Technical Papers

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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Abstracts 2010-Current                       Abstracts 2000-2009                  Abstracts 1991-1999

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2018, St. Louis, MO

F18001 Optimized Surfactants for MDI-based Viscoelastic and Supersoft Foams” Melissa Kern, Momentive Performance Materials

Specialty foam grades, such as viscoelastic and supersoft foams, heavily rely on the use of specialized types of raw materials. Producing a variety of foam grades, each with a specialized formulation, requires a large number of raw materials. As a result, new product development encounters space and equipment constraints. One solution is to develop a silicone surfactant that can achieve the desired foam properties using common, readily available raw materials. 

Silicone surfactants are essential not only for foam stabilization but also in the determination of final foam properties. These are achieved via the surfactant’s ability to control cell structure and foam openness. Momentive has dedicated significant effort to the development of distinct surfactants that allow production of specialty foam grades using readily available, standard raw materials. For example, Niax* Silicone L-417 and Niax Silicone L-422 can be used to produce multiple specialty foam grades (e.g., pneumatic viscoelastic and supersoft), using the same raw materials and nearly identical foam formulations. 

*Niax is a trademark of Momentive Performance Materials Inc.

F18003 Occupational Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) Exposure and the Incidence of Occupational Asthma” Patrick Conner, ACC Diisocyanates Panel

The American Chemistry Council’s Diisocyanates Panel and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) engaged in a joint longitudinal study to inform the management of health risks in U.S. TDI manufacturing facilities. The objectives were to: 1) characterize workplace TDI concentrations; 2) monitor employee health through questionnaires and spirometry; 3) investigate potential cases of occupational asthma using a standardized medical evaluation process; 4) create a registry of occupational asthma cases, if any, occurring among workers with potential exposure to TDI; 5) evaluate the effectiveness of the program methods, including the standardized health and environmental monitoring procedures; and 6) communicate program findings. Ultimately, three plants, with an estimated eligible workforce of 300, participated between 2006 and 2012. Dr. Conner, retired from BASF, will discuss the study methods, including medical monitoring of workers; the exposure assessment to characterize jobs and specific tasks; and study results, including health outcomes from medical assessments and incidence of occupational asthma.

F18005 Inter-Lab Testing Of Smolder Resistance of Upholstered Furniture Components” Lynn Knudtson, PFA

PFA managed a multi-lab study to support ASTM’s translation of Calif. TB 117-2013 furniture regulation into an international standard test method. Participating labs included PFA Manufacturing and Associate/Supplier Members, government agencies and textile companies. This Round Robin evaluated the impact of two proposed changes to the TB-117-2013 test: (1) the use of a 3″ (vs. 2”) standard vertical foam substrate and; and (2) the use of weight loss (vs. vertical char length) as a pass/fail criteria. Data has been collected and is being processed by ASTM statisticians. Neither of the proposed changes appear to alter pass/fail results. Based on these results, the ASTM 05.15 sub-committee voted to continue using char length, along with either 2″ and 2″ or the 3″ and 3″ foam combinations (whichever has the best repeatability and reproducibility as determined by ASTM staff). This result should minimize disruption to the industry from large-scale retesting of components.

F18002 “Volatile Emissions Research From Moulded Flexible Foams In Automotive Applications” Michel Baumgartner, EuroMolders

EURO-MOULDERs, the European Association of Producers of Polyurethane Parts for the Automotive Industry, has carried out investigations on detection of emissions of aromatic amines from moulded flexible foams under the VDA 278 emissions test as amended in 2011. These investigations include assessing parameters that may lead to detection of such emissions, notably the influence of the temperature of the test method, evaluation of the evolution of such emissions over time and air monitoring in real life conditions in both foam plants and in a vehicle. Findings to be reported show that test conditions, water content and index as well as sampling are significant factors influencing the emissions considered.

F18004 Improved Fire Safety Without Flame Retardants--An Industry Challenge Or Opportunity” Irena Amici-Kroutilova, Dow Chemical Co.

In the UK, flammability standards (such as BS 5852, Crib 5) are the most stringent globally. They are mainly met through the use of halogenated flame retardants such as TCPP. In contrast, other European nations have no flammability regulations but mattresses and upholstery face limits on emissions of volatile compounds established by regulation, eco-labels and brand owner requirements. 

The tension between flammability standards and VOC limits increases manufactuing costs and complexity and threatens the global availability of certain comfort innovations. And comfort is a key driver of bedding and furniture purchases. 

The authors discuss the challenge of formulating polyurethane foam to meet all fire safety, emission standards, and customers expectations of comfort on a global basis.

F18006 Non-Graphite, Halogen Free, Heat Resistant Flexible Foams for UL94 V0 Automotive Applications” Lawino Kagumba, FRX Polymers

Automotive under-the-hood flexible molded foam parts such as engine covers, need to meet more stringent flame-retardant requirements and long-term heat resistance. To meet these standards, expandable graphite combined with filler-type additives are typically used. While graphite is an effective flame retardant, its processability, particularly in high-pressure systems remains a challenge. Nofia phosphonate oligomers are a new class of heat resistant flame retardants that are chemically bound into the polyurethane backbone during foaming. The resulting foams show significantly improved heat resistance and flame-retardant performance. An additional key benefit of the polymeric nature of Nofia phosphonates is a reduction in VOC and odor compared to small molecule flame retardant additives typically used in other automotive foam applications. This paper presents a heat resistant flexible foam solution based on Nofia phosphonate oligomers that meets the UL94 V0 requirement as an alternative to the graphite-based systems.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program 
November 2017, San Diego, CA

F17001 Introducing SlabProcessing and SlabExpert Digital Tools” Stephen Hoskins, Covestro

This paper introduces Covestro i4ptO™ 24/7 online digital services to support flexible polyurethane foam R&D and manufacturing initiatives. Under the i4ptO™ “umbrella,” SlabExpert software allows slabstock foamers to more efficiently and effectively formulate using Covestro raw materials, while SlabProcessing provides a custom-service that helps slab manufacturers more effectively collect, monitor and compare production data and processes. Covestro digital tools serve as self-technical service improvement opportunities that interpret thousands of data points to provide new, precise perspectives to the development and processing of slab foam. Through the creation of cloud-based, low-cost, flexible, and scalable products, we are excited to introduce these tools to support the slabstock foam industry.

F17003 Vertifoam Variable Pressure Foaming, VPF-V: Full-scale Production Insights” Bill Blackwell, OPUS Technical, Ltd.

The Vertifoam Variable Pressure Foaming Machine, VPF-V, is now in full commercial production. This paper gives insights into the operation of the VPF-V process and shows how the VPF-V equipment and process have been developed and refined to produce highly successful new foam that has opened up new profitable markets for the PU foam industry. The paper explains how a number of both formulation and equipment developments have given improved cell structure and bun yields. It explains how a unique high pressure technology has been applied to the process giving multiple advantages, and how a brand new technique was employed to allow extended runs (over 5 hours) of highly reactive formulations without the problems normally associated with build-up. Formulation savings will be explained, as well as the efficiency of peeling large diameter, near perfect round buns, to produce a new range of foams that can outperform polyester fiber in both cost and performance for bedding and furniture applications.

F17005 Antimicrobial Treatment of Polyurethane Foams” Tom Robitaille, Lonza Microbial Control

The use of antimicrobials in polyurethane foam applications continues to grow as the number of antimicrobial options continue to shrink. End-users and component manufacturers are specifying very rigorous performance characteristics. Identifying the right antimicrobial product can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider when identifying the best antimicrobial product and loading. The EPA only allows certain registered products to be used in specific applications and substrates; these regulations should be understood. Characterization of possible reactivity changes must also be understood as well as the impact on air flow and cell size. Depending on the physical nature of the antimicrobial product to be used, solid dispersion or liquid, and viscosity, processes used to add and pump the antimicrobial into the foam should be reviewed. The intent of this paper will be to educate those that may be considering the addition of an antimicrobial for the first time or maybe considering switching to a different antimicrobial product. This paper can serve as a guide for consideration as you prepare to make the change to an antimicrobially treated polyurethane foam.

F17002 Flammability Standards for Upholstered Furnishings and Vehicles: Past, Present, and Future” Vytenis Babrauskas, Fire Science and Technology, Inc.

