Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program May and October, 1994

Initial Test Programs-Comparison of Flexible PUF and Polyester Fiber Seat Cushions, Tom Murphy, Flexible Foam Commercial Committee of SPI, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

The objective of this program is to define the benefits of flexible foam vs. polyester fiber in cushioning applications. The critical issues affecting the growth of flexible foam are addressed, and data is provided to PFA to compete in the marketplace.

The impacted markets are: The Flexible Molded Foam and Flexible Slabstock Foam Markets. The molded market consists principally of automotive seating , and the slabstock market of furniture bedding.

Data is provided on the loss in thickness of covered cushions made with flexible foam vs. identical cushions made with polyester fiber using an Iso Pounding test procedure. Fatigue data on fiber wrapped foam cushions using the same Iso Pounding test is also shown.

Durability and performance testing is underway at Woodbridge Foam on a parallel program for Automotive, and data will be shared with the joint PFA/FFCC Task Force. Additional testing is scheduled to begin the second quarter of 1994 on automotive seat foam using an actual GM seat part.

Report on the Foam Adhesive Ventilation Project, Steve Risotto, Center for Emissions Control, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

The author presents an overview of the use of solvents in foam fabrication operations, and presents data on worker exposure to methylene chloride fumes in various fabrication operations. Recommendations are made for modifications to ventilation systems to reduce worker exposure to fumes. A list of the disadvantages of water based adhesives is also given.

Next Generation Geolite® Modifier Technology, B.L. Hilker and L.F. Lawler, OSI Specialties, Inc., Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

Advances in the next generation Geolite® modifier additive technology for slabstock foam are discussed. Recent progress has identified stabilizing additives which allow foam to be produced using isocyanate indexes as low as 85 with improved properties over those previously obtained. Such low index formulations involve increased water levels and allow for the production of soft foam grades with significantly reduced levels of auxiliary blowing agents. All-water blown foams having densities as low as 1.0 pcf. have been produced with this technology with acceptable exotherms. While some low density foam grade properties are not yet optimum, all seating grades of foam, possessing good properties and no discoloration, can be made with this technology.

New Geolite® modifier additives significantly improve foam property limitations induced by mechanical cooling technologies, especially compression sets. Recent findings also revealed similar compression set benefits using the new Geolite® modifier additives in flame retardant foams.

New Trends in the Polyol Stabilization Technology, Robert L. Gray, Robert E. Lee, and Richard S. Rose, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

Changes in the flexible slabstock industry such as replacement of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) blowing agents have placed new demands on the stabilization packages used in this application. The use of higher levels of water to induce carbon dioxide formation and release, result in a significant generation of additional heat. In inadequately stabilized foams, this can lead to scorch and potentially self-ignition.

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) has been the traditional foundation of the stabilization package. Phenolic antioxidants are used to protect the polyol from oxidation during manufacture, minimize hydroperoxide formation during storage and reduce scorch during PUR foam manufacture. The relatively high volatility of BHT is a concern as it is easily volatilized out of the foam during the foam processing, and can cause problems with BHT build-up. Additionally, BHT is also known to cause staining.

A variety of structurally dissimilar phenolic antioxidants were evaluated for performance as scorch inhibitors. The results of screening work indicated that all of the antioxidants evaluated provided a high level of scorch protection. The reactive performance is as follows: Anox PP 18 > BHT > Anox 20 > DBNP The traditional Antioxidant BHT was among the best performers. Foams prepared with DBNP showed a slightly higher level of discoloration as compared to BHT. This small difference in performance may be structurally related.

Volatility of the antioxidants as measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) shows that BHT is the most volatile. It showed a 5% weight loss at about 90°C, and a 90% loss at about 142°C. DBNP has a range for the 5% and 90% weight losses of 120°C to 182°C respectively.

The proprietary product AS-1, Anox PP-18 and Anox 20 have TGA volatility values that are predominantly above the peak exotherm temperature of flexible slabstock polyurethane foam. They would be expected to volatilize significantly less during foam cure. The decreased volatility is achieved by increasing the molecular weight of the antioxidant by the addition of long hydrocarbon chains to the molecule.

The authors have concluded that the requirements of polyurethane slabstock foam manufacturers vary due to sensitivity to antioxidant volatility, preference in physical form (liquid or solid), and degree of anti-scorch protection. As a result of this broad variation in antioxidant performance demands, several alternative antioxidants to BHT have been presented. DBNP and a developmental product, AS-1, combine relatively low volatility and good anti-scorch performance with the advantage of a liquid product form. Anox PP 14 and Anox 20 have significantly lower volatility than BHT and improved performance.

