different foams were analyzed and compared with each other as well as with the metal spring element.
These investigations indicated that incorporation of polyurethane Micro-Springs™ foam technology into the furniture-design could help customize comfort, based on individual customers’ expectations, for superior feel without utilization of metal-springs.

F04007 "Progress Towards the Development of Viscoelastic Polyurethane Foam Produced with VORANOL VORACTIV Polyols" Robbyn Prange, Dow Chemical Company

Abstract: Viscoelastic foam has been gaining market growth over the past five years and is expected to exceed 400 million pounds by 2013. The exponential growth of viscoelastic foam in bedding applications is linked to its ability to conform to a shape, provide total support, and eliminate pressure points for people sitting or sleeping. 

In 2003, Dow launched two commercial polyols for the viscoelastic market, VORANOL* 3150 offered in North America and DHT 750 offered in Europe. As a compliment to these products, Dow has utilized structure property relationships and polyol design to develop an autocatalytic polyol that imparts viscoelastic properties to foam. This experimental VORANOL* VORACTIV* polyol EP-143630 allows TDI-80 and PMDI based viscoelastic foams to be produced with decreased levels of amine catalysts. Given that viscoelastic formulations are prepared with high levels of volatile amine catalysts (based on density), the utilization of this VORANOL VORACTIV polyol can impart a large reduction of volatile amine catalysts while not negatively impacting viscoelastic foam processing or physical properties.

This paper describes research conducted at The Dow Chemical Company on VORANOL VORACTIV polyols specifically designed for viscoelastic foam applications. Formulations and physical properties for foams catalyzed with an autocatalytic experimental polyol will be discussed and compared to foams prepared with VORANOL 3150 and traditional amine catalysts

*Trademark of the Dow Chemical Company

F04002 "A Study of Bonded Carpet cushion For Airborne PBDE Emissions" Bill Oler, Carpet Cushion Council

Abstract: It is known that PBDE has been used in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam to help products being made for the upholstered furniture business meet certain flammability codes. It is also claimed that PBDE has been released into the environment in quantities sufficient to be of concern, and that an increasing number of state legislatures have considered regulation accordingly. 

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which bonded carpet cushion made from a certain amount of post-consumer scrap polyurethane foam which contains a known amount of PBDE may emit the PBDE.

F04004 "A New Generation of SAN Polymer Polyols for Use With Liquid CO2 Machinery" Jurgen Maebe, Shell Chemicals

Abstract: The market trend towards flexible foam cushioning materials with superior support characteristics, as provided by polymer polyol based conventional high load bearing foams and high resilience slabstock foams, continuous to spread globally. In order to meet this increased demand, Shell Chemicals has invested last year in a new 50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) world-scale polymer polyols plant at Pernis (The Netherlands), which marks the latest step in a 10-year global strategy to strengthen Shell chemicals companies’ position as leading global suppliers to manufacturers of polyurethane foams used in the furniture, bedding and automotive industries.

The new polyols produced in this plant are based on proprietary SAN process technology and are a stable suspension of polystyrene-acrylonitrile particles in conventional ether and high resilience type polyols. These new polyols allow the production of high quality foams across a broad grade range and they exhibit wide processing latitude. Special attention has been given to the performance of the high load bearing type polymer polyol when used on the various types of liquid carbon dioxide foam making.
Therefore, the polymer polyol CARADOL MD30-45 (solids content ± 45%wt), which has a typical maximum polymer particle size of approximately 100 µm, has been treated (filtered) to eliminate those polymer particles with a diameter larger than 25 µm. Such controlled polymer particle size prevents blockage of the “pressure regulators”, used in the lay-down devices, which in some cases contain openings of a limited size smaller than 100 µm. This paper describes the foam physical properties obtainable with a wide variety of formulations based on the new SAN polyols.

F04006 "Micro-Springs FPF Replacement For Metal Spring Units in Furniture construction" Todd Green, BASF Corporation

Abstract:  Conventional cushioned furniture construction usually involves the use of metal-spring elements supporting upholstered foam cushions. This method, while widely used, could be labor intensive and may have its own set of safety concerns for the furniture manufacturer.
We have developed Micro-Springs™ foam technology based on BASF’s Pluralux™ foam chemistry that allows the metal spring elements to be replaced with a block of suitably engineered polyurethane foam. This paper reports on the testing of such materials in a love seat designed to accommodate both a metal-spring section and another section for interchangeable foam blocks. The foam samples were thoroughly characterized for physical properties. Once installed in the furniture, their performance was evaluated using human subjects in both pressure mapping studies and “comfort” opinion surveys. Several different foams were analyzed and compared with each other as well as with the metal spring element.
These investigations indicated that incorporation of polyurethane Micro-Springs™ foam technology into the furniture-design could help customize comfort, based on individual customers’ expectations, for superior feel without utilization of metal-springs.


F04008 "Advanced Conveyou Technologies for FPF Production" Jim Banks, Intralox, LLC

Abstract: In January 2004, Crest Foam Industries retrofitted its steel slat pour conveyor to Intralox technology to eliminate the threat of catastrophic failure and to reduce operational costs. There are inherent production and conveyance problems associated with the steel slat belting commonly used in foam plants. Intralox Modular Plastic Belt technology significantly reduces these problems. This document outlines the problems associated with steel slat belting, the advantages of Intralox Modular Plastic Belt technology, and the method used to apply this technology to the Pour Conveyor.

Manufacturers, regardless of the product, are always searching for methods to eliminate inefficient conveyor transport. Identifying new technologies that improve production capabilities and the companies that provide and service those technologies can be key in our pursuit of cost reduction. Three applications in a foam plant have been identified as promising areas for savings by transitioning to Intralox Modular Plastic Belt. These applications are the Pour Conveyor, the Bun Transport, and the Roll Compressor. The process for retrofitting a Pour Conveyor is documented here, and the results include a 100% reduction in maintenance since installation of the Intralox Modular plastic belt.

Benefits from the Intralox solution for the Bun Transport Conveyor are projected as: (1) an increase in annual foam production of 170,000 yards, (2) a reduction in scheduled downtime of 50%, (3) a payback in 7.5 months, (4) elimination of unscheduled downtime, and unscheduled maintenance. Benefits for the Roll Compressor Conveyor include the potential for an extension of belt life by 166%. 


Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2004, Washington, D. C.


S04001 "Environmentally-Preferable Approaches for Meeting Furniture Fire Safety Standards" Clive Davies EPA DfE Program

Abstract: This slide presentation (no text available) describes a potential -partnership- project to help flexible slabstock manufacturers consider environmental factors as they weigh cost and performance in decision making regarding the use of alternative flame retardant additive technologies. The presentation proposes that without outside help environmental factors are beyond the reach of industry.

The EPA DfE program proposes to identify viable alternatives, provide a thorough search of EPA literature, collect and organize industry data, develop application models, and present results of data search.

S04003 "Novel Flame Retardant for Flexible Polyurethane Foams" William Brown Albemarle

Abstract: This paper reports on the development of a novel flame retardant for flexible polyurethane foams. This material, named XP-7252 was tested for use in foams at densities of 1.8 and 1.1 pounds per cubic foot and exhibits excellent flame retardancy (Cal 117), scorch and physical property data. Screening techniques for applicable candidates are discussed and comparisons with known flame retardants are made.

S04005 "Impact of Polyurethane Carpet Cushion on Appearance Retention and Durability of Commercial Carpet "Mike Norton Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam

Abstract:  (No text available) This PowerPoint presentation summarizes the results of Philips Chair (caster test) and Hexapod Drum durability testing of 26 oz. and 32 oz. commercial carpet combined with a 10 pound density .25-inch thick commercial carpet cushion. The tests demonstrate a -pass- result from the Philips Chair test after 50,000 cycles. The Hexapod Drum test resulted in a 50% Appearance Retention Rating (ARR) for the 26 oz. carpet with cushion after 12,000 cycles compared to the same carpet without cushion. The 30 oz. carpet with cushion showed a 17% ARR improvement compared to the same carpet without cushion.

S04007 Update on European environmental issues.

Abstract: This presentation provides information on the impact of European Union (EU) enlargement, business trends in the EU, safety, health and environment legislation in Europe, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) program, Best Available Technology (BAT) practices, an update on the use of certain combustion modification additives in Europe, postconsumer waste processing and the development of European FPF processing standards.

S04002 "Development of a Flammability Standard for Residential Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses" Dale Ray CPSC

Abstract: The presentation (slides only – no text available) summarizes the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission work-to-date on development of a national flammability standard for residential upholstered furniture and mattresses. Regarding furniture, the CPSC plans to evaluate public comments, to complete the technical work on the CPSC staff draft standard, and to maintain dialogue with Calif. BHF regarding TB117+ and with EPA regarding a possible Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for flame retardant chemical.

Toward development of a mattress flammability regulation, the CPSC will be preparing a staff decision package with regulatory options, analyzing Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) comments, then will prepare a draft standard for the NPR.  

S04004 "Voluntary Children’s Chemical Evaluation Program" Richard Rose Great Lakes Chemical

Abstract: The paper summarizes a voluminous report that can be found online at Penta final report.pdf.  The Voluntary Children’s Chemical Exposure Program Pilot Evaluation Report on penta-PBDE is an independent research effort to determine possible health effects associated with exposure to penta-BDE. Possible exposure pathways are identified and maximum possible cumulative exposure is estimated and compared toxicity benchmarks. The research indicates that all estimated exposures for children and adults were below relevant screening toxicity benchmarks. Once penta-PBDE production ceases (end of 2004), evidence from other markets indicates that exposure will steadily decline.