Since the 1970s, flammability standards for furnishings and vehicle interiors have led to use of flame retardants (FRs) in FPF. Research continues to demonstrate exposures and health risks from the use of FRs. Despite recent progress in California, voluntary standards organizations (VSOs) continue to work towards new flammability requirements for furniture; and federal motor vehicle flammability requirements remain and are outdated. Europe currently does not have a unified flammability requirement for residential upholstered furniture; however, a petition was filed in 2016 asking the E.U. government to consider a mandatory smolder standard for European furniture based on TB117-2013. This presentation will demonstrate that the most effective way to reduce harm from flame retardants is to improve flammability standards. To enhance fire safety, benign strategies should be considered that have a proven track record of success and do not lead to widespread exposures to hazardous chemicals. These include improvements in smoke alarm technology, wider introduction of automatic fire sprinklers, and enhanced public education efforts.

F17004 Case Study in TDI Detection Using IMS Instruments in Foam Plants” Frank Thibodeau, Bruker Detection Corporation

Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) is a scientific technique of measuring ions across a uniform electric field. It is based on the principle that when different charged molecules (ions) are accelerated through an electric field (with a “drift flow” of gas slightly opposing them); they will travel at different speeds and reach a detector at different times. The advantages of IMS instruments are: designed in relatively small packages, fairly inexpensive, rugged, extremely fast and extremely sensitive. The effectiveness of the IMS technology has been assessed in numerous foam plants under field conditions. TDI was monitored in foam plants which produced automotive and slab products. A handheld IMS instrument surveyed in and around production lines, hot & cold foam, storage tanks, transfer lines, and transfer operations. The IMS instrument was programmed with a TDI library fixed to detect and alarm at or below 1 ppb. Spectra were also collected at various locations at all foam plants for more detailed post analysis. Findings, lessons learned and conclusions will be discussed in the technical paper and presentation.

F17006 Why Is an Ultra-Open-Cell-Window Structure Important for Cooler Sleep in Memory Foam Mattresses?” Wenbo Xu, The Dow Chemical Company

Viscoelastic memory foams are widely used as an important material for mattress constructions, due to their pressure relieving capability. A characteristic of memory foam mattresses early on has been that they can “sleep hot” as described by a mattress OEM in patent literature. A new ultra-high air flow memory foam technology was introduced in 2016. Simulation and materials testing capabilities at Dow Chemical were used to evaluate the various materials and their contribution to cooling effects: gas convection, gas/solid conduction, and gas diffusivity. The simulations are multiphysical in nature, taking into account thermal & mass transfer, and feedback loop from human body via the ASHRAE Human Comfort model. The same simulation capabilities are able to support the development of new generation of foam material that improve on thermal comfort.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2017, St. Petersburg, FL

S17001 Gluing and Cutting of Synthetic Foams: Innovations in the PU Industry, Sevki Ergun, Baumer of America

The production of mattresses and upholstered furniture in the high-end sector as well as the fabrication of household products is strongly influenced by combinations of different materials such as viscoelastic, cold foam or fleece. A wide array of materials may be combined in high-level mattresses and upholstery. In many cases, gluing or bonding of various components is required. Not all gluing processes are the same and there are different methods that may be applied, depending on the material, its end-use and intended performance characteristics. 

This presentation will describe gluing techniques such as the application of cold or warm activated, water based adhesives using roll coater technology or the application of hot-melt adhesives through a beads based application system. In addition to the aforementioned standard practices, the presentation will show the newly designed technology to allow the full surface application of polyurethane hot melt. Finally, the automated combinations of these technologies engineered by Baumer of America, including integrated cutting capability, to add manufacturing efficiency and to enhance end-product value will be explained.

S17003 Optimized Surfactant for Flame Laminated Polyether Foam, Gabriel Kiss, Momentive Performance Materials

In the manufacturing of polyether flame lamination foams, additives are generally used to improve the peel strength between foam and the textile. Momentive Performance Materials Inc. (Momentive) has developed Niax*silicone L-645FL, a new silicone surfactant for polyether flame lamination foam, which can provide optimum foam stabilization and cell structure control, as well as improved flame lamination and flame retardant properties. The combination of Momentive’s new flame lamination silicone stabilizer with Momentive’s flame lamination additives can allow foam producers to manufacture polyether foam that has superior peel characteristics when compared to certain traditional additives. 

*Niax is a trademark of Momentive Performance Materials Inc.

S17005 Update: Community Awareness Program And Workbook, Wayne Bowman, Bowman Creative + Strategy

In the 1990s, PFA created a Community Awareness Planner for member companies to help comply with EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) communications requirements. The program provided a workbook for PFA members with additional guidance for managing possible crisis communications issues. The original workbook outlined best practices for informing stakeholders including media, local residents, community officials, and others about various key issues. Since that time, new media opportunities have significantly changed communications strategies and techniques. This presentation updates community communications strategies and will provide an overview of PFA’s new guidance tool.

S17002 The Application of ViscoElastic HyperSoft Memory Foam Technology, T. Smiecinski, BASF

The initial development of HyperSoft foaming was a breakaway idea many decades ago by several pioneering application scientists with minimal impact on the commercial polyurethane flexible foam industry. Taking two immiscible polyols and converting them into tangible comfort product wasn’t realized until more recent times. The main driver, a novel application of HyperSoft chemistry, coupled with unique processing techniques, resulted in polyurethane foam that provided a better night sleep. Whether MDI or TDI isocyanates, these new breathable viscoelastic memory foams provide another comfort type category beyond traditional conventional and high resilient products of the day. Standard pneumatic viscoelastic foam products are limited in scope. The new HyperSoft foam method provides an expansive degree of versatility in pursuit of a more comfortable life experience. This paper will discuss HyperSoft foaming, the introduction of MDI and TDI to the viscoelastic foundation, and information insight for an array of technically sound comfort applications.

S17004 (Paper Not Available) New Soy-Based Polyols, Systems and Blends for Flexible Foam Applications, Rick Speas, BioBased Technologies

Natural Oil Polyols (NOPs) are not new to sustainable flexible foam applications. However, an ongoing challenge remains achieving reasonable loadings without sacrificing key physical properties. BBT will outline our research, processes, challenges and successes surrounding our newest developments in plant-based polyols, systems and blends for the flexible foam market. With tremendous opportunities for eco-friendly polyurethane applications, BBT’s team of chemical experts is constantly developing new technologies and unique properties for foams with sustainability, cost savings and performance as the primary goals.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2016, San Antonio, TX

F16001 2012 – 2015 Update: Survey of the Incidence of Occupational Asthma Among FPF Slabstock Plants” Jim McIntyre, McIntyre & Lemon, PLLC

The combined results from foam production worker surveys covering 1988 – 2015 indicate that the incidence of self-reported occupational asthma is very low, representing less than 2% of the surveyed worker population from plant production areas. The incidence of medically confirmed cases of occupational asthma was even lower among the participating manufacturing sites representing more than 90% of U.S. FPF production volume. The very low number of self-reported or medically diagnosed cases of occupational asthma suggests that existing workplace technologies continue to provide effective ways to mitigate possible exposure to isocyanates in the workplace.

F16003 New Flame Retardants Developments for the Flexible Foam Market” Munjal Patel, ICL-IP America, Inc.

Flame retardants (FR’s) play an important role in public fire safety. In automotive polyurethane (PU) foams, the use of flame retardants has been effective in preventing ignition and reducing the number of vehicular fires. There are initiatives including Proposition 65 in California, GADSL (Global Automotive Declarable Substance List) and legislative bills that require the development of new products to replace the traditionally used tris(dichloropropyl) phosphate (TDCP). The interest in sustainable new product offerings has become a priority for consumers and producers of flame retardant products. ICL-IP America, Inc. (ICL-IP) has developed reactive and/or halogen-free flame retardant products to meet the ongoing challenges of today’s market where superior fire test performance and product sustainability are required. The focus of this paper will be on the introduction of a new reactive FR for use in flexible polyurethane foam. Flammability, scorch, fogging (FOG) and volatile organic compound (VOC) performance data are presented for the new product, illustrating its advantages over the commercially available product offering TDCP in automotive flexible foam applications. This paper documents a series of evaluations using laboratory bench scale tests to show improvements in the combustion and emission properties with this new product offering.

F16005 Ester Flexible Foam Performance Comparisons Between EG Azelate (C9) and DEG Adipate (C6) Polyols” Michael Brooks, Emery Oleochemicals LLC

EMEROX® Polyols are made from dibasic acids that are produced from Emery Oleochemicals’ proprietary ozonolysis technology. These polyester polyols possess a high level of renewable content while providing all the structural design freedom of petrochemical-based polyols. A broad range of functionalities and molecular weights are available including highly-branched to linear structures with high-to-moderate reactivity (primary and/or secondary hydroxyl groups). Emery Oleochemicals has developed EMEROX® 14060, an EG azelate C9 ester polyol for flexible foam and C.A.S.E. applications. This paper compares polyol structures and physical parameters as well as ester flexible foam performance properties for EMEROX® 14060 and a traditional DEG adipate C6 polyol in typical 2 pcf formulations. Overall, EMEROX® 14060 meets and exceeds (enhanced hydrophobicity, reduced hydrolytic degradation, and increased hydrocarbon resistance) the performance properties obtained from traditional DEG adipate polyester polyols for many applications and should be considered as a superior alternative.