IFD Test Protocol Intrlaboratory Statistical Study, Audie Mitcham, Drexel Heritage Furnishings, Inc., Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

The objective of this study was to determine the precision of IFD measurement for upholstered furniture seating cushions. The test protocol which was used was ASTM D 3574-86, Test B 1, "Standard Methods of Testing Flexible Cellular Materials-Slab, Bonded, and Molded Urethane Foams." Nineteen laboratories participated. Each laboratory received a calibration spring for initial equipment and procedural evaluation. Each laboratory also received three foam samples from each of two sample sets. All foam samples were screened at BASF laboratories for sample consistency.

The following data was obtained on the test samples: height, weight, 25% IFD, 65% IFD, 25% return IFD, test area temperature and relative humidity, and equipment type and capacity.

The following conclusions were derived from this study: Interlaboratry Precision of the test method, or h Value, indicated relatively consistent performance between laboratories. Each laboratory only has an approximate 5% effect on the whole due to the dilution of results by 19 labs.

Reproducibility of the test method within laboratories, or k Value, showed that a number of laboratories have a need for improvement on equipment or measurement scale. This data also showed an increased number of labs exhibiting imprecision of data as load on their IFD machines increases to perform the 65% IFD tests.

Safety Standards for Foam Fabricating, Dario Ramazzotti, Edge Sweets, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

The objective of this paper is to introduce a proposed American National Standard Safety Requirement for the manufacture, care, and use of machines to cut, slit or buff plastic foams and related materials. The purpose of the standard is to minimize hazards associated with machine activity by establishing requirements for the manufacture, care, and use of these machines. The project was initiated under the auspices of the Polyurethane Foam Association and the Safety Committee of the Machinery Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.

An ad hoc committee, composed of representatives from Baumer of America, Inc., Edge Sweets Co., Fechen-Kirfel America, Inc., and Ferry Industries (Femco), was formed to develop this standard, and it has been distributed to the industry for review. The standard will then be submitted to a broader review group through the SPI prior to submission to ANSI. If the standard is accepted by ANSI, then it will become law as a subdivision of OSHA.

A Study of the Dynamics of Liquid Movement in a Max-Foam Trough, R.D. Duffy, Arco Chemical Co., Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

ARCO Chemical company has sponsored a study of the dynamics of the movement of polyurethane foam chemicals through Max-Foam trough. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of trough inlet configuration and trough shape upon the occurrence and position of deformities or non-uniformity of physical properties in Max-Foam blocks. To date, this investigation has provided numerous novel results and observations.

The results of the study show that the dual inlet trough concept may be linked to many slab foam production difficulties. Observations made during the study show a single trough inlet and a tapered trough shape greatly enhance the age consistency of the single trough inlet and a tapered trough shape result in improved foam yield during on-the-fly formulation/grade changes by reducing the grade transition time.

The equipment used for this investigation consisted of an experimental see-through, glass-backed trough. The ability to view the entire cross-section width and height of the foam machine trough afforded the opportunity to study the intra-trough dynamics in a most thorough manner. The turbulent moving action of the chemical mixture throughout the trough was not the expected movement. Based on these observations, the authors were able to develop improved trough configurations. All the slab foam production machines utilized in the see-through trough evaluations were high pressure/low shear Max-Foam machines.

The foam grades evaluated during the see-through trough studies included the full range of foams normally offered by polyether slab foam producers. They included such diverse foams as filled foams, high load bearing foams, super soft foams, and sponge foams.

The new trough design resulted in the following benefits:

  • Reduced foam loss as a result of foam grade changes
  • Improved uniformity in the age of chemical composition exiting the trough
  • Improved side to side foam reaction/gelation characteristics
  • Reduced tendency for side channeling when using a Rectangular Section flat-topping mechanical unit
  • No detrimental effects on foam production or foam physical properties were observed as a result of using the modified single inlet trough design

Recycle/Recovery - Challenge or Opportunity, Chip Sweet, Dow Chemical Co., Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

The Polyurethanes Recycle and Recovery Council (PURRC), a unit of the Polyurethane Division of The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., comprises the cooperative efforts of 15 member companies. PURRC was formed in 1990 to catalyze and facilitate the recycling of polyurethanes. To date, PURRC projects have identified potential sources of recyclable polyurethane scrap, determined the available quantities and quality of select large volumes, researched recycle/recovery processes and further developed promising options. In addition, actions of other organizations both governmental and in the private sector are monitored.

Several regulatory initiatives have been taken or are under consideration to limit, divert or prohibit the disposal of polyurethane containing waste. Other proposals would require recycle content of up to 50% for some plastic materials. These initiatives represent a growing trend to control waste materials that could affect the economic viability of polyurethane businesses, or force manufacturers and customers to choose alternate materials.