S04006 "ASTM D3574 Testing Applied to Viscoelastic Flexible Polyurethane Foam" Roy Pask, PFA Technical Task Group

Abstract: The PFA Technical Task Group investigated the unique properties of viscoelastic foams and evaluated the effectiveness of the existing D3574 protocol to determine whether existing test methods would require modification when applied to the testing of viscoelastic FPF products. The ASTM test procedures for IFD, 90% compression set, and Frazier airflow were found to be appropriate for use with viscoelastic products. ASTM height recovery and fatigue by isopounding procedures may require modification for use with viscoelastic foam.


Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
October, 2003, Montreal, Quebec


F03001 “MDI-Based Viscoelastic Foam for the Furnishings Market”, Raymond Neff, BASF Corporation

Viscoelastic foam continues to grow in acceptance, although widespread use in furnishings has been limited by factors such as poor processing and durability. In particular, processing and the desired slow recovery behavior are difficult to achieve at high density. In response to these issues, BASF developed PLURACEL™ slow recovery foam. This all-MDI slabstock technology offers numerous advantages including excellent processing, physical properties and durability. The formulations require no tin catalyst, exhibit fast cure and the foams are sufficiently open-celled so that they do not require crushing. Foams of density ranging from 2.3 to 13 pcf are reported in this paper.

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F03003 “Reformulating for the Long Term”, Richard Rose, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation

Raw materials used to produce flexible polyurethane foams are under scrutiny. Certain additives used in FPF are being examined for possible persistence and bioaccumulation. It has become apparent that industry must take steps to develop sustainable alternatives. This paper focuses on flame retardants, however much of the information will also aid in understanding how chemicals in general are being scrutinized. This paper provides a framework for reformulating to help improve the sustainability of new products and allow reduction of future reformulating costs.

F03005 “Converting FPF Scrap Into Polyol Through Glycolsis”, Gerhard Behrendt, H&S and Edge-Sweets

Currently about 8 million metric tonnes of polyurethane are produced annually in the world. About 5 to 10% semi-finished products and final products result in manufacturing waste. Post-consumer materials add additional polyurethane foam product to the waste stream. This paper presents an alternative to transesterfication technology that can be used to reduce landfill disposal and incineration needs. The new glycolsis process can be performed using continuous or batch processing in as little as 20 minutes at moderate temperatures to recover useable polyols from dissolved FPF wastes.

F03007 “Final Review of an API Interlaboratory Study for the Development of an Upholstered Furniture Fire Test”, Kurt Reimann, Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry

Research and development studies by API member companies have been conducted to develop a small-open-flame fire test method for upholstered furniture composites. The basic test method is one under consideration by the state of California and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The test method incorporates a flame ignition source, similar to a match or cigarette lighter, and uses a laboratory mock-up with the same components as would be used in an actual furniture item. The fabric and foam, as well as batting and interliner, if appropriate, are assembled in a manner similar to that described in British Standard BS 5852. An inter-laboratory study (ILS), was conducted with 12 laboratories, using 7 composite specimens with three replicates of each specimen. The specimens consisted of a range of upholstered furniture compositions. In addition to the laboratory-scale tests, large scale and full-scale experiments were conducted by two of the laboratories.

The results of the inter-laboratory study, including the assessment of an appropriate “test result” for the method, are discussed including the repeatability and reproducibility of the laboratory results, and the results obtained in the large and full-scale testing. 

F03002 “A Bromine Based Flame Retardant for Flexible Polyurethane Foams”, William R. Brown, Albemarle Corporation

This paper reports on the development of a new flame retardant for flexible polyurethane foams. Flame retardancy was determined by California Technical Bulletin 117, Section A, screening test method. Scorch testing results were obtained using an internally developed test method. Work was done on foams with densities ranging from 1.1 pcf to 1.8 pcf at isocyanate indices from 1.15 to 1.01. The resulting flame retardant, called XP-7085, has been shown to produce quality foams that can be made on existing production equipment.

F03004 “MultiFill: An Innovative Technology for Processing Slabstock Foam with Fillers”, Ingo Wilkes, Hennecke Machinery Group, Bayer Polymers

NovaFlex® – MultiFill is a new technology for processing slabstock foams with fillers such as suitable melamine and calcium carbonate. This process can be used for in-line filler addition into the main Polyol stream or for batch blending.

This paper provides a solution for mixing fillers in the CO2 foaming process using mixing ratios of from 100:0 to 100:100 parts Polyol to filler using a separate metering line system, which will be added to the existing equipment. The inline process allows filler levels to be changed on the fly. The technology is designed to process filler particle sizes in excess of 50m and to eliminate filler agglomerations in the Polyol/filler mixture, which could cause pinholes in the foam structure.

F03006 “Low Odor, Low Emission Additives for Polyurethane Flexible Slabstock Foam”, Juan Burdeniuc, Air Products And Chemicals

A relatively recent market trend shows increasing interest in polyurethane foam additives that are not going to be released into the environment. Although currently available amine catalysts are acceptable by today’s standards, the current competitive environment for better products is moving towards more environmentally benign products with lower odor, fogging, staining and ultimately lower exposure of end users to chemicals.

This paper reports recent efforts to produce a low odor and low emission polyurethane catalyst. that can chemically bind into the polyurethane foam matrix, making its migration out of the foam difficult, while providing a good quality product. The paper demonstrates that the new catalyst can afford not only dimensional stability and processability, but also providing a polyurethane foam product with low odor and low emissions up to temperatures as high as 90oC.


Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May, 2003, Arlington, VA

S03001 "Efficient Recovery of FPF for Recycling" , Gregory Conigliaro, Conigliaro Industries,

This presentation provides the current status on mattress recycling and discusses the reasons why land filling and rebuilding mattresses and furniture may not be the best solution to old home furnishings disposal. It also provides an update on some existing regulations and projects landfill bans that may occur in the future. Conigliaro Industries is a 70,000 sq.ft. recycling facility outside Boston, MA with custom machinery to address the special requirements necessary for efficient recycling of mattresses and box springs.

S03003 "Review of API Interlaboratory Study for Development of a Furniture Fire Test", Kurt Reimann, Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry

This is a continuation of the development of a small-scale composite furniture flammability test that was presented at the October 2002 PFA Technical Program. The paper presents the results of interlaboratory or “round robin” work to develop a small-scale composite test method. The goal of this work is to help reduce the incidence of fire deaths and injuries associated with fires involving upholstered furniture. The results of the interlaboratory study are not complete and more research and data analysis will be required. Further evaluation of the test with a wider range of materials and additional large-scale testing will be reported as part of a later PFA Technical. Before final regulations are put into place, it is strongly urged that more full-scale fire testing be done.

F02005 Industrial Hygiene Sampling for Airborne TDI in Six Flexible Slabstock Foam Manufacturing Facilities in the United States, Barbara Cummings, Bayer

There has been a considerable amount of industrial hygiene sampling conducted for airborne toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in the flexible slabstock polyurethane foam industry. The focus of the sampling has generally included long-term (time-weighted-average) monitoring, not short-term sampling episodes. By conducting only long-term sampling, which averages the exposure over some extended time period, these short-term episodes (i.e., tasks or activities) of peak exposure were not characterized. This article will focus on the results for both short-term and long-term samples collected at six flexible slabstock foam manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, including a comparison of the short-term and long-term data to determine if long-term (average) sampling underestimates short-term (peak) exposures.

S03007 "EUROPUR Environmental Activities", Hubert Creyf, EUROPUR

Flexible polyurethane foam operations and issues are becoming global. This presentation reviews changes in the European Union (EU) legal environment with particular emphasis on the new EU chemicals policy, the status of certain flame retardants and related fire legislation, a EUROPUR-sponsored assessment of mattresses, and an introduction to the EU Safety Health and Environment (SHE) standards, as well as a European perspective on the handling of post-consumer waste.

S03002 "Recycling of Scrap Foam to Improve the Profitablity of Slabstock Production", Martin Dawson, Mobius Technologies

Scrap rates are approximately 20% for most slab foam manufacturers. Some of the scrap is used as rebonded carpet cushioning, but this market is in decline. At the same time, the supply of scrap is increasing, and the value of scrap is thus projected to decline precipitously. Mobius Technologies has commercialized a process for turning excess scrap into an ultrafine powder, which can be used to replace virgin chemicals in the manufacture of new foam. The paper examines the factors causing the over-supply of scrap foam, including ELV, the landfill directive and US flooring trends and the economics of adopting the Mobius process for a typical slab foam manufacturer.

S03004 "MegaFoam: New Processing Technology for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Niche Markets", Ingo Wilkes, Hennecke Machinery division of Bayer Polymers

Discontinuous productions of flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) are used for medium production outputs. The MegaFoam allows for a flexible production of special foam grades in low quantities. Customers have the ability to develop and produce a multitude of foam densities and foam grades including conventional, HR, HS, viscoelastic and sponge-structure foams, while using standard raw materials. The basic machine is equipped with a line for Polyol, Isocyanate, activator, silicon and tin. Rectangular and round foam blocks can be produced. The maximum shot weight is 330 pounds/block. The equipment uses the vacuum and pressure technology and produces foams qualities in the density range between 0.75 and 5 lbs./cubic feet.