F16002 Variable Pressure Foaming Using the Vertifoam Process” Bill Blackwell, Opus Technical Ltd

The purpose of this paper is to show how two well-proven foaming systems (VPF and Vertifoam) have been combined to make a brand new foaming process with advantages that are greater than the sum of its two halves. This paper explains the technical and commercial advantages of each process and shows how a range of new foam products with unique physical properties and price advantages can be produced which allow the foamer to expand into new markets with significant increases in profitability. It will show how the VPF-V process is affordable and compatible with all sizes of foaming companies and it will demonstrate how polyurethane foams can be engineered to meet new demands. applications.

F16004 Detection of Isocyanates in the Workplace Using IMS Instruments” Frank Thibodeau, Bruker Detection

The military in various countries around the world has used Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) based detectors to protect personnel, platforms, facilities and even regions from the effects of chemical attacks for more than 40 years. IMS is a scientific technique of measuring ions across a uniform electric field. It is based on the principle that when different charged molecules (ions) are accelerated through an electric field (with a “drift flow” of gas slightly opposing them), they will travel at different speeds and reach a detector at different times. The advantages of IMS instruments are that they are designed in relatively small packages, fairly inexpensive, rugged, extremely fast and extremely sensitive. Disadvantages are that resolution and selectively is limited resulting in smaller libraries and potential for false positives. However, in the industrial setting where chemical environments are known, disadvantages are easily compensated for certain hazardous compounds. Bruker’s success in optimizing and developing best in class IMS can assist industry in protecting workers and communities while improving productivity and the bottom line.

F16006 Recent JFLEX Technology Developments” Jim Shoup, Hennecke, Inc.

This presentation details recent JFLEX technology developments that allow efficient smaller-scale production of a wider range of flexible polyurethane foams including high resilience, viscoelastic, high-load and low density foam varieties. Physical properties for a range of possible value-added products will be shared. The paper also explains and demonstrates new machine innovations to improve vertical cell orientation and to help produce consistent smaller-volume products with excellent cell structure.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
Spring 2016, St. Petersburg, FL

S16001 Responsible Management of Waste Foams Mixed with Flame Retardants” Sara Petty, Green Science Policy Institute

Until recently, the foam in furniture contained flame retardants in order to meet a California flammability standard called Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117). This regulation was updated to a smolder standard called TB117-2013, which has made furniture without flame retardants increasingly available. But as consumers purchase new furniture, discarded furniture is typically either landfilled or given to a second-hand market, where the flame retardants continue to pose a risk to human health and the environment. Responsibly managing waste foams that contain flame retardants presents a complex challenge which could benefit from input from a broad base of experts. On April 12-13th, more than 40 experts from industry, academia, government, and nonprofits met in Berkeley, CA to investigate how to improve management of these wastes. Topics included the scope of the problem; lifecycle considerations; exposure to flame retardants based on waste management practices; and how to fund possible advancements. This presentation will highlight the topics covered in the workshop as well as outcomes and opportunities for potential partnerships between various stakeholders.

S16003 Development of Flexible Polyurethane Foam with Improved Environmental Profile to Meet Stringent Flammability Tests” Kurt Reimann, Fogg, Reimann, Shen

In recent years society has seen many changes regarding the acceptance of various fire retardants for flexible polyurethane foam (FPF). Fire retardant grades of FPF must comply with today’s environmental demands. While some application requirements have changed to the extent that fire retardant additives are no longer necessary, other applications with more stringent standards still require the use of fire retardant chemistries. The present work examines some of these requirements and has adapted specific chemistries to provide technically feasible solutions to meet future demands. Bench scale laboratory methods were combined with industry standard large scale tests to evaluate performance for furniture, mattress, and packaging foams. The resulting FPF have been shown to meet or exceed all test requirements. The laboratory methodology and results of appropriate large scale flammability test are presented.

S16002 Update: Modification of the ASTM E-1428 Pink Stain Test Method” Tom Robitaille, Lonza

Lonza previously presented a review of the rationale and manner for modifying the current ASTM E 1428 Pink Stain Test method. The current ASTM E 1428 test method may not be reliable and can be very frustrating for those that are required to pass the test routinely. The Committee Working Group is progressing to the final stages of its review. This presentation will provide the current status of this work with an update on the team’s effort to make the pink stain test more reliable and meaningful for both foam producers and end-users.

S16004 Performance Comparisons of Renewable Resource Polyols for FPF” Michael Brooks, Emery Oleochemicals LLC

Market demand and development for renewable resource polyols is increasing, but sustainability with performance can be challenging for flexible polyurethane foam systems. While the idea of making polyurethane foam from renewable resources is appealing, foam performance, quality and economics should not be negatively impacted. Natural (castor) oil or modified (soybean, cashew, canola, etc.) natural oil polyols (NOPs) can be more difficult to engineer for a specific application than their petrochemical equivalent. This paper explores conventional Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) polyether flexible slabstock foam performance properties with partial substitution levels of renewable resourced polyols: EMEROX® 14050, Castor Oil, and two Soy-Based Polyols. Foam performance properties via ladder studies are compared.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2015, Niagara Falls, Ont.

F15001 A New Method for Measurement of Propensity of Polyurethane Foam/Fabric Assemblies to Transition from Smoldering to Flaming Combustion” Stanislav Stoliarov, University of Maryland

A transition from smoldering to flaming is a significant concern for regulatory agencies responsible for developing and enforcing fire safety standards for furniture. This phenomenon is poorly understood because of its sensitivity to a multitude of physical parameters and a lack of bench scale experiments where it can be observed under controlled and reproducible conditions. Here we report on development of a new apparatus which enables observation of this transition using a relatively small sample consisting of one 5x20x30 cm flexible foam block wrapped in a fabric of interest. In this apparatus, smoldering process is initiated using a local electric heating and gradually intensified due to self-heating and resupply of oxygen driven by natural convection. For a combination of a widely used flexible polyurethane foam and cotton fabric, this experiment yields a highly reproducible transition. It is also demonstrated that this experiment can be employed to discriminate between various foam/fabric compositions in terms of their propensity to transition to flaming.

F15003 New Polymer Polyol for Slabstock Foam Applications, Scott Charlton, Covestro LLC

Polymer polyols (PMPOs) are graft polyols, which contain finely dispersed particles, such as polystyrene and/or polyacrylonitrile in polyether polyols. These polyols are an integral component and are widely used in polyurethane production, typically in High Resilience (HR) and Conventional foam grades. Covestro LLC has developed and will soon bring Arcol® Polyol HS-200 into the flexible foam polyurethane industry. This new polyol will replace Covestro’s existing Arcol® polyol HS-100 and Arcol® polyol UHS-150. The information discussed in this paper will be the potential performance advantages of the new material with regards to better load building, lower TVOCs, lower viscosity, better CO2 foam processing, less material usage and better filtration properties.

F15005 A Comprehensive Analysis of Carbon Black Colorant Technology: The Components, Their Function and Potential Effect on Urethane Flexible Foam, Lisa Collette, Chromaflo Technologies Corp.

Carbon black colorants all appear similar and it is a common misconception that they all perform as such. However, carbon black colorants are a complex matrix consisting of multiple components, of which there are multiple grades and differing chemistries. This paper explores the potential components in a carbon black colorant and the impact they can have on the properties of the colorant as well as the effect on urethane production processes and the final urethane flexible foam. The goal is to educate decision makers to select the optimal carbon black colorant for their urethane flexible foam.

F15002 Novel Technology to Influence Hardness of Flexible Polyurethane Foams” Roland Hubel, Evonik Industries AG

There are several ways to influence hardness for the production of flexible polyurethane foam. Reduction of hardness usually has only limited impact on other foam physical properties. However, an increase in hardness is not always possible without undesirable changes to other foam physical properties. There are different ways to increase hardness. For example it is possible to strengthen the three dimensional network of the polyurethane foam. Usually better cross-linking leads to increased hardness. But, this approach can also create more closed cell structure. Porosity change can cause undesired loss of breathability and can affect long term performance. Evonik has put a lot of effort into understanding the hardening effect of foams. In order to create a foam hardener which does not affect other foam physical properties, Evonik has developed a tailor-made, highly sophisticated foam hardener additive, a synthesized new ORTEGOL product to combine low use level with a significant increase in hardness without impact on other foam physical properties.