The PURRC Flexible Foam Task Group continues to investigate several projects with the potential to dramatically increase the demand for scrap foam. Summaries of the current PURRC projects are presented in this paper. A discussion of the PURRC project to add ground polyurethane foam scrap to the production of slabstock foam is also presented.

Recycle/Recovery, the issue of the 90's, presents a "mixed bag" to the polyurthanes industry. Bonded foam is a demonstrated success. Immediate pressure for recycle is primarily focused in the automotive sector. The increasing collection of post-consumer scrap can replace the inconsistent overseas supply, but, will the scrap supply exactly balance with demand? Can more bonded scrap be used in the bonded process or can more non-bonded scrap be collected? If not in balance, will the value of scrap follow the experience of the other large recycled materials like paper, aluminum cans, glass and decline? Can other uses of scrap be developed? What will be required to supply the automotive industry or the Federal Government? These are some of the issues and questions that coupled with the approach taken by the flexible polyurethane foam industry will determine whether recycle/recovery is an opportunity or challenge.

Controlled Environmental Foaming - Manufacturing a New Generation of Polyurethane Foam, Scott Carson, Foam One, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, May 19, 1994.

As environmental and competitive economic factors increase worldwide, every industry is faced with the challenge of continually improving its products and manufacturing methods. Foam One has developed and patented a polyurethane foam manufacturing process called Controlled Environment Foaming (CEF), that allows the foam industry to meet these challenges in a manner that is socially acceptable for the environment and profitable for the industry. The Foam One CEF process is a discrete block production method, which uses a containment vessel to control the pressure and temperature during foaming, and uses scrubbers to properly treat all emissions.

The Foam One CEF process allows for the production of all grades of foam presently marketed as well as giving the foam manufacturer the ability to produce new foam products. The first full-scale machine utilizing the Foam One CEF process is now operational and has shown that these goals have been accomplished. The technology for this process is being licensed by Foam One, and the machinery is being built and sold by Edge Sweets Co. of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Foam One CEF principel of operation is that a formulation can be processed at less than atmospheric pressure, i.e., under vacuum, to produce a lower density and softer foam compared to the same formulation processed at atmospheric pressure. Likewise, if this same formula is processed at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, a higher density firmer foam is obtained. By using pressures, either above or below atmospheric pressure, the Foam One CEF process achieves the goal of being able to make foam products, which are not currently being manufactured.

The use of pressures below atmospheric allows the industry to manufacture very soft foams with out the need for blowing agents such as CEC's, methylene chloride, or trichloroethane, The use of pressures greater than atmospheric pressure increases the urea content of the foam, which allows the industry to manufacture very firm foams with out the need for expensive polymer polyols. Since the process occurs in a contained environment, it is very easy to capture and scrub any objectionable emissions that occur during production. The discrete method of production is used in the Foam One CEF process because it offers a system that permits the efficient manufacture of foam at a modest capital investment in machinery.

The polyester batting or polyester fiber cushioning market, which was previously closed to polyurethane foam due to its higher cost, is now available to polyurethane foam. Polyurethane foams with physical properties equivalent to premium batting has been produced using the Foam One CEF process. This market is about 400 million pounds per year and growing.

In conclusion, the Foam One CEF Process offers the polyurethane foam industry a new approach to meeting the concerns presented by environmental and competitive economic factors.

Reduction of Volatiles in Polyester Based Flexible Foams, D.J. Grillo, T.L. Housel, and F. A. Landis, Inolex Chemical Company, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

Flexible polyurethane foams are found in a wide variety of applications throughout the world. These applications include automotive components, furniture, carpet underlay, textile products and packaging. Certain varieties of flexible foam have been found to slowly emit volatile substances. Some of these volatile substances are non-reactive materials which are contained in the ingredients used for flexible foam manufacture.

The intent of this work is to review research and development of polyester polyols which can reduce the emission of volatile materials from the finished flexible foam as well as during the manufacture of the foam. Three specific areas are addressed. They are poly (diethylene glycol adipates) for low volatile foam, internally catalyzed polyester polyols to reduce catalyst emissions and odor during manufacture, and reduced volatility polyester polyols for reactive diluent carrier systems.

Polyethers are the dominant polyol class used to manufacture flexible polyurethane foam. However, polyester polyols are an important component of certain flexible foams used in automotive interiors. Flexible foams based upon poly (diethylene glycol adipates) have been investigated for volatile substances which have been found to fog automotive windshields. These substances have been identified as cyclic esters of diethylene glycol adipates (cyclic DEG adipates). Commercial scale manufacturing processes have been shown to reduce these cyclic esters by over 75%.