The MegaFoam system exceeds the hardness and softness ranges of foam produced with standard raw materials. It is highly flexible equipment, which does not need any blowing agent. The MegaFoam processing equipment system is primarily for developing market niches products with lower investment cost.

S03006 New Low Volatility Amine Catalysts for Use in Flexible Slabstock Applications. Kaye Robinson, Crompton / OSi Specialties Urethane Additives

Tertiary amine catalysts have historically been used in the preparation of flexible polyurethane foam (FPF). However, the most active amine catalysts are plagued by relatively high volatility. Release of these amines during FPF production and in post-production consumer goods is becoming a topic of concern in the FPF industry, especially in automotive and bedding applications. In fact, some applications in Europe require that amines be non-volatile.

To address industry concerns, the OSi Specialties Urethane Additives group of Crompton Corporation designed a new family of amine catalysts. These catalysts are not released from fabricated FPF parts, yet can be used to produce good quality urethane foam with acceptable economics. This new family of catalysts achieves reduced volatility primarily through high molecular weight / low vapor pressure.

This paper describes OSi Specialties first low volatility catalyst developed for use in flexible slabstock foam applications. Performance characteristics are defined and compared to a standard amine. Reactivity is characterized by customary means such as cream time and rise time, as well as by comparison of exotherm curves during bench foaming. Specific use levels and formulation suggestions, along with typical physical properties are discussed.

S03007 "Acoustical and Vacuumability Performance of FPF Commercial Carpet Cushion", Mike Norton, Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam

This joint research program co-sponsored by the Carpet Cushion Council and the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, identifies some of the potential acoustic and maintenance benefits of commercial bonded polyurethane carpet cushion.

Noise management has been recognized for its importance in workspace productivity, creating significant interest in the acoustic properties of materials for commercial interiors. This presentation reports the results of an independent laboratory evaluation of various popular commercial carpet cushions.

Ease of maintenance is also an important parameter in commercial flooring. In a separate independent study, the efficiency of dirt removal by vacuum cleaning using popular commercial carpets combined with a number of different carpet cushions was measured using a standardized test method.

The presentation concludes that carpet installed over commercial polyurethane bonded carpet cushion provides improved sound absorption compared to the same carpet installed without cushion. Carpet installed over commercial polyurethane bonded carpet cushion can provide an improvement in dirt removal by vacuuming compared to the same carpet installed without cushion.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program

October, 2002, Salt Lake City, UT

F02001 Fine Cell Structure FR Surfactant for Use with CO2 as ABA, Greg Pickrell, Crompton OSi Specialists

Until now, no FR silicone surfactant for flexible slabstock foams made using CO2 as auxiliary blowing agent has ever provided the optimum combination of cell structure control and process latitude of our “pre-CO2” products (for example, Niax® silicone L-620). Silicone surfactants that were “non-FR” in performance, whether classified as hydrolyzable or non-hydrolyzable materials, have been the easiest to use in manufacturing acceptable quality foams. Silicone surfactant manufacturers have been approaching the goal of “pre-CO2” performance with each new product introduction. Our developmental work at Crompton Corporation recently culminated with the introduction of Niax silicone L-635 that achieves the goal of excellent cell structure in combination with very broad processing latitude. The developmental history of this unique silicone is reviewed, and the performance characteristics are discussed. 

CarDio FillTech Technology CO2 Frothing with Fillers, Tony Griffiths, Cannon Viking, Proceedings of the Technical Program of the Polyurethane Foam Association Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, October 17 & 18, 2002

Following the phase-out of CFC blowing agents in the USA and Europe, most foamers have also eliminated methylene chloride and installed CO2 froth systems. Increased interest in foam fire safety has brought the focus back to fillers and melamine powder in particular. But, will fillers run on all CO2 froth processes?

CarDio CO2 frothing technology uses a gatebar device for froth laydown. The reasons for originally choosing this type of device are examined, as well as why this technology has proved to be the most successful CO2 froth process for running fillers.

There are some important rules for running fillers with CarDio. These rules form the basis of the Cannon Viking FillTec technology, which can be supplied as a fully integrated plant for efficient handling of fillers – from powder in bags or bulk to the foam line.

F02003 TDI Scrubber Technology in Australia, Rob Sack, Pacific Dunlop

Control of TDI emissions from foaming operations has been a requirement in Australia for many years. The high cost and low efficiency of activated carbon and water mist led to the development of a cheaper, more efficient scrubber technology. This process has been developed and refined over the past 12 years, with all the foam plants at Dunlop Flexible Foams Group now successfully using this technology.

F02005 High Resilience Polyurethane Foam with the Performance of Latex Foam, Ted Smiecinski, BASF

Typically, in cushioning applications, latex foam is used in bedding and pillows. It is used in high price-point pieces and is associated with the best in comfort and durability qualities. Using appropriate formulation and materials selection, as well as comparing similar density and hardness properties, urethane foam can be made to outperform latex in nearly every standard flexible foam property test. Additionally, urethane can be made to exhibit similar “hand” characteristics normally associated exclusively with latex foam.

Test results of typical latex foam samples used for cushioning applications were compared to test results of urethane foams formulated with BASF PluracolÒ HR polyols at comparable density and hardness.

These urethane foams (made with PluracolÒ HR polyols and TDI) will exhibit similar “hand” to latex foam and will also outperform latex in most flexible foam tests. Reducing water and replacing it with CO2 to maintain IFD will improve “hand” as well as support. Commercially, one could conclude that urethane foams made according to the methodology described will last longer and exhibit similar, if not better comfort qualities, than latex foam.

Marketing messages from suppliers of latex foam for cushioning state that latex foam is more comfortable and lasts longer than urethane foam. Data suggests that properly formulated urethane foam, at comparable foam density and hardness to latex foam, will outlast latex foam. Furthermore, formulations made with PluracolÒ HR polyols exhibit the same comfort qualities as latex foam. This may translate into an excellent opportunity for urethane to replace latex in most foam cushioning niches where latex is currently perceived to hold advantages.

F02007 Update on CATB117 and AB603, John McCormack, CBHFTI

This presentation addresses the status of work being conducted to improve the safety of furniture and bedding products sold to California consumers. The paper describes test protocols that are being investigated to update Calif TB117 (residential upholstered furniture) and also addresses the requirements of AB 603 (residential bedding). The goal is to find an effective means of testing the flammability of upholstered furniture and bedding as well as to help achieve reductions in the numbers and rates of deaths, injuries and property losses related to furnishings fires.

F02009 Developing an Open-Flame Ignition Test Method for Residential Mattresses, Gordon Damant, Inter-City Testing & Consulting

Almost thirty years ago, the United States mattress industry was actively engaged in working with the government to develop a flammability test method and to regulate residential mattresses. Since 1974 every mattress sold in the U.S. must be resistant to cigarette ignition, as specified by 16 CFR 1632. Recently, attention has again been drawn to the flammability of residential mattresses and foundations.

The current mattress fire issue relates to the open-flame ignition resistance of residential bed sets. Over the past four years the mattress industry has funded extensive flammability research at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) to assess the flammability of typical bedding systems, including the bedclothes used on the bed as well as the mattress and foundation. The major phases of this research have been completed.

Both federal and state regulators have indicated a desire to regulate fires in bedrooms. In October 2001 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPR). Public comment on the ANRP was completed by December 2001. In August 2001 California enacted law requiring all mattresses sold in California after January 1, 2002, to be resistant to open-flame ignition. As part of the development of test methods and standards, California is also required to investigate the open-flame fire properties of residential bedclothes.

This paper briefly discusses the mattress industry’s response to the current flammability issues and also summarizes the recent research at NIST intended to address open-flame ignition resistance of residential bed sets.

F020011 Alternatives for Brominated and Halogenated FR Additives, Ted Halchak, AKZO-Nobel

Special problems:
Cost efficiency (Alternatives to current Halogenated products are almost always more expensive and/or more difficult to process, if available at all.)
When Fire Retardants are eliminated, the added risk to life and property often far outweighs the reduction of risk from their removal.

Alternative in a special application:
Pentabromo di phenyl oxide : Efforts to replace PBDPO has been underway for some time.

Replacement in flexible foam has been a uniquely difficult problem because of its special fit in this technology. No other product has been found that is as cost effective and as easily processed in a wide range of products while being highly resistant to scorch (foam discoloration or degradation which makes it unacceptable for many end uses.) As a result, many products have been developed that meet some but not all of these replacement requirements. The closest product we have yet found for this is a product called EAC003. This product is a new development that appears to answer many of the concerns at an acceptable cost, from processability and product performance to the toxicity standpoint.

Included in the paper will be extensive data regarding performance of this product and other products with similar performance characteristics (from fogging to firmness of foam).

F020013 Exotherm Management Technology, Jacob Sturgeon, Woodbridge Group

Managing the exotherm of the water-isocyanate reaction continues to be a limiting hurdle in the goal of producing low cost, efficient, environmentally friendly polyurethane slabstock foams. There is continued local and international progress in the reduction and elimination of many organic auxiliary blowing agents (ABAs), including: CFCs, methylene chloride and methyl chloroform.

There is an increasing need to develop and adopt low cost alternative methods of producing high water polyurethane slabstock foams safely, with reduced health and environmental risks.

This presentation, Exotherm Management Technology (EMT), was developed and patented by Woodbridge Foam Corporation to address the exotherm issue and the idea of eliminating the reliance on auxiliary blowing agents.