F15004 EMEROX® 14050 Renewable Polyol; Effect upon Substitution Rate on Flexible Foam Properties, Michael Brooks, Emery Oleochemicals LLC

Emery Oleochemicals LLC, through its Eco-Friendly Polyols platform, offers EMEROX® renewable content polyols. Renewable (bio-based) polyols continue to be important to consumers and are increasingly specified by OEMs. Sustainability and performance can be challenging for flexible polyurethane foam systems based on modified natural oils (NOPs, or natural oil polyols). Typically NOPs can be more difficult to engineer to a specific application than their petrochemical equivalent. EMEROX® polyols are produced from renewable dibasic acids that are a product of Emery Oleochemicals’ proprietary ozonolysis technology. These polyols have all the design freedom of a petrochemical based polyol, but with high renewable content. This paper explores the performance properties of partial substitution of EMEROX® 14050 polyol into typical conventional TDI polyether and polyester foam formulations. Inclusion of a renewable content polyol can affect foam physical properties in unexpected ways. An interesting finding via ladder studies was that polyether foam compression sets and constant force deflections were only slightly affected while tensile strength, tear strength, and percent elongation increased by incorporating this renewable content polyol. Additionally, EMEROX® 14050 polyol also supports production of good quality polyester foams with the benefit of a more hydrophobic and flexible backbone. Minimal compromises in physical properties are apparent when substituting EMEROX® 14050 for traditional adipic acid/DEG based polyester polyols.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2015, St. Petersburg, FL

S15001 Novel Catalyst for Low-Emission Viscoelastic (VE) Foams Ryohei Takahashi, TOSOH Corporation

Viscoelastic (VE) foams are a type of flexible polyurethane foam which exhibit characteristics of both resiliency and viscosity. VE foams exhibit low resiliency, high viscosity, vibration damping, sound absorption and good texture. These characteristics have led to increased demand for VE foams in products such as high quality pillows, mattresses, care beds and seat pads for wheelchairs. For VE foam producers, Volatile Organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from polyurethane foams continue to be an important issue due to the growing interest in eliminating emission related problems, such as odor, blue haze and potential health risks. Using reactive amine catalysts is one option to reduce VOCs. Reactive amine catalysts are incorporated into the polyurethane structure by reacting with isocyanates, which enables lower VOCs levels. However, as VE foams exhibit narrow process latitude, existing reactive amine catalysts which have insufficient gelling abilities, fail to produce reliable and stable VE foams. Therefore non-reactive amine catalysts, such as Triethylenediamine, remain the catalyst of choice for VE foam production. TOSOH has developed a unique reactive amine catalyst: RZETA®. RZETA® provides strong gelling ability and higher catalytic activity among reactive catalysts. VE foams produced with RZETA® exhibit good formability and improved foam physical properties. In addition, amine emissions can be eliminated and total VOCs of VE foams can be reduced by using RZETA®.

S15003 Improved Viscoelastic Foam Formulation Technology Bill Gower, Bayer Material Science LLC

A continued trend in the manufacture of viscoelastic polyurethane flexible foams is to achieve higher quality and even lower density foams. Past formulation or machine processing limitations can be overcome by new formulation techniques which can reduce the need for multiple, unique polyols and/or isocyanates. This paper will introduce these simplified formulation options that may help foam producers to be able to offer foam grades from 1.5 pcf to 5 pcf density. It will also highlight the raw material versatility to achieve improved physical property and foam quality to introduce to the marketplace.

S15005 Highly Sophisticated Cell Opener for Viscoelastic Foam Roland Hubel, Evonik

TDI 80 viscoelastic formulations have a tendency toward closed cell structures, which often result in shrinkage. The role of the cell structure – cell fineness and porosity – turns out to be significant for viscoelastic foams relying on the pneumatic as well as the adhesion effect. Therefore, careful control of cell regulation and cell opening are the main challenges in production of viscoelastic foam. The foam structure is affected by the foam stabilizer and the processing conditions. Hence, the polyether siloxane foam stabilizer plays an essential role for both processing and the final foam properties. Evonik has put a lot of resources into the development of a tailor-made, highly sophisticated cell opener for TDI 80 viscoelastic foam. Therefore we have synthesized new polyether siloxane structures to combine smooth stabilization with controlled cell opening and present an optimized new product for TDI 80 viscoelastic foam cell opening. A smart combination of the chosen foam stabilizer and the new cell opening additive allow the tailoring of cell structure of TDI 80 viscoelastic foam.

S15002 Renewable Carbohydrate Solution That Imparts Flame Retardant Properties in Polyurethane Foam David Patten, Everchem Specialty Chemicals

This presentation discusses a new renewable carbohydrate solution based on sucrose that can be incorporated at low concentrations to improve foam combustion performance without the use of any traditional flame retardant chemicals. The discussion will introduce the molecule and to the patented technology that is used to reduce the water level of the sucrose so that it can be incorporated into flexible foam formulations. The Safety Data Sheet information will be reviewed and the physical properties of the carbohydrate solution presented. The presentation will provide foam properties based on physical testing using a typical starting formulation.

S15004 Aliphatic Polyester Polyols with Recycled Content for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Rick Beatty, INVISTA

Polyurethane formulators continue to develop new applications using INVISTA’s TERRIN™ polyols, which are 100% aliphatic polyester polyols with unique structures that contain a minimum of 50% recycled content; some also have renewable content. These polyols offer formulators alternatives that can help achieve the often contradictory objectives of meeting performance requirements, while also minimizing cost. This paper describes TERRIN™ polyols, and reviews the properties of viscoelastic (VE) and high-resilience (HR) foams made using model foam formulations. The results suggest that TERRIN™ polyols can be considered as partial drop-in replacements for polyols commonly used in these types of foams. Little or no adjustment is needed to the formulations and, depending on the formulation, some improved properties may be obtained. Key benefits seen with both VE and HR foams include increased strength, increased compression force deflection (CFD) for improved load-bearing capability, and possibly lower burn rate. The strength and CFD improvements suggest that TERRIN™ polyols have potential to replace graft polyols in HR foam when seeking improved load bearing properties.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2014, Chattanooga, TN

F14001 Art and Science of Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials in Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Jei McKinney, Encapsys®

This presentation provides an introduction and overview of the microencapsulation technology and will discuss the application of Encapsys® Phase Change Materials (PCM) in flexible polyurethane foam production. This technology is based on the performance of extremely small capsules (typically 5 to 40 microns for use in foam production) that permanently contain PCMs and allow the PCM to absorb thermal energy when exposed to heat. Test results demonstrate the ability of Encapsys® microencapsulated PCM to provide significant cooling benefits in flexible polyurethane foam in mattresses and pillows. The presentation will provide information on capsule size and performance consistency, energy absorption control, and compatibility with flexible polyurethane foam continuous pouring production.

F14003 Understanding Pink Stain Testing Scott Brown, Lonza

This paper addresses significant industry concerns regarding recent polyurethane foam failures in the standard ASTM E-1428 pink stain test protocol. Understanding what actually causes pink stain, how and why it occurs, and what it takes to pass the current ASTM 1428 test standard is critical to identifying why these failures are occurring at foaming plants around the world. Prodiginine pigments are the typical components that are responsible for the pink staining of both polyurethane foams and vinyl substrates. These are pigments are the metabolic excretions of various bacteria called Streptomyces; Streptoverticulum reticulum being the specific Streptomyces used in the ASTM E-1428 test. The marine environment is especially prone to pink staining, however, bedding, flooring and other construction components are also susceptible to pink stain problems. This paper highlights the details of the staining process and provides a review of the current ASTM E-1428 test as it specifically relates to polyurethane foams. Modifications to this test are likely the key to success for the polyurethane foam industry. The current work underway and the positive results to date will also be discussed.

F14005 Conversion of FPF Residues into Polyol on an Industrial Scale Lyudmila Skokova, H&S Anlagentechnik GmbH

This paper describes commercially-viable H&S Technology for conversion of flexible PU foam residues into polyol based on an optimized acydolysis method. FPF residues are dissolved in a mixture of polyether polyol, carboxylic acids and catalyst. The recovered polyols, having the appropriate hydroxyl number, very low acid groups which is important for good polyol reactivity, and minimal concentrations of primary aromatic amines, can replace up to 20% – 25% of the original basic polyol. Currently, various grades of conventional foams and HR foams produced with SAN polyols can be recycled using H&S technology. Recycling technology for viscoelastic foams is under development.

F14002 Controlled Pore Size in FPF Manufacturing Tom Cushman, Cushman Engineering

Flexible polyurethane foams for technical applications with tight performance specifications manufactured for further processing (e.g.: chemical or thermal reticulation) require uniformly controlled pore size. Basic elements of pore size control are addressed. These elements are largely the relationship of processing parameters such as pressure, temperature, dissolved gas and mixing shear to resultant pore size. The effect of adjusting each of these control parameters is examined. An emphasis is placed on controlling dissolved gas level in the isocyanate stream and polyol stream. Examples of equipment configurations required to obtain good pore size control are discussed and illustrated with piping schematics and equipment diagrams.

F14004 Final Report: Emissions Testing of Cured FPF for TDI / MDI Nick Ordsmith, Hall Analytical

This comprises the final report on emissions testing of high-density specimens of conventional, high resilience, super-soft and viscoelastic foams for the presence of TDI or MDI. Small chamber testing was conducted using the International Isocyanates Institute protocol for the collection and analysis of emanations of flexible polyurethane foam. TDI/MDI emissions testing was performed on 24 freshly-cured foams samples representing 6 specimens in each of 4 foam categories using a validated emissions testing and analysis method. There were no detectible TDI/MDI emissions.

F14006 How Maxfoam Machine Design Affects Pour Yield, Waste Reduction and Gross Margin Per Henning Vaagen, Laader Berg®

This paper provides a brief history of foaming system developments and examines the effect of the Maxfoam mechanical pour system on foam yield, waste generation and gross margin. Data are provided to demonstrate how machine design impacts bun shape, density distribution and raw material consumption.

 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2014, St. Petersburg, FL

S14001 JFLEX Technology Production Results Jim Shoup, Hennecke

Hennecke JFLEX foaming technology was presented at the 2013 Fall PFA meeting. Since this meeting, the first production JFLEX plant has been installed and is operational. The results of the foam production and status of the plant will be presented in this paper. Observations and data demonstrate that resulting foam production have been very good. The novel JFLEX technology laydown method produces pin hole free foam as entrained air is able to escape prior to the foam starting to react. The technology also performs well with higher viscosity chemicals. Data and production samples demonstrate processability of Visco polyols, Graft polyols and MDI. The color distribution is excellent and uniform and color changes are very short as compared to a traditional trough machine. The cell size will be shown to be very fine and controllable.

S14002 Flexible Polyurethane Flammability Performance and Sustainability Technologies Mike Goode, ICL-IP America

Recently, flame retardants have been much maligned and the subject of what seems endless public debate. “Flexible Polyurethane Flammability Performance and Sustainability” provides a look at the recent development and evolution of flame retardants for flexible polyurethane from longstanding commodity products to newer products with improved sustainability profiles. This paper will introduce these new more sustainable flame retardants by benchmarking their flame retardant efficacy versus the antiquated commodity products and highlight their more sustainable characteristics and attributes.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2013, New Orleans, LA

F13001 New JFLEX Continuous Process Slabstock Machine for Lower Volume Production Needs Jim Shoup, Hennecke

Traditional slabstock equipment used in the US today typically provides high-volume output of about 650 pounds per minute. This output rate may not be practical for smaller-volume pour runs. This paper presents the new Hennecke JFLEX pour technology, new continuous processing equipment capable of pouring conventional foam products are a rate of as slow as 3 feet minute, or about 25% of typical pour speed, for better management of small-volume pour runs. JFLEX equipment requires a much smaller “footprint,” having a machine length of about 30 feet. This paper will discuss new foaming principles supported by the JFLEX machine, equipment design and operation, and how a JFLEX machine can provide a better way to serve smaller-volume custom formulation needs.

F13003 Low Volatile Organic Compound Aromatic Polyester Polyol for Flexible Slabstock Foams Khalil Khameneh, Stepan Company

Recent activity within the flexible foam industry has focused on reducing the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) introduced into the foam from the raw materials.The presence of VOCs is of particular concern in both CertiPUR-US® rated foams and flame laminated foams used in automotive applications. Aromatic polyester polyols are known to improve foam bond strength to fabric, boost mechanical properties, increase foam hardness and may reduce the required flame retardant usage in flexible slabstock foams. However, standard grades also contribute to fogging and VOC emissions. Stepan has developed STEPANPOL PF-185, a novel aromatic polyester polyol that when used in polyether slabstock foam formulations provides the traditional benefits associated with aromatic polyester polyols while meeting new industry requirements for fogging and VOC emissions.

F13005 New Tin Catalyst for Use in Flexible Foam Applications, 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid Free Alternative to Stannous Octoate Greg Pickrell, Momentive

Momentive Performance Materials Inc. introduces Niax® catalyst D-25, a new tin catalyst manufactured to be free of 2-Ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHA). This new product is in response to the industry need for an alternative gel catalyst to Stannous Octoate, without 2-EHA. Niax catalyst D-25 may be considered for use in the production of flexible slabstock foam, including conventional, high resilience and viscoelastic applications. It typically yields high catalytic efficiency in the polyurethane foam gelling reaction comparable to Stannous Octoate, tin catalyst currently used for these applications. This new tin catalyst can provide equivalent foam performance to Stannous Octoate without the inclusion of 2-EHA in the finished foam product. Depending on the foam formulation, optimization of the tin and amine catalysts use levels may be required to achieve desired reactivity profiles and foam properties. This paper addresses the use of Niax Catalyst D-25 in flexible foam applications, including catalytic activity, foam performance and elimination of 2-EHA, compared to the current industry standard Stannous Octoate tin catalyst.

F13007 Testing Emanations of Flexible Polyurethane Foam for the Presence of Free TDI or MDI Nick Ordsmith, Hall Analytical

This paper provides a preliminary report on emissions testing of high-density specimens of conventional, high resilience, super-soft and viscoelastic foams for the presence of TDI or MDI. Small chamber testing was conducted using the International Isocyanates Institute protocol for the collection and analysis of emanations of flexible polyurethane foam. This protocol was published based on TDI only and an initial method implementation and validation study was performed to demonstrate linearity over a range of concentrations. At this stage, the addition of MDI as an analyte was also validated. This also served to develop a cost effective on-going analytical strategy for regular monitoring of foam samples. During the routine testing of foam samples, as part of the CertiPUR-US® program, additional TDI/MDI testing has been performed on suitable candidate foams using the expanded, validated method. This has yielded some preliminary data as part of a planned experiment to cover multiple samples from each foam family. The results to date will be shown.

 

F13002 Advancements in PET-based Flexible Polyurethane Foams Michael Dubois, Soft Spuma

Current raw material economics invite investigation of formulation technologies to reduce dependence on petroleum based components while maintaining or improving foam product physical properties. This paper discusses advancements in commercialized flexible polyurethane foam with significant PET resin content of up to 40% for some applications. Possible PET-based formulation applications include foams for furniture, bedding and automotive, including viscoelastic foam products. New achievements in PET formulation and processing technologies will be discussed with resulting foam physical and performance properties.

F13004 Reactivity Rates and Physical Properties for Zinc Pyrithione Formulated Low-density Conventional Polyether/TDI-based Slabstock FPF Tom Robitaille, Lonza

Zinc pyrithione is well known for providing strong antimicrobial effects to polyurethane foams as well as many other materials. The antimicrobial performance of zinc pyrithione provides both hygienic surface effects (ex-US) and true preservative effects to treated articles such as bedding, pillows and other shock absorbing foams. The fact that zinc pyrithione provides strong performance in both types of antimicrobial “effects” distinguishes it from other antimicrobials on the market today. Despite the exceptional antimicrobial performance characteristics of zinc pyrithione in polyurethane foams, it can have a negative impact on the foaming process and the resulting physical properties of finished foams. This report characterizes the impact of zinc pyrithione on these parameters in a light-density slab-stock foam with special focus on the impact of Lonza’s in-house proprietary stabilization of zinc pyrithione. This work demonstrates a positive impact of the stabilization of zinc pyrithione on reducing the catalytic effects typically seen with standard zinc pyrithione. This positive effect is seen primarily in the reactivity rate (~30% improvement), air flow (~4X improvement), and rebound resilience (25.7% improvement) over un-stabilized zinc pyrithione.

F13006 New Polymer Polyol for Combustion Modified High Resiliency Foams Chris Thiede, Dow Chemical

Dow recently developed a new polymer polyol with intrinsic flammability performance for high resilience and combustion modified high resilience flexible polyurethane foams. The polyol can be used to produce a wide range of foam densities with hardness up to 400 N in both standard and flame retardant grades for BS 5852 (Crib 5). Foams can be produced with a broad processing latitude, resulting in excellent foam physical properties such as high resilience, low compression sets and dynamic fatigue hardness loss. Foams required to meet British Standard Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Standard BS 5852 can easily be produced using melamine, TCPP or a synergistic combination of both with significantly reduced levels of flame retardants in comparison to foams prepared using styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymer polyol (CPP) technology. The performance and versatility of this new technology means that a single polymer polyol can be used to produce the entire product range without the addition of other flame retardant polyols or high solids SAN CPP. This paper demonstrates the versatility of this polyol via an overview of foam grades, physical properties and flammability performance.