In addition to the highly predictable exotherm management, EMT offers: 1. The benefits of formulation cost reduction and capital cost avoidance; 2. Reduction or elimination of scorch discoloration; 3. Increased load building efficiency through the water-TDI reaction and subsequent reduction or elimination of SAN; 4. Reduced cross-sectional physical property variation. In addition, EMT also works synergistically with many technologies, increased processing latitudes, especially in the direction of ultra-low density foams.

F02002 Latest Developments of Silicone Surfactants for Liquid CO2 Foam, Rob Borgogelli, Degussa Goldschmidt

The use of methylene chloride as a blowing agent in the production of flexible polyurethane foam has been severely restricted in recent years by the adoption of National Standards (EPA and OSHA) and by regional legislation (state, provincial, municipal). Foam production facilities have met these new regulatory requirements by selecting alternative technologies to achieve similar products with the same properties.

The approach most widely adopted in the industry is the use of Liquid Carbon Dioxide as a blowing agent in formulations to replace methylene chloride. Introduced in 1993, this technology has evolved from a novel experimental technique to a commercially viable process. To date, over 50% of the foam plants in the US and Canada have implemented the equipment and made this conversion.

The road to success has been very technically challenging. Mechanical improvements to optimize the equipment are ongoing. Foam line managers are continuing to refine their procedures and operating conditions to produce a better, more consistent quality of foam. Complementing these process improvements, surfactant suppliers are developing new chemical structures that are better designed to support nucleation (achieve a fine and uniform cell structure), yet still maintain the standard functions of stabilization, processing latitude, and good burn test results.

This presentation will review the implementation of the Liquid CO2 foam process in North America, and how the Goldschmidt surfactant product line evolved over the years. The laboratory techniques used to screen and optimize the performance of liquid CO2 surfactants will be reviewed, as well as the criteria that has been established for the “next generation” candidates. Data from laboratory evaluations and commercial plant trials will also be presented.

F02004 Adsorption of TDI Using Activated Carbon, Chris Ecob, Camfil Farr

There is an inevitable loss of air contaminated with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) from flexible polyurethane foam manufacturing processes. The volume of air and the degree of TDI contamination are governed by the mechanics and chemistry of the process. TDI is hazardous to human health and control measures are required to protect process operatives and the wider environment.

Camfil Farr has extensive experience in successfully providing turnkey extraction and filtration systems for TDI. The first responsibility in any contract is to provide safe conditions for the operatives, particularly at sensitive process locations. The second responsibility is to ensure legislation relating to environmental emissions is satisfied under all normal operational conditions. It is desirable to provide confidence that compliance will be achieved during excursions outside normal operation and also in response to any reasonable future tightening of emission limits. The third responsibility is to ensure that the abatement plant is essentially invisible to the manufacturing process and running costs are minimized (power consumption, consumables, maintenance requirements etc.).

The presentation will draw upon experience in UK, USA and Canada to detail efficiency and lifetime data together with capital and operational costs. Comments will also be made relating to observations on plant operation that only come with experience.

F02006 Round Robin Testing to Verify Section 3 of the Proposed CATB117 Revision, Herman Stone, PFA

PFA conducted a round robin test of the proposed revision of TB Cal 117 (foam tests only) involving 13 laboratories. Each laboratory tested four currently commercial foams, each in triplicate using the mockup test. The foams were also tested using the heat-aged version of the vertical ignition test with revised specifications.

At the time of this presentation, not all of the participating laboratories had finished the testing.

Preliminary data showed that the 1 pcf sample failed the mockup test in most but not all instances. The 1.5 pcf foam passed in the majority of cases but showed some failures as well. The 1.8 pcf foam and the HR foam samples succeeded well.

The vertical test results generally followed those of the mockup test. Vertical test failures in most instances were accredited to the new proposed criteria. In most cases, though, these commercial foams passed the current requirements.

F02008 Development of a Mass Loss Technique for Furniture Flammability Performance, Kurt Reimann, Alliance for the Polyurethane Industry

In this paper, the development of a small open flame test for upholstered furniture is described. This new test method uses mass loss as the prime criterion in evaluating furniture flammability performance. The small-scale test rig is modeled after that in the BS-5852 standard and uses a composite specimen. This development work by the API Combustibility Committee is closely tied to the efforts in California (117 draft standard) and at CPSC to develop similar tests. Results on the behavior of various furniture component materials will be discussed.

F020010 Effective Reactive FR for Production of Combustion Modified Flexible Foams, Tim Geran, AmeriBrom

The US National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has raised its concern about the lack of fire safety in furniture usually containing flexible polyurethane (PU) foams. Consequently, NASFM has addressed this issue since 1993 and is now supporting the Furniture Fire Safety Act, which is being considered for introduction into the US Congress. If this legislation becomes law, it will require that all upholstered furniture for sale to consumers be made in accordance with the requirements of California TB 117.

An even more stringent version of TB 117 is being considered that would have similarities with the well-established British Standard BS 5852 “crib 5”.

This paper addresses the effectiveness and environmental benefits of Tribromoneopentyl alcohol (FR-513), a reactant polymer modifier offered by DSBG. FR-513 can be used to produce flame-retarded flexible PU foam able to pass fire safety standards at lower densities.

F020012 Combustibility of Polyurethane Foams, Rakesh Paleja, Shell Chemicals

Polyurethane foam combustion is an important industry issue. In this presentation, different test methods that are used to characterize foam combustion will be first reviewed. Also, the basic reactions and their relative importance in the propagation of fire will be discussed.

When foams are tested as per the BS5852 test method, many factors can influence the combustion behavior. The foam type (Conventional/High Resilience), foam density, type of flame retardant additives (liquid, halogen/phosphorus or solid, melamine) and the cell structure are some of the important variables. Influence of these factors will be discussed.

In our study using the BS5852 test method, we have seen that in HR foams, a type of liquid flame retardant can affect foam combustion. The decomposition temperature and the halogen content of the liquid flame retardant are the most influential variables which should be considered in designing the formulation. However, in conventional foams, both solid and liquid flame retardants are important, and a judicious combination of the two is desirable. Changing the foam density shows that the presence of melamine becomes even more important at low densities in conventional foams.

Total weight loss (TWL) and rate of Total weight loss (rate of TWL) are two of the many ways by which foam combustion can be characterized. By measuring TWL in a dynamic way during combustion, we have seen that, unlike that which is commonly believed, rate of TWL is not a constant parameter. Appropriate ways to quantify the rate of TWL will be presented, and their advantages and disadvantages will be discussed.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program

May, 2002, Arlington, VA

S02001 Higher Quality DBTDL Catalyzed HR Foam, Rich Rose, Great Lakes Chemical

Data show that a new flame retardant additive can improve overall high resilience flexible polyurethane foam quality. The use of dibutyl tin dilaurate catalyst can result in depolymerization of cured flexible polyurethane foam if the catalyst is not deactivated.

Addition of halophosphate ester flame retardants has typically been used to deactivate dibutyl tin dilaurate. An adverse side effect has been foam discoloration. This paper presents a new flame retardant additive which deactivates the dibutyl tin dilaurate without causing the foam to discolor.


S02003 Non-fugitive Catalysts for CO2 Blown Foams, Ernie Rister, Huntsman Petrochemical


Flexible polyurethane foams have been and remain one of the most versatile cushioning materials ever produced. We, as an industry, have faced a number of issues over the years and have always responded with improved products and solutions, but we still face additional challenges. It is increasingly important to support improved safety and responsible care in all phases of the polyurethane market. Government regulations, industrial hygiene, plant emissions, and odors in our products are increasingly becoming more visible and important. National, State and local governmental agencies each have their own requirements for emissions from the manufacturing locations. The furniture, bedding industry and carpet industries are becoming more concerned with chemicals that may effect the customers perception of their products.

Tertiary amines are an essential ingredient in any flexible slabstock formulation. With liquid CO2 production the amine concentration has been increased substantially and the amine choices changed to reflect higher specificity for the blowing reaction to control the initial viscosity. The catalyst systems generally employ a strong gelling amine such as triethylene diamine and a second very strong blowing catalyst, bis-dimethylaminoethylether. It is commonly used to control the froth viscosity and improve the yields of a particular formulation. Unfortunately these catalysts have relatively high vapor pressure.

We will show that better alternatives exist that are less troublesome, lower in emission potential and produce a wide range of foams with excellent properties for both conventional and liquid CO2 blown foams. There is only a “small priced toupee” for this increased margin of safety.


S02005 Foam Discoloration In The Presence Of Amines, Dr. Kerstin Schrinner, Ciba Specialty Chemicals

Polyurethanes are prone to degradation both during processing and end-use, as a result of the combined effects of mechanical shear, thermal-oxidative and UV light exposure. During manufacture, antioxidants are effective at preventing free-radical induced oxidation and preventing scorch discoloration of flexible foams. The state-of-the-art for the stabilization of flexible slabstock is based on combinations of hindered phenols and secondary aromatic amines.

This paper gives a short overview about the autoxidation cycle, the mechanism of stabilization conferred by various additives, and their influence on scorch and surface foam discoloration. Traditional amine based antioxidant packages are compared to amine-free and low-amine containing solutions.

Foam suppliers are becoming more and more under pressure to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in flexible foam used in automotive, furniture and bedding products. Especially automotive manufacturers look for additives with good fogging properties. As a result of design changes in automobile wind screens, higher temperatures are measured in the interior of cars. Such temperatures lead to evaporation of volatile materials followed by condensation (fogging) deposits on the windows.