 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2013, St. Petersburg, FL

S13001 Past, Present And Future Trend Of PentaBDE In Foam Products In The Use And Waste Phases From 1980-2020 Miriam Diamond, University Of Toronto, Great Lakes Coalition

This is a preliminary report on the temporal trends in the mass of pentaBDE in polyurethane foam products from 1980 to 2004, and the mass in products that move from the use to waste phase with comparisons to those of octa- and decaBDE mixtures that have been used in electronic products and the transportation sector. Use of pentaBDE in furniture polyurethane foam was higher than in the transportation and electronic sectors. Research is on-going to quantify the use of decaBDE to flame retard textiles. Results suggest that despite the rapid decrease in the mass usage of pentaBDE after 2004, this substance will remain in products in the use phase until 2020. The accumulation of pentaBDE containing products in the waste phase will continue to contribute to the environmental burden of this mixture unless appropriate waste management practices are implemented.

S13003 Methods For Identification Of Flame Retardants In Polyurethane Foams Graham Peaslee, Hope College

Changing flammability standards and increasing public awareness of the eco-toxicity of halogenated flame retardants may have significant implications for polyurethane foam manufacturers and their customers. There will be increasing interest in end-of-life alternatives for existing products with halogenated foam. Similarly, increasing costs of petrochemical feedstock will continue to drive interest in polyurethane foam recycling. In both cases, identifying whether a sample of soft polyurethane foam has flame-retardant chemicals added to it will play a key role. The traditional methods for determining the presence of flame retardant chemicals in foam and identifying them are both time-consuming and costly, or else they are limited in the type of halogen they detect (only Br). This presentation describes a novel method for the rapid detection and identification of all chemical flame retardants in foams, plastics and fabrics and provides preliminary results of ion beam analysis of several hundred foams samples compared to traditional methods with an estimate of relative analysis costs. The impact of this technology (and future technologies) in this area is discussed.

S13005 Application Of WALKI Technologies In Continuous Flexible Foam Production Ari Pietila, Walki Group

WALKI “Peelable Products” are specifically designed to improve the efficiency of flexible polyurethane foam production through foam waste reduction. All PeelFoam and CoverFoam products contain strong craft paper. Re-use or sale of scrap paper for other usage provide attractive options for the foam manufacturer. Coated film is attached to foam block. PeelFoam products are specifically made to provide adjustability and low adhesion. This assures that the peelable film is well attached to the foam bun and that the paper can be rolled off efficiently. The peelable film therefore protects the foam and creates the desired insulating layer. CoverFoam products require extremely high adhesion and must be kept attached to the bun as part of the lamination process at all times.

S13002 Low VOC Cal TB117 Using Bio Renewable Technologies Jeff Rowlands, Green Urethanes Limited

The well-respected Cal TB117 flammability standard is on the block because of its environmental impact through the historic use of flame retardants which have now been found to leave the foam and impact people. The paper discloses an alternative route to passing this internationally accepted flammability standard which ensures that the flame retardant remains within the foam. The route involves heavy use of recently developed novel “Green Chemistry” , and this ensures that the two original objectives of Cal TB117; enhanced resistance to ignition leading to a fire and, enhanced escape time from a fire, are still preserved.

S13004 Novel Reactive Gelling Catalyst For Extremely Low-Emission Flexible Polyurethane Foam Takao Suzuki, TOSOH Corporation

TOSOH Corporation has developed a novel reactive amine catalyst (Reactive-TEDA) that demonstrates strong gelling ability in the polyurethane (PU) reaction and exhibits extremely low emissions while promoting improved foam durability and properties. Within certain applications, reducing the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content in PU systems continues to be an important issue as a means to improve product performance and user safety. The choice of PU catalysts plays a role in the VOC issue. A variety of reactive amine catalysts, which have a hydroxyl or an amino group as a reaction site with isocyanates, have been proposed to reduce VOC issues. Many of these reactive catalysts provide inferior durability performance. Fundamentally, reactive amine catalysts can be incorporated into the polymer network and lose their catalytic activity during the latter stages of the foaming process. Typical reactive amine catalysts can also work as chain terminators, thus hindering the growth of the polymer structure; this can result in inferior foam properties. Since most reactive catalysts available today demonstrate blowing or balanced catalytic activity, the need for a strong gelling reactive catalyst remains present in the marketplace. This technical paper describes the performance of TOSOH’s newly developed reactive gelling catalyst evaluated in both flexible slabstock and HR-molded foam formulations. A new catalyst package is also proposed for the reduction of VOC using non-fugitive catalysts.

S13006 The Cusum Chart: An Additional Tool For Quality Control Stuart Watson

Statistical Process Control (SPC) has long been a staple of quality control methodology, but in some applications it has not been sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in product quality. An alternate method termed a Cusum Chart is reviewed and shown in application to polyurethane foam manufacturing. Cusum Charts are demonstrated to be highly sensitive to process change and give rapid signally of small changes.

 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2012, Hilton Head, SC

F12001 Summary of Recent Studies Presented at the Isocyanates & Health Conference Mark Spence, III; Barbara Cummings, Dii Panel

This presentation summarizes six papers submitted by the International Isocyanates Institute (III) for presentation at the “Isocyanates and Health” conference covering III research on worker and consumer exposure, toxicology testing, human cancer risk, environmental exposure and monitoring, and occupational health management of interest to the flexible polyurethane foam industry.

F12003 Comparison of NIST SRM 1196 and Various Commercial FSC Cigarettes for Smolder Testing Bob Luedeka, PFA

This presentation summarizes the results of a nine-month investigation by the Polyurethane Foam Association of the smolder testing performance of a number of cigarettes including various FSC brands and the NIST SRM 1196. Initial smolder testing of more than 1,100 commercially-purchased FSC cigarettes showed that some brands of FSC cigarettes had a very high probability of burning full length without relights when tested using the TB 117 protocol with a cover sheet. This led to more smolder evaluations and interlaboratory validation of the findings. Interlaboratory trials confirmed that as foam density goes down, smolder-caused substrate weight loss decreases and that as firmness increases smolder weight loss drops. There was no statistically significant difference in weight loss effects from smolder testing between one brand of FSC and the NIST SRM 1196 cigarette, or in the variations of physical properties including cigarette length, diameter and weight. Results of more than 4,000 total trials support the recommendation that smolder test standards specify cigarette physical characteristics within a tolerated variance instead of naming a specific smolder ignition material.

F12005 Viscoelastic Foam with Temperature Independent Comfort Charles Ritchie, PCC Rokita

This presentation describes PCC Rokita Rokopol vTec polyols that can provide a broad range of glass transition and optimum low resiliency performance over a wide ambient temperature range. These characteristics help to improve comfort qualities in bedding and also improve handling of viscoelastic foam products during conversion processing. Typical viscoelastic foams are difficult to handle and move when they are warm and are difficult to cut when cold, so they need to be stored and conditioned at a convenient temperature in advance. Rokopol vTec based foams avoid this need.

F12007 Ultra-green Non-hazardous Cured Polyurethane Cleaner Andrew Hiron, Bio8 Ltd

Bio8 Ltd Envii700 series products are non-hazardous, environmentally-compatible cleaning solutions for use with cured polyurethane foam. The series includes products for specific applications such as EN705, a liquid cured polyurethane cleaning product for use in dip tanks, and EN706, a gel for use on larger items and production equipment. The presentation describes other new products including EN720, an ester-based flushing compound that can be used in place of Methylene Chloride for in-line flushing of pour lines and heads. This product can be filtered and reused numerous times.

F12002 Precision and Bias of the CertiPUR-US® Test Method for Volatile Organic Compounds Stu Watson, AFPF; Doug Sullivan, AFPF

A 24 designed experiment with replication was conducted with flexible polyurethane foams having higher or lower levels of emitted volatile organic compounds (VOC). The testing revealed that the data were normally distributed and that no statistically significant difference between testing chambers or operators existed, and the test could reproducibly distinguish between the High and Low emission samples. The population standard deviations for Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Siloxanes yielded strong guidance for attainment of passing values while the results for TVOC (Base Rate) suggested opportunities for continuous improvement in sampling and testing. The values were used to give probabilities of success in future confirmation tests.

F12004 Survey of the Incidence of Occupational Asthma among FPF Slabstock Plants Lynn Knudtson, PFA

The combined results from foam production worker surveys covering 1988 – 2011 indicate that the incidence of self-reported occupational asthma was low, representing less than 2% of the surveyed worker population. The incidence of medically confirmed cases of occupational asthma was even lower (six cases) among the participating manufacturing sites representing more than 90% of U.S. FPF production volume. The very low number of self-reported or medically diagnosed cases of occupational asthma suggests that workplace controls were adequate and/or effective in the surveyed plants.

F12006 Novel CO2-based Polyols as Flexible Foam Strength Enhancers Jason Anderson, Novomer, Inc.

Novomer has developed a unique route to high performance sustainable polyols using a proprietary catalyst system to combine waste carbon dioxide (CO2) with standard epoxides. This original technology delivers renewable polycarbonate polyols that are up to 50% CO2 by weight, have a 3-9x carbon footprint advantage vs. existing petroleum-based materials, and can be cost competitive with existing polyether and polyester polyols at commercial scale. In recent flexible foam testing studies, use of Novomer polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polyols as a minority component of the polyol formulation resulted in foams with significantly increased compression force deflection, tear strength, and tensile strength. These novel polyols show promise as strength enhancing components of viscoelastic foam formulations.

 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2012, Baltimore, MD

S12001 California TB 117: Does The Regulation Add Value? Matthew Blais, Southwest Research Institute

California TB 117 (CA TB 117) was created to protect life and property from fires initiated by small sources such as matches, cigarettes and lighters. The standard was not intended to prevent ignition of a furnishing in a large fire where it would contribute to the fuel load of a room. To evaluate the effectiveness of the standard, used furniture items and new comparison cushions having various filling components were tested. Both CA TB 117-compliant and non-compliant pieces and equivalent composite mock-ups were evaluated using a small flame ignition source. The paper concludes that the use of CA TB 117 foam increases the safety of home furnishings by delaying the onset of free burning conditions and reducing the total energy released by the event.

S12003 New Additives for Polyester and Flame Lamination Foam Greg Pickrell, Momentive Performance Materials

Momentive has developed a new surfactant for use in flexible polyester slabstock foam applications. Niax L-537XF surfactant is specifically designed to provide finer cells and increased airflow across a wide range of densities. Performance improvements in low-density foams with more stable buns and finer cells are also expected. This new product can be used for conventional polyester foam, semi-rigid and foams with die-cuttable properties. Additionally Momentive is launching a new additive for flame lamination for polyether and polyester applications. Niax CS-26LF is specifically designed to increase the flame bonding properties. The typical range of peeling strength increase in polyether foam is between 20% and 30% when compared to previous generation additives like Niax CS-22LF. This new product also provides mild antioxidant properties and low emission properties. In applications like polyester foam this new product may help increase the initial peeling strength by 40% to 50% when compared to a reference ester foam.

S12002 PTZ: A Troublesome Ingredient; Promising Solutions John DeMassa, R.T. Vanderbilt

Phenothiazine (PTZ) continues to be an effective scorch inhibitor used by a number of slab-stock foam manufacturers. It has a long successful history as an additive, which is often used in combination with other antioxidants. However, this industrial workhorse comes with an unwanted side effect. Polyurethane foams containing trace quantities of PTZ or its post-reaction derivatives have been observed to occasionally “pink” during warehouse storage. The present paper will examine relevant reaction chemistry; underlying reasons for PTZ induced discoloration and offer some promising new solutions that eliminate “pinking” while providing scorch reduction benefits.

S12004 New Developments in Flame Retardant Additives For Use In Flexible Polyurethane Foam Products Mike Nagridge, ICL - IP America

The addition of flame retardants plays a critical role in allowing FPF products to meet flammability performance requirements. Flame retardants must not only perform well in mitigating ignition and combustion, they also must be compatible with FPF production formulation and processing. ICL-IP has developed new flame retardant products to meet the ongoing challenges of today’s market where superior performance in fire tests, foam properties, and scorch is required. Product sustainability continues to be a major criterion for product development. Large scale production evaluations show improvements in flame retardant related properties at low, medium, and high densities. The results of production trial evaluations will be discussed.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2011, Phoenix, AZ

F11001 Low Density HR MDI Based Foams Venkat Minnikanti, Dow Chemical Company

Obtaining low density (less than 30Kg/m3) foams in all water blown MDI based foams without compromising mechanical performance (Tensile strength and Tear Strength) and compression sets has been a significant challenge for polyurethane foamers. While it is straight forward to make such foams with TDI, with MDI it becomes very difficult. This paper presents low density MDI based foams with Dow’s proprietary technology.

F11003 Enabling Surfactant Technology for Flexible Slabstock Flame Retardant Polyurethane Foam Jane Kniss, Air Products & Chemicals

As regulations on polyurethane foam manufacture continue to tighten, and the economy continues to be fraught with recovery delays, the flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) industry must find new methods of producing quality foams across a matrix of densities and hardness levels that also provide the specified combustion standards. These additional economic hurdles have accelerated the search for additives that allow the manufacturer to continue to produce high quality polyurethane flexible slabstock foam with the various mechanical processes employed today, while scrutinizing the level and type of flame retardant (FR) necessary to maintain product certification under current flammability statutes.

This paper reports on a surfactant which enables reduced FR use-levels at equal or lower burn length with halogenated or non-halogenated FR additives. The surfactant processes well across the wide range of foam densities and firmnesses, provides good nucleation, a high degree of emulsification, excellent froth stability, and good bulk stability. Several evaluations on commercial equipment have been conducted and foam properties were compared among current commercially available surfactants. The resulting foam’s physical properties include fine, regular cell structure, substantial reduction of cell structure striations, and a smooth, velvety hand. FR performance, in addition to all of these desired properties, will be discussed in detail, along with several other benefits.

F11005 Evaluation of New Additives to Maximize the Use and Processing Performance of NOPs in Conventional Slabstock Foam Roland Hubel, Evonik Goldschmidt

Over the past decade, there has been increased interest within the polyurethane industry to use natural oil based polyols, either as a stand alone product or in conjunction with petroleum-based polyols. Compared to conventional polyether polyols, most natural oil based polyols (NOPs) have different solubility characteristics due to the presence of long hydrocarbon chains. As a result of this chemical structure, these polyols are much more non-polar, hydrophobic and oleophilic. Furthermore they show a different reactivity regarding the gelling reaction which is mainly related to the steric hindrance of the hydroxyl groups. Due to the different chemical nature of NOPs, their use in conventional slabstock formulations is often accompanied by undesired changes to the processing and physical properties of the final foam.

This paper provides an evaluation of how different types of additives can support the increased use of NOPs in conventional slabstock applications. In contrast to previous studies which focused more on emulsification aspects, this paper mainly investigates the impact on reaction conditions and kinetics when NOPs are added to a formulation. Different approaches are discussed to counteract the negative effect on foam physical properties when the use level of NOP is increased.

F11002 New Chemical Technology for the Production of Super High Air Flow Flexible Foams Adona Marcum, Bayer MaterialScience

New polyether polyol and formulating technology is being developed which enables the direct production of very high air flow foams comparable to those achieved in a reticulation process. This technology also helps to significantly enhance the air flow of low porosity foam types such as viscoelastic and even semi-rigid. In addition, the surface characteristics of the foams can be controlled through formulation or through coating processes; thus facilitating use in a wide range of prospective end-use applications including bedding, seating and other cushioning applications where air circulation and the transfer of moisture away from the body are desirable performance traits.

F11004 Modifications in CertiPUR-US® VOC Test Methods Doug Sullivan, Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Inc.

In response to a proposal to change the CertiPUR-US TVOC testing protocol from ASTM-5116 to the more specific ISO-16000-Parts 6, 9 & 11, as specified for CertiPUR in Europe, comparative testing was conducted. As part of the test method conversion process, the effect of increasing the chamber conditioning time for VOC analyses will be reported.

F11006 Global Regulatory Changes and Antimicrobial Replacement Alternatives Tom Robitaille, Lonza

Regulatory changes are driving change around the world and altering the choices of antimicrobials allowed for use in polyurethanes. The most recent examples are the allowed use of OBPA (10,10′- oxybisphenoxarsine), tributyl tin compounds and triclosan, as antimicrobial agents in many polyurethane formulations.

In light of the recent lack of support for OBPA in the European Biocidal Product Directive process (BPD) users will need to find alternative means of protecting their finished goods from the growth of fungi and bacteria. This paper will characterize the antimicrobial performance and formulation compatibility of n-octyl-isothiazolinone (OIT) and 4,5-dichloro-2-n-octyl-4-isothiazoline-3-one (DCOIT), silyl quats, n-butyl 1,2 benzisothiazolin-3-one (BBIT), zinc pyrithione (ZPT) and combinations in polymer formulations as preferred alternatives.