The main sources of VOCs and fogging emissions are additives like silicone surfactants, amine catalysts, BHT and aromatic aminic antioxidants.

Fogging and VOC data are presented to show and compare the relative influence of the most common AO additives to amine-free and low-amine containing antiscorch packages.

S02002 The Environmental Fate Of TDI/MDI-Based Polyurethane Foams, Fran Lichtenberg, Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry

Every year billions of pounds of polyurethane products are manufactured worldwide. At the end of their useful life, a sizable fraction of these products are placed in landfills. So the question has been raised about the stability of polyurethanes in a landfill, and the potential for production and release of degradation products such as aromatic amines.

API has sponsored research, conducted by Carnegie Mellon Univerisity, to investigate the potential environmental impact of several types of polyurethane under simulated landfill conditions — both fermentataive and methanogenic conditions, which represent different stages in the lifecycle of a landfill. Each phase of the study ran for approximately 2 years.

Four types of polyurethane foams were studied:

  • FPF (TDI/polyether polyol type)
  • Polyurethane spray foam (polymeric MDI/polyester polyol based)
  • Polyisocyanurate foam (polymeric MDI/polyester polyol based)
  • Automotive shredder residue (ASR)

The conclusions from studies conducted by Carnegie Mellon University for the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry are:

  • Polyurethane foams do not degrade in landfills
  • Any aromatic amines generated from such degradation would not leach into the groundwater, but would remain bound to the landfill matrix, or would further decompose.


We will show that better alternatives exist that are less troublesome, lower in emission potential and produce a wide range of foams with excellent properties for both conventional and liquid CO2 blown foams. There is only a “small priced toupee” for this increased margin of safety.

on expensive, imported petroleum.

It was shown that sustainable, biobased polyols are cost-effective and economical, as well as environmentally preferable.

S02004 Polyurethane Foams Based on Soy Polyol Blends, Tom Kurth, Urethane Soy Systems

This presentation described the composition of SoyOyl® biobased polyol, made with sustainable raw materials from annually renewable, agricultural resources.

It addressed soy-based polyol use in flexible and rigid polyurethane structures, and provided background for investigating the use of soy-based polyols for the production of slabstock flexible polyurethane foams.

Technical data was presented from research conducted under standard operating conditions and environments. The use of SoyOyl® and standard polyols blends was compared in reference to MW for stable system performance.

Customer preference and market demand for sustainable, biobased materials and the Government’s support and preferences for biobased products made from annually renewable, agricultural resources was explained.

Significant energy and VOC reductions and in SoyOyl® biobased polyols production was compared to that of petrochemical based polyols. The presentation included discussion of the possibility of future government legislation for greater use of sustainable, biobased materials to satisfy increasing demands, and to reduce air pollution and the overall dependence on expensive, imported petroleum.

It was shown that sustainable, biobased polyols are cost-effective and economical, as well as environmentally preferable.

S02006 An Update On Flame Retardant Additives in Europe, Dr. Hubert Creyf, EUROPUR

Polyurethane foam has always had a relationship with the fire phenomenon. In certain countries and in user sectors, this has lead to the creation of fire legislation or rules. To meet certain fire standards, flame retardants have been used.

This presentation will provides an overview of the attitude of different parties toward the use of FRs in Europe. Indeed, there are as many positions as there are parties. Furthermore, definitive country statistics are rare, and product liability is not often applied in this field. This makes a general, universal European fire legislation very difficult to achieve.

The actual use of FRs (including brominated FRs) by EUROPUR members will be matched with the different points of view, and possible future developments will be projected (of which new regulations in the USA may be an influential parameter).

The presentation includes a list of on-going activities and recommendations.

All contents copyright ©2001 Polyurethane Foam Association

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program

October, 2001, New Orleans, LA

F01001 New Developments in Low VOC FPF, Richard Milian, Nitroil Performance Chemicals, Inc.

Nitroil Performance Chemicals present a summary of the research work evaluating several reactive amines in conventional slabstock, and HR molded formulations. These reactive (incorporable) amines were compared with non-reactive (non-incorporable) amines in order to provide a solution to the challenge of VOCs. The demands for low VOC flexible foam extend beyond the automotive industry to the manufacturers of flexible slabstock foam. From the study they share their findings that significant reduction in VOCs were achieved, while maintaining similar physical properties results when compared to the industry standard catalysts.

F01003 Current Available FPF Adhesives, Bill Hazelgrove, Imperial Adhesives

This paper outlines the differences of various methods of adhesion for flexible polyurethane foam by discussing the positive and negative points of each method, as well as the types and applications of each adhesive. Covered in this paper are Water Borne, Hot Melt, Flammables, and n-Propyl Bromide adhesives.

F01005 Development and Trends in the Supply of Modern FPF Slabstock Machinery and Plant Utilizing Integrated, Distributed Control Systems,Terry Daly, Cannon Viking

Recently executed projects by Cannon Viking are typical of the trend and current interest within the industry for modular, high specification, multi-functional, slabstock machinery using dedicated, distributed control systems for complete plant control and integration into the users Management Information Systems (MIS).

Recognizing the capital expenditure constraints often facing users today, the CMAX machine and type of control system described below have been designed for supply in a modular fashion if so desired. Such a methodology permits users to: 1) make periodic additions to their plant as funding becomes available and, consequently, results in a modern fully integrated plant to meet their long term strategic goals 2) enter new, possible niche product markets, not currently served and at minimal additional capital investment.

The Cannon Viking CMAX machine represents the latest design in slabstock machinery employing Ether & Ester production, possible operating configurations of Maxfoam and conventional liquid pouring together with CarDioÔ (the Cannon group Liquid Carbon Dioxide auxiliary blowing system) all in one piece of plant. Control is via the in-house developed and supported “OMEGA,” PC/PLC-based system that also permits user support by remote modem access.

The OMEGA controls use a distributed control architecture, which has, for specific projects, been extended to incorporate the control and management of large, bulk chemical storage systems, whilst interfacing with modern computer-controlled converting machinery.

The user benefits derived from such an approach are: enhanced plant controllability, formulation flexibility, repeatability, accuracy and extensive data logging input into the users own MIS enabling full trace-ability of chemicals through to finished product. This latter feature is proving essential to European foamers as environmental pressure and legislation dictate tighter monitoring and recording of hazardous chemicals storage and usage.

F01002 CO2 Blown FPF with Enhanced Hardness, Isabelle Tiberghien, Shell Chemical

The technology of flexible polyurethane foam manufacturing is changing rapidly to accommodate new processes and replace traditional blowing agents with sustainable alternatives. A study to define optimal conditions for slabstock processing using liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) as the blowing agent was set-up at the Shell Chemical Laboratories in Belgium. While replacement of methylene Chloride blowing agents with liquid CO2-based technology leads to a reduction in foam hardness, the use of Shell Chemicals polymer polyols overcomes this hardness loss and may further enhance hardness in liquid CO2-blown foams. The paper also introduces a foam properties prediction program, Formul8, which is used to aid the choice of raw materials to obtain specific foam specifications.

F01004 High Speed Processing of Contoured Parts, Michael Anders, Fecken-Kirfel America

This paper states that to achieve high speed processing of contoured parts, one must consider two separate operations:

  1. Quickly entering parts into the contour cutting machine. These can be either new parts, which need to be digitized, or existing part files. They will then need to be economically nested and have a blade path defined. Further to this operation, one may take the days’ orders and sort the parts by foam type and finished part thickness, thereby, creating a job queue for like parts and cutting them as a single batch.
  2. Efficiently cutting the parts. Fast cutting times are not purely a function of straight line machine speed. Other factors can significantly influence the outcome for a fast overall cutting time. It is not enough to only cut quickly, but to do it while maintaining tolerance and having a smooth defined contour.
    This paper covers the above items in more detail as well as a brief mention of machine types and machine combinations to reduce material handling.
F01006 Combustion Modifying Additives and Flexible Polyurethane Foams,Herman Stone, Consultant

With the objective of determining the effect of FR additives on flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) physical performance, U.S. FPF manufacturers submitted physical performance testing data for a variety of FR and non-FR grade foams. The datasets were examined and categorized for comparison purposes. Performance testing results for equivalent grades of FR and non-FR products were then compared to determine how durability and comfort characteristics might be affected by the addition of FR additives.

Different types of FR additives are discussed. To be effective, an FR additive treatment must decompose rapidly at the critical time. Ideally, additive content will decompose into volatiles, lowering FPF melt temperature and retarding growth of a burning surface.

It is noted that since FPF is used as a component in composite furniture pieces that include a fabric covering, ignition and burn tests of FPF alone are not representative of real fire conditions. Contamination of the outer fabric through soiling or aging conditions has been found to effect composite ignition performance.

Marketing, aesthetic and design considerations are also factors in establishing reasonable performance parameters for commercially acceptable products.

In conclusion, FR modified FPF compared to non-FR FPF at equal density and IFD fell within commercially acceptable physical performance ranges. FR modified FPF in higher densities and in special performance grades (without non-FR equivalents) also exhibited acceptable properties. Lower density FR modified FPF was found to have slightly poorer performance than equivalent non-FR foam, and in medium density ranges, performance differences were less.

It is emphasized that specially FR modified FPF is available for all current furniture applications.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program

May, 2001, Arlington, VA,

S01001The Evolution of Silicone Surfactant and Applications, Lee Lawler, OSI Industries, A Crompton Business

This paper begins with a timeline of the key events influencing the development of silicone surfactants for use in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam. It begins in 1950 with the development of tin catalysts for use in the “one -shot” process and ends with the present work aimed at developing optimum products for use with carbon dioxide blown systems. The paper then goes on to describe the effects of surface tension, and the effect of chemical structure on surfactant properties. The author shows the effect of various alkoxy-pendant groups on hydrophilicity, potency, and processing latitude of the resulting surfactants, followed by a summary of the generalized characteristics of “hydrolyzable” alkoxy-pendant surfactants and “non-hydrolyzable” alkoxy-pendant surfactants.

The description of conventional surfactants for the production of flexible polyurethane foams is followed by a timeline of key events for development of “flame retardant” silicone surfactants, and a summary of the current state of the art for these products. 

S01003 Formulating Technology for Viscoelastic Slabstock Foam, S. Hagar, R. Skorpenske, Bayer Corporation

This paper describes the development of a new and improved polyol for the production of viscoelastic foam. Viscoelastic slabstock foam, also referred to as slow recovery and memory foam, is characterized by the following distinctive performance characteristics: low resilience, shape conformance, vibration and sound dampening, and energy and shock absorption. These unusual traits make viscoelastic foams of interest in many diverse applications; the largest of which include pillows and mattresses. Many different foam grades are produced commercially to meet the performance requirements of these applications.

The production of viscoelastic foams requires different chemical approaches than conventional foam. Most formulations include a high hydroxy polyol and one of several different isocyanates including MDI, 80/20 TDI, or 65/35 TDI. In general, processing and formulating latitudes are narrower than conventional slabstock foam as a result of the high hydroxy polyols and the low isocyanate indices used for their preparation. As a result, specialty silicones and/or cell opening polyols are sometimes used along with other additives to facilitate cell opening and impart special performance traits such as a good hand feel.

In spite of the formulating advances that have been made, viscoelastic foams still provide a significant challenge to foam producers. In addition to narrow processing latitude, there are a number of other common deficiencies that can be encountered. These include high resilience, temperature sensitivity, permanent sets, changes with age /use, and poor hand/feel.

To address these processing and performance limitations, Bayer has carried out systematic design and optimization studies to achieve improved polyol and formulating technology. These studies investigated and optimized the structure of the viscoelastic polyol including hydroxyl number, functionality and composition. Also investigated were formulation variables for controlling the grade (firmness and density) and performance features of the foam. These variables included addition of conventional polyol and polymer polyol, DP-1022 foam modifier and TDI index. A key goal of the optimization was to provide a broad processing window near 100 index. In addition, regression models were developed which related the key performance properties of viscoelastic foams to the formulating variables.

Based on these evaluations, a new viscoelastic polyol, SOFTCEL® VE-1000 was developed which exhibited broad processing and formulating flexibility in full scale Maxfoam machine evaluations. The polyol is designed for use with commodity slab polyols, polymer polyols, foam modifiers, 80/20 TDI and other standard slabstock foam intermediates Formulating technology for use of VE-1000 with MDI and specialty intermediates is currently under development.

Foams produced with this technology exhibit a high level of body conformance, low temperature sensitivity, good compression sets and fine cell structure. This paper also describes more viscoelastic property comparisons on a high density pillow made with VE-1000 and one purchased commercially. These show the influence of temperature and humidity on the compression-time profile and of temperature on stress relaxation rate. Pressure point data is also presented showing favorable performance of the VE-1000 foam.

S01005 The Trinity Project: Not Linking Exposure to Health Effects, Steven P. Levine, Professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health

The Trinity American Corporation’s facility in Glenola, NC, was ordered to cease foaming operations by the State Health Director for the State of North Carolina on September 3. 1997. The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Diisocyanates Panel (Panel), through their contractors(Levine and Redinger) collected documents and analytical information to see if exposure assessment and health effects demonstrated a toluene diisocyanate (TDI) hazard to the community that warranted plant closure.

The Panel concluded that the data did not support plant closure for the following reasons:

  1. Ambient air concentrations of TDI at the Trinity fence line did not exceed State of North Carolina Acceptable Ambient Levels (AAL). 
  2. Dispersion modeling conducted by the State of North Carolina and Roy F. Weston, Inc., to determine TDI concentrations from Trinity emissions, did not reveal violation of the State of North Carolina AAL for TDI. 
  3. Biological monitoring and clinical tests conducted of residents living near Trinity do not prove that TDI emissions from Trinity 1) were above the AAL, 2) have a dose- response relationship with bio-markers, or 3) were the cause of adverse health effects. 
  4. The decision to close Trinity because of potential TDI exposure to residents was made on incomplete information, and was not based on sound science. Alternatives were not adequately considered.

The Panel also concluded that these results do not prove that the Government was wrong. It only proves that the government did not have the data to demonstrate a scientific or legal basis for its actions. A recommendation was also made for companies to be pro-active and take preventative action through the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care system. 

All contents copyright ©2001 Polyurethane Foam Association

nitoring and recording of hazardous chemicals storage and usage.

S01002 Fire Safety Activity Update on Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses, Dale Ray, U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission

This paper presents an overview of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) activity regarding upholstered furniture. The 1998 national fire loss estimates for upholstered furniture along with upholstered furniture fire deaths caused by cigarette ignitions, and upholstered furniture fire deaths caused by small open flame ignitions for the period 1980-1998 are presented. The results of the CPSC interlab flammability testing, and the CPSC staff Draft Standard are also shown.

The paper discusses an evaluation of flame retardant chemicals, and reviews NAS conclusions, Polyurethane Foam Industry voluntary standards activity, The Polyurethane Foam Industry petition issues, and the CPSC Briefing Package.

An overview of CPSC activity in the mattress and bedding area is also presented. Included are the 1997 fire loss estimates for mattresses and bedding, and a schedule for mattress and bedding test development. 

S01004 Behaviour of Expandable Graphite as a Flame Retardant in Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Vijay J. Bhagat, R & D Center, Cleanline Products Pvt., Ltd, Pune India

There is a growing trend in the polyurethane industry to substitute non-halogenated flame retardants for the more commonly used halogenated ones, in order to reduce or eliminate some of the volatile toxic by-products of combustion, such as carbon monoxide, formed by the latter. This paper addresses the proper selection of various grades of expandable graphite for flame retarding flexible polyurethane slabstock foams. The author examines the effect of purity of the graphite flake, particle size of the flake and the expansion properties of the expandable graphite for achieving optimum results. .

Expandable graphite is manufactured by the oxidation of natural graphite flake in sulphuric acid. When expandable graphite is exposed to heat, it expands to more than 100 times its original volume, and covers the entire burning surface of the foam with a “worm” like structure of expanded graphite. The char, formed by the expanded graphite, acts as an insulating agent and dramatically reduces the heat release, mass loss, smoke generation and toxic gas emission of the foam. Only low temperature expandable graphite can be used as a flame retardant for flexible polyurethane foam. The expansion must occur at a “critical temperature” where decomposition, exothermal reaction and ignition occur spontaneously. This critical temperature, for flexible polyurethane foam, has been determined to be between 300-500oC.

In 1971, Frnaclxzek and co-workers at Dow, first investigated the use of expandable graphite as a flame retardant for flexible slabstock foam. This early work indicated that the physical properties of the foam were deteriorated as a result of the high quantities of expandable graphite required to achieve the desired degree of flame retardance. The current investigators evaluated the effect of various concentrations of expandable graphite in the formulation, various grades of graphite with expansion temperatures between 200-1000oC at a fixed concentration of 35%, and particle size of the expandable graphite. The effects of these variables on flame retardance as measured by the Oxygen Index test and a “torch test” are provided.

The author concludes that an optimum grade of expandable graphite can be selected to produce flexible slabstock foam with improved flame retardant properties. Key parameters of the expandable graphite, which must be controlled, are expansion temperature of the graphite, pH, and contaminants such as iron, nickel, copper, etc. 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program

October, 2000, Newport, RI

F00001 New No Emission Catalysts For Flexible Slabstock Polyurethane Foam, J. G. Kniss, L. A. Mercando, M. L. Listemann, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Increasing environmental concerns over the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during and following the production of polyurethane foam products has placed increased pressure on foam additive suppliers to reduce and/or control the ways in which these emissions occur. One of the more pressing market needs is for lower and ultimately no-emissions of polyurethane foam additives into the environment. These emissions can cause a variety of quality problems such as odor, vinyl staining and window fogging in the final application of the foam. While the currently available amine catalysts perform in an acceptable manner, they do not address the emerging need of more environmentally friendly, lower odor and lower fogging catalyst systems.

This paper describes recent work aimed at producing no emission gelling and blowing catalysts for flexible polyurethane foams. It was found that using a newly developed no-emission gelling catalyst (Dabco NE500) in combination with a newly developed no-emission intermediate blowing catalyst (Dabco NE600) resulted in equal or improved performance compared to standard amine catalyst combinations in a variety of flexible slabstock formulations. It was also found that either newly developed catalyst could be used in combination with traditional fugitive tertiary amine catalysts to obtain improved performance. In all cases, these catalyst combinations can partially replace the use of Dabco 33LV, Dabco BL11, or Dabco BLV and dramatically reduce or eliminate amine emissions from the flexible slabstock foam product. Key physical properties are maintained or improved.