 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2011, Baltimore, MD

S11001 Flame Retardant Developments for the FPF Market Mike Nagridge, ICL Industrial Products

Flame retardants play an important role in meeting code requirements as well as product performance requirements in flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) applications. ICL-IP has developed phosphorus based flame retardant products to meet the ongoing challenges of today’s market where superior performance in fire tests, foam properties, and scorch is required. Product sustainability continues to be a major criterion for product development. A series of evaluations was conducted using lab bench scale as well as some large scale testing to show improvements in flame retardant related properties at low, medium, and high densities. Reactive, polymeric, and non-reactive products were also evaluated to show benefits of each. The results of evaluations of these development products will be presented.

S11003 Risk Assessment Tool to Evaluate TDI Emission and Migration Data in Flexible Polyurethane Foam Jim Chapman, Bayer MaterialScience

As reported at the May, 2010 PFA conference, recent studies conducted by the International Isocyanate Institute demonstrated problems determining “free” TDI from flexible PU foam (FPF) using solvent extraction techniques. Measuring the emission of TDI from FPF to air and migration of TDI from FPF to surfaces was proposed as better representing the residual TDI that could be “bioavailable” from FPF. That work described the techniques used to measure emission and migration and showed that no detectable emitted or migrated TDI could be found from a model FPF with detectable levels of extractable TDI. This presentation describes the risk assessment approach used to evaluate the results from emission and migration testing.

S11002 Flame Retardation of FPF: Recent Developments and Research in EMPA – Swiss Federal Laboratories” Sabyasachi Gaan, EMPA

Flexible polyurethane foams (FPF) find application in home, transportation and public / business infrastructures. FPF owing to their chemistry and open cell structure pose fire hazards. They have high heat of combustion and heat release rate capacity and also release toxic gasses during thermal decomposition and flaming. This presentation covers recent developments in flame retardants for flexible polyurethane foams and presents work on development of new flame retardant chemistries for FPF. The presentation focuses on effect of addition of these new flame retardants on mechanical, flame retardant and thermal properties of FPF.

S11004 Technology to Separate Fabrics from FPF for Reapplication in Flame Lamination Operations Tony Gutierrez, Publibordados

This presentation describes the process used to separate rolls of flame laminated vinyl-foam, leather-foam and cloth-foam so that the recovered face material can be reapplied to a different foam substrate.

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
November 2010, Atlanta, GA

F10001 Non-Contact In-Process Foam Dimension Measurement Daryl Rutt, RangeMetrics

Current practice for determining processed foam dimensions typically relies on QA lab measurements of sample pieces. Modern requirements for lower missed defect rate along with the increasing implementation of MRP/ERP systems in foam plants makes 100% in-process measurement a desirable and cost-beneficial addition to foam manufacturing. A measurement method based on a laser line / rangecamera technique previously developed by RangeMetrics has been successfully implemented in a number of foam plants to capture closely-spaced dimensions of the top and side surfaces of hot or cold slabstock buns. 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 in the cold shop. However, measurements of different dimensional variables at different points in the foam fabricating process lead to a variety of different requirements and a variety of technical challenges which are discussed in the paper.

F10003 Versatile High Renewable Content Based Polyol for the Production of Multiple Flexible Slabstock Foam Technologies William Gower, Cargill Biobased Polyurethanes

This paper will describe the development and evaluation of a new BiOH Polyol designed for the production of multiple TDI based flexible slabstock foam technologies such as: low density CO2 foaming; solids free load building capability; high resiliency, viscoelastic, and traditional trough foams.

F10002 Combustible Dust Regulatory Update Brian Edwards, Conversion Technology, Inc.

Combustible dust presents a significant hazard to industrial facilities, and it is at the forefront of regulators’ agendas, especially the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA enacted a National Emphasis Program (NEP) in 2008, and the agency is conducting inspections under this program. OSHA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), and is working to develop a specific combustible dust rule. This paper will discuss the characteristics of combustible dust, current regulations and standards, anticipated regulatory initiatives, and how facilities should address combustible dust safety.

F10004 PLX 982: A New Liquid Scorch Inhibitor John DeMassa, R.T. Vanderbilt Company

The present paper explores a new scorch inhibitor blend that reduces scorch significantly when compared with state-of-the-art products and adds minimally to foam discoloration when exposed to selected stresses such as light or NOx fumes. A short discussion will also be offered on the mechanism of thermo-oxidative degradation and inhibitor stabilization of PUR foam.

 

Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program
May 2010, Baltimore, MD

S10001 Seal Less High Pressure Metering Pump for Toluene-diisocyanate Thomas P. Cushman, Cushman Engineering, Inc.

The integration of state of the art canned motor technology and the bent axis hydraulic pump inside a hermetic case is demonstrated to be an effective seal-less and leak free method of delivering a metered throughput of toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) to the modern foam machine mixing chamber. This technology eliminates the dynamic shaft seal as a source of fugitive emissions of isocyanates. All connections to the assembly are sealed with static seals. This technology is a viable method of protecting employees, the factory and the surrounding community by preventing nuisance leaks and subsequent fugitive emissions at the pump. An opening and brief overview of NIOSH regulations and hazards regarding TDI is included.

S10003 High Efficiency Silicone Surfactant for Flexible Slabstock Foam Applications Gregory A. Pickrell, Momentive Performance Materials

In difficult economic times, when raw materials prices rise and demand is weak, foam manufacturers search for effective ways to improve foam production yield. Polyurethane additive suppliers can play a pivotal role in helping foam manufacturers achieve this initiative. This paper describes Momentive’s new high efficiency Niax* silicone L-595, a surfactant to consider for providing higher yield foam as well as fine cell structure and wide processing latitude. The typical benefits of Niax silicone L-595, compared to generally used surfactants, have been exhibited in many batch and continuous machine line trials over a wide range of conventional flexible slabstock foam formulations in use throughout the world. This new surfactant can help optimize foam stabilization and enhance cell-opening characteristics, yielding higher foam buns with minimal density gradients, leaner top and bottom skins, integrated cells and excellent product quality consistency. In addition, this silicone stabilizer can be considered for use in manufacturing processes that use liquid CO2 as auxiliary blowing agent.
*Niax is a trademark of Momentive Performance Materials Inc.

S10002 'Free' TDI in PU Flexible Foam: Update on Recent Studies Mark W. Spence, International Isocyanate Institute, Inc.

Some researchers have reported presence of isocyanate in PU by non-quantitative colorimetric methods, as well as quantifiable residual toluene diisocyanate (TDI) monomer using analytical measurements involving solvent extraction and derivatization of fully cured PU products. In this study a rigorous methodology was developed to extract and quantify TDI from flexible PU foam. Furthermore influence of methodological variables was assessed and consideration was given whether extractable TDI represented free (unreacted) TDI in the polymer matrix, or if TDI was being regenerated by the analytical procedure. More exposure-relevant techniques for providing such data were developed; specifically, emission to air and migration to a surface in contact with the PU foam. 

Results showed that TDI can be extracted from a cured PU foam sample using a range of organic solvents and derivatizing methods. There is evidence that the detected TDI is, at least in part, an artifact of the solvent extraction methods. In both emission and migration tests no TDI was detected as being released from the foam sample. Consideration of the use of data for risk assessment of possible monomer in a PU product was made, with the conclusion that emission and/or migration study data are more relevant for development of risk assessments.

S10004 Additive Flame Retardants Identified in Consumer Products and Furniture Containing Polyurethane Foam Heather H. Stapleton, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

A majority of furniture and consumer products which contain polyurethane foam, manufactured both in the United States (U.S.) and abroad, are treated with additive flame retardants to meet flammability standards. The flammability standard which primarily drives this use is California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117). In order to identify the primary chemicals and/or mixtures of chemicals being used to meet TB 117 in foam for upholstered furniture, we analyzed foam collected from various furniture items including: sofas, chairs and futons, and we also examined non-furniture items such as pillows, mattress pads, baby strollers, baby car seats, and nursing pillows. Foam was collected from products purchased primarily between the years 2003- 2010. The foam was extracted and analyzed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) at Duke University. Analysis of indoor dust samples collected from the east coast of the U.S. revealed elevated levels of FR components similar to those found through extraction of finished goods. Preliminary studies conducted by Dr. Stapleton’s laboratory to date suggest that certain FR additives found in analyzed products may be as potent a neurotoxicant as organophosphate pesticides. These data and implications will be discussed during the presentation.

 

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