Two newly developed catalysts have been developed which chemically bind into the polyurethane foam matrix rendering them incapable of migrating back out of the foam once the reaction is complete. These catalysts meet the industry challenge of optimized foaming and provide no amine emissions.


F00003 Automation in the Fabrication of FPF, Gail Vosburg, Ferry Industries

Ferry Industries is the world’s largest manufacturer of Rotational Molding equipment. Ferry also manufacturers the FEMCO line of flexible polyurethane foam fabrication equipment and has the exclusive sales and manufacturing rights for the Wintech line of programmable foam cutters in the United States and Canada. Wintech is located in Western Australia and markets their equipment worldwide. This paper provides a description of manual foam fabricating practices compared with the use of automatic programmable foam cutting machines.

In the past, automation in foam fabrication was relegated to the large fabricators. A new line of cutting machines from Wintech International now makes programmable cutting machines affordable to the small foam fabricator. The typical advantages of automation in Flexible foam fabrication are:

  1. Substantial labor and overtime savings.
  2. Less training since fewer skills are required.
  3. Improved safety because the operators never get close to the oscillating blade and the cutting area can be effectively guarded.
  4. No patterns are required, therefore, the related problems of storage, changes and repairs are eliminated.
  5. More accurate costing computed by the programmable cutter.
  6. Fewer machines required. In a small shop or satelite operation one programmable cutter is all that is needed. It will do the work of a vertical saw, slitter, and contour cutter.
  7. Time savings through automatic cutting rather than a continual operator attendance required for a manual machine.
  8. Material savings with less waste as a result of optimized nesting of parts and common line cutting. Scrap reduction comes from precise and repeatable computer controlled cutting.


Automated cutting capability also allows you to provide more services to existing customers, service new customers which you previously couldn’t, and frees up time to pursue new higher added value business.

A brief description of six programmable cutting machines made by Femco and Wintech is provided in the paper.

F00005 End of Life Value-A New Approach to Recycling, Ivan Vanherpe, Salyp ELV Center

Salyp ELV (End of Life Value)is a recycling company based in Belgium. They are newcomers to the recycling industry, having started in 1997. Their company is rooted in automotive businesses, and their objective is to encourage breakthroughs in recycling based on technology and market intelligence, and take initiatives to implement sustainable solutions for post-consumer goods.

Salyp ELV has launched technology for the continuous scanning of input waste for contamination by PCB, Pb, Hg, using electronic sniffing sensors (e-noses). They have also pioneered the separation of complex bulk mixtures, revaluing open celled foams by separation and cleaning, and revaluing plastics by thermoplastic-sorting (tps) and rubber separation.

The total metals value of a mid-size end of life vehicle has been estimated at $ 64.35 and the total plastics and PU-foam at $ 73.99. The caloric value of the plastics from an end of life vehicle is estimated at $ 6.50 based on the prediction that the caloric value of mixed organics from Auto Shredder Residue (ASR) could be transformed, and could achieve the same price as natural gas.

Plastics and PU-foam in post consumer goods and ASR can be regarded not as a threat, but as a business opportunity for auto parts dismantlers, Shredder operators, plastic converters, and auto manufacturers. The End-of-Life-Value of plastics is the driving force to open up new markets.

F00002 New Alternatives for Flame Retarding Flexible Polyurethane Foam, P. Jacobs, F. Liu, P. Orizondo, M. Philips, R. Rose, Great Lakes Chemical Corp.

Pentabromodiphenyl oxide based flame retardants are used extensively in North America to flame retard flexible polyurethane slabstock foams which meet the California Bulletin 117 furniture flammability standard. Two issues are currently beginning to have an impact on the use of this type of flame retardant. The first is concern about the human toxicity of pentabromodiphenyl oxide, and the second is concern about the use of halogenated compounds in general.

Although Great Lakes Chemical Corporation continues to believe that halogenated flame retardants and pentabromodiphenyl oxide offer a safe and effective means to protect people from the hazards of fire, they also feel an obligation to inform industry of events which may have an impact, and to offer alternative products. This paper describes work on a European risk assessment program, and the development of an alternative to pentabromodiphenyl oxide.

Work on a European risk assessment of pentabromodiphenyl oxide is essentially complete. Risk to human health is no longer an issue. The concern now is the potential for accumulation in the environment. It appears that this concern will lead to a ban on the use of pentabromodiphenyl oxide in Europe. A ban would restrict export to Europe of products, such as furniture, containing pentabromodiphenyl oxide.

The impact of a European ban on the US EPA’s behavior toward pentabromodiphenyl oxide is unknown. Unilateral action by global corporations may limit its use.

Concern about the use of halogens appears strongest in Germany and Sweden. Great Lakes Chemical Corp. is aware of small amounts of halogen free, flame retardant foam being supplied to the automotive market in Europe. Reofos 95 is a halogen- free flame retardant currently being used in Europe to meet MVSS-302 flammability test criteria for automotive applications. These non-halogen flame retardants are considerably less effective and considerably higher in cost than commercially used halogenated flame retardants. The relative lack of concern about halogenated additives, combined with the significant cost penalty, makes non-halogenated use in North America unlikely. Barring a major shift in laws or attitudes in North America, the need for alternatives to halogenated flame retardants seems unlikely.

Great Lakes Chemical’s developmental product, CN-2635, was created as an alternative to pentabromodiphenyl oxide. It has stable aromatically bound bromine to prevent scorch. The viscosity (177 cps.@ 20C) is lower than the viscosity of pentabromodiphenyl oxide blends used commercially.

The performance of CN-2635 was compared to that of a commercial pentabromodiphenyl oxide blend, DE-60F Special, in a California Bulletin 117 flexible slabstock foam formulation. Conventional foams were prepared at 1.2 and 1.8 pcf. density, and tested for physical properties, and flammability. The data indicate that the flame properties of foams having a density of 1.2 pcf. were marginally lower, requiring 21 php of CN-2635 vs.20 php. of DE-60F Special. Physical properties were similar. The overall efficiency of CN-2635 in foams, having a density of 1.8 pcf., was found to be identical to that of DE-60F Special. Cal 117 results were comparable at equivalent load levels and physical properties were essentially identical. No difference in smolder properties was observed between foams containing either the CN-2635 or DE-60F Special. There was no observable difference in processing or foam catalysis.

Based on these results, it was concluded that a viable alternative to pentabromodiphenyl oxide exists for California Bulletin 117 flexible polyurethane furniture foam. Although there is no mandate for change outside Europe, a solution is provided which satisfies industry desire for an alternative.

F00004 Activated Carbon Systems For TDI Emissions Abatement, W. J. Aldridge, Calgon Carbon Corporation

Activated carbon is widely used for various applications, and is highly effective for treating Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) emissions. It can be described as a hybrid mixture of a wide variety of graphite platelets that are interconnected by non-graphitic carbon bonding, organized in a random or amorphous fashion, with only slight localized ordering at the molecular scale. This paper discusses Calgon Carbon Corporation’s work relating to the development and use of activated carbon systems for the treatment of TDI emissions associated with the polyurethane foam industry.

The overall adsorption process can be broken down into several steps that help illustrate how an activated carbon system works to adsorb contaminants, like TDI, from an air stream.

  1. First the TDI contaminant has to be transported through the air space to come into contact with the bed of activated carbon.
  2. Second the contaminant has to move across a very thin boundary layer at the surface of the carbon granule or pellet.
  3. Third the targeted contaminant moves into the carbon structure through an elaborate series of pores of decreasing size.
  4. Finally the targeted contaminant, such as TDI, makes its way to an adsorption site where it is adsorbed on the surface of the carbon.


All these steps are taken into consideration during the design of a properly engineered activated carbon system. Contact time between the air stream and the carbon bed must be adequate for all the steps above to occur. An improperly sized system where the air flow is too high or too low will result in lower than expected removal efficiencies and incomplete use of the carbon bed.

This document reviews a basic model of activated carbon and how Calgon Carbon Corporation has demonstrated its effectiveness in treating TDI emissions. The current approach to treating TDI emissions involves a properly engineered deep bed of activated carbon. This technology has been proven to remove in excess of 95% of TDI emissions where it has been applied.

F00006 CarDio™ AIRLESS—Quality plus Production Flexibility, Tony Griffiths, Cannon Viking Ltd.

The gatebar principle, for mixing and metering of chemicals has proven to be very successful in the production of carbon dioxide frothed flexible polyurethane slabstock foams. The gatebar slot provides the controlled pressure drop to atmospheric pressure required when the carbon dioxide comes out of solution, forming a froth. The full width froth laydown provided by the gatebar ensures good block shape. The relatively large dimensions of the slot (used for pressure let down) allow processing of materials which are difficult to handle. These include powders, polymer polyols, and other particulate materials.

CarDio Airless is a further extension of the gatebar principle. The outlet of the laydown device is machined to create turbulence in the high velocity stream of chemicals as it exits. The chemical stream contains dissolved carbon dioxide, which is in a state of super-saturation. The turbulence causes small amounts of the dissolved carbon dioxide to be extracted in the form of minute bubbles, finely dispersed in the chemical stream, forming nucleation sites. The introduction of turbulent nucleation by CarDio Airless has enabled nucleating gas levels to be drastically reduced.

CarDio Airless has been in full production at NIR, Italy for more than six months. It has recently been introduced into regular production at another Italian foamer.

This paper describes the production flexibility of the gatebar principle using several examples of production runs which include melamine powder, calcium carbonate, ground PU scrap, MDI prepolymers, and polymer polyols.

All contents copyright ©2001 Polyurethane Foam Association


Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program

May, 2000, Arlington, VA

S00001 New Development in Low VOC Flexible Polyurethane Foams, Matthias Sikorski, Nitroil Performance Chemical Intl.

Strong pressure is being exerted on foam suppliers to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in flexible foam used in automotive, furniture, bedding and carpet backing products. The main sources of VOCs are additives like silicone surfactants, and amine catalysts. Nitroil® Performance chemicals have evaluated a series of catalyst combinations in MDI as well as TDI based molded foam formulations to reduce the amount of amines in the VOC. Standard formulations containing triethylene-diamine and bismethylaminoethylether were used as controls.

It was found that by using only reactive amine catalysts, the amine emission could be eliminated, and the total VOC could be reduced by 50% for TDI, and 80% for MDI based molded foam formulations. For the MDI based formulations, most foam physical properties were similar to those obtained with the reference formulation. The humid aged compression set (HACS) properties were not as good as those obtained with the reference catalysts. Acceptable values were obtained, however, when combinations of PC CAT® HPI with selected other catalysts were used. PC CAT® NP146 gave the best overall performance. TDI based foam formulations showed good processing and properties with the exception of HACS. This property suffered from the use of reactive amines. Substitution of PC CAT® HPI as the base catalyst in combination with a non-reactive amine as “blow” catalyst, resulted in values for all physical foam properties, including HACS, which were quite acceptable. A VOC reduction of ca. 20% was also obtained. Compared to standard molded foams, slabstock foams show even higher volatile emissions. The VOCs of these foams can be reduced considerably by avoiding antioxidant containing polyols, using reactive amine catalysts like PC CAT® NP 145, low VOC silicone surfactants, and built-in flame retardants.

S00003 Manufacturing Routes for Polyurethanes Raw Materials, Brian Fogg, Huntsman Polyurethanes

The range of raw materials used for the manufacture of polyurethanes has grown enormously during the past fifty years. A wide range of products is now available, which allow the formulator to produce an infinite spectrum of products, collectively known as POLYURETHANES. This paper examines some of these raw materials from the viewpoint of their manufacture. The range of products is so large that only a brief introduction can be presented. The intention of the presentation is to benefit the less experienced polyurethane technologists, and those less involved in the technical aspects of the industry.

The paper begins with a discussion of the different types of polyurethanes, and a description of the raw materials used in their manufacture. It continues with a brief description of the production of polyether polyols, polyester polyols, diisocyanates (both TDI and MDI), metallic catalysts, surfactants, fire retardants and colorants.

in the paper.

S00005 Slabstock Equipment Innovations for the New Millenium, Jack Ferrand, Bayer Corp.

Recent advances in slabstock processing equipment have been focused primarily on modifications geared at processing carbon dioxide blown systems. Hennecke’s Nova Flex technology is currently the most widely used process, using carbon dioxide, in this market segment. Hennecke recently introduced a new more versatile technology called Multi Flex, which provides foamers with the capability to process void free, striation free foam buns with a yield of over 96%. This new technology allows for the consistent production of absolutely square blocks across the complete range of polyether formulations. The hard and thick cover crust on useful foam is eliminated, and the density distribution is optimized throughout the bun. These improvements result in a yield increase of up to 10% as compared to conventional dome block produced foams.

Some of the other advantages offered by the Multi Flex technology are:

  1. Elimination of costly cleaning activities involved with trough systems.
  2. Easy processing of quick reacting polyols.
  3. Flexibility for a wide range of foam densities.
  4. Precisely adjustable side walls.
  5. Vibration free conveyer band.
  6. Improved operator safety as a result of direct removal of reaction fumes in the foaming zone.


State of the art controls provide process control and data management capabilities, not typically found in the industry. The control package also minimizes on-the-fly formulation changes, and allows for precise reproducibility of given formulations. Multi Flex plants can also be fitted with Nova Flex equipment, to produce critical grades of foam using carbon dioxide technology.

S00007 Real -World Economics of Polyurethane Foam Recycling, Jeff Jensen, Mobius Technologies, Inc.

During the last ten years, the use of polyurethane scrap in the production of carpet padding has increased dramatically. As the available scrap from both manufacturing and post consumer sources continues to increase, foam manufacturers seek new applications for this material. The reintroduction of scrap foam as a filler in new foam, is one application which has received renewed attention. To be viable, this approach must not only be technically feasible, but economically beneficial as well.

During the last three years, Mobius Technologies has commercialized the process of grinding scrap polyurethane to a fine powder, and reintroducing it as an additive in new foam production. The key drivers to the economic viability of this process are the value of the scrap “raw material”, the cost of the chemical ingredients for the foam, the process cost itself, and the required adjustments to the formulation when incorporating the recycled material. This paper examines the effect of these drivers with respect to the ultimate economics of this recycling process.

The author concludes that manufacturers who can incorporate low-cost scrap as an additive in the production of new foams will have a distinct cost advantage. The key variable in determining the profitability of polyurethane foam recycling is the difference between chemical price and scrap price. Current trends indicate that the scrap supply will increase relative to demand for bonded carpet cushion, creating downward pressure on scrap prices. This will tend to increase the profitability of the recycling process. Foam manufacturers can profit from this situation by utilizing recycled polyurethane in the production of new foam.

All contents copyright ©2001 Polyurethane Foam Association

S00002 Challenges of Diagnosing Diisocyanate Allergic Disease, Pat Conner, MD, BASF Corp. & CMA Diiso Panel

This paper discusses the issues involved with diagnosing allergic sensitization due to diisocyanates. The formation of antigens, which can lead to allergic reactions, along with the immunology of diisocyanates is discussed.

Asthma and dermatitis, which can result from an allergic reaction to diisocyanates, and the benefits that result from early detection are shown. The diagnostic technologies, which are available for identifying those persons that are highly sensitive to diisocyanates, are presented.

The best treatment for persons displaying allergic symptoms is removal from the exposure area.

S00004 The Use of Solid Particles in Flexible Polyurethane Foams Expanded by Carbon Dioxide as an Auxiliary Blowing Agent, Brian Blackwell, Beamech Group Ltd.

Solid particles are added to a flexible polyurethane foam formulations principally to increase foam hardness, increase foam density, and improve flammability characteristics. Recent advances in the area of slabstock processing equipment have made processing formulations containing solid particles very difficult. These machines use carbon dioxide instead of halocarbons to expand the foam. The carbon dioxide is normally stored and metered in a liquid state at high pressure and low temperature. It is then added to the reactants and additives under high pressure and ambient temperature. To prevent violent expansion, which results in foam defects, the pressure is carefully reduced to atmospheric conditions over a very short period (about 0.004 seconds). The pressure reduction is accomplished by passing the reactants and carbon dioxide through micron sized passages where some of the velocity energy is used to produce a froth. Any solid particles in the formulation tend to clog these very small passages causing severe production problems.

The objective of this paper is to examine some of the parameters contributing to the use of solid particles in carbon dioxide blown slabstock formulations. Variables such as particle size, particle shape, particle nature, particle content and distribution, agglomeration and flocculation, and viscosity of the reactants are examined.

The authors found the following potential solutions to the problem of adding solids to carbon dioxide expanded foams:

  1. Filtration of large unwanted particles.
  2. Increasing opening size (effective area size) and increasing the passage length. Increasing the passage opening dimensions enable the use of polymeric polyols and calcium carbonate.
  3. Uniform pressure drop gives better quality foam. The reactants and carbon dioxide must be pressure reduced as uniformly as possible in order to obtain defect- free foam.
  4. The relationship of pressure reduction and pressure reduction dwell time is very important (passage size and length).
S00006 Recent Technical Advances in Recycling of Scrap Polyurethane Foam as Finely Ground Powder in Flexible Foam, H. Stone, Staff Consultant to Mobius Technologies, Inc., R. Villwock, B. Martel, Mobius Technologies, Inc.

The feasibility of using finely ground foam as a filler in new foam has been previously demonstrated; however, the economics of the process have been poor because of high grinding costs. Recently commercialized advances in non-cryogenic grinding technology have provided a cost-effective method for producing fine powders from scrap polyurethane foam. Powder with a maximum particle size of 125 microns can now be obtained at low cost from production trim scrap, fabrication scrap, and changeover blocks. The details of this new grinding process and the subsequent methods used for mixing and handling of the powder/polyol slurries are the subject of this paper. Results from commercial scale trials of slabstock and molded flexible polyurethane foams, using up to 10% by weight of finely ground foam, are presented.

The formulations used in this study were adjusted to maintain foam density and hardness. Formulation adjustments were minor. The most significant change was a slight increase in water content and a corresponding change in isocyanate level to maintain foam density. Low viscosity foam powder/polyol slurries can be achieved. The Dougherty -Kreiger model can be used to determine the dependence of viscosity on foam powder concentration.

Evaluation of the physical properties of the filled foams indicated that the compression modulus is generally increased, and physical properties throughout the bun are more uniform.

It was concluded from these studies that technology to recycle scrap foam by means of pulverization has reached a commercialization stage. The process produces foam with good quality at reduced cost. Recycle content of 10% is commonly achieved and higher amounts are possible. Both slabstock and molded flexible polyurethane foams can be produced.