Catalysts, surfactants, colorants, and other additives are used in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam. Some of these additives are dispersed in a low molecular weight poly (diethylene glycol adipates) carrier which is used as a reactive delivery vehicle which will not compromise foam quality. A reduced volatility grade of this polyester has been commercially produced.

Certain amine catalysts create odors which can affect foam manufacturing workers, and necessitate additional emission controls. Internally catalyzed polyester polyols, which obviate the need for volatile amine catalysts, have been explored. Through the development of all of the above polyester polyols, the authors hope to present viable alternatives for reducing emissions from flexible foam.

Advances in Catalysts for All Water Blown Flexible Slabstock Foams, T. W. Bodnar, J.D. Nichols, K.D. Wiese, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

Recent changes in the status of traditional blowing agents have left many flexible foam producers searching for new technology. There are a number of methods available to modify the foaming process and circumvent the need for physical co-blowing agents.

One method currently gaining popular support is the concept of forced cooling. This process modifies the curing cycle of freshly prepared foam blocks and enables the use of high water levels for blowing without the usual concerns of excessive exotherm.

The process to force cool a piece of foam is simple in principle. The challenge lies in preventing the shortened cure time from interfering with the development of the polyurethane/urea polymer network, which could result in the loss of critical physical properties. To overcome these obstacles, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., has developed a new catalyst, Dabco® H1075, with performance characteristics matching the requirements of forced cooled systems. Benefits include the ability to maximize the rate of and ultimate isocyanate conversion, providing greater overall polymer strength. Through the manipulation of isocyanate index and water level, a complete range of foams can be produced using Dabco H1075 in forced cooled systems. Additionally, Dabco® H1075 has significantly reduced odor as compared to more conventional amine catalysts.

A second approach to eliminating the use of alternate blowing agents has been the development of a variety of foam softeners and/or modifiers which enable the use of water as the sole blowing agent to produce most foam grades. While foam softeners are used to reduce the hardness of foams blown with high levels of water, foam modifiers improve foam stability allowing a reduction in TDI index to indirectly provide softening through hard segment reduction. With either of these approaches, however, additional additive(s) must be incorporated into the foam formulation.

As an alternate means of altering foam morphology to decrease the hardness of all-water blown foams, Air Products has developed an experimental tin catalyst, XF-J140, for flexible foam formulations. This new catalyst provides processing performance similar to stannous octoate based materials, but produces significant softening in many grades of all-water blown flexible slabstock, without the need for additional additives.

The performance characteristics of both new catalysts are presented in this paper.

The Fire Safe Cigarette Act of 1990, An Assessment of Results, R.G. Gann, Chief, Fire Science Division, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

Cigarette ignition of soft furnishings (upholstered furniture and mattresses) continues to be the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. As a means to accelerate reducing these losses, the Cigarette Safety Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-567) had created a Technical Study Group on Cigarette and Little Cigar Fire Safety (the TSG). The purpose of this group was to "undertake such studies and other activities as it considers necessary and appropriate to determine the technical and commercial feasibility, economic impact, and other consequences of developing cigarettes and little cigars that will have a minimum propensity to ignite upholstered furniture or mattresses."

In its final report the TSG concluded that "it is technically feasible and may be commercially feasible to develop cigarettes that will have a significantly reduced propensity to ignite upholstered furniture or mattresses. Furthermore, the overall impact on other aspects of the United States society and economy may be minimal. Thus, it may be possible to solve the problem at costs that are less than the potential benefits, assuming the commercial feasibility of the modified cigarettes."

A valid and reliable test method is needed to assess the commercial feasibility of the modified cigarettes. None of the several alternative test methods for measuring the cigarette ignition propensity of soft furnishings is usable in its current state of development.

This paper summarizes the results of the work performed under the Cigarette Safety Act. Copies of the technical reports can be obtained from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Computer Control of Foam Production, Property Prediction Models for Conventional and High Resilience Polyurethane Slabstock Foams, R. Schiffauer, Arco Chemical Co. South Charleston, WV, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

Flexible polyurethane foams of all types are a unique group of plastic materials, characterized by the fact that a multitude of different sets of properties can be obtained by varying the levels of small number of base components in the formulations. As a result flexible polyurethane foams have always been suitable candidates for correlating these variations in the formulations with the resulting properties in a mathematical way. The ultimate gaol is to predict these properties as accurately as possible, fine tune existing grades and design new foam grades. Several such models have been previously reported.

This paper extends the models for conventional flexible slabstock foams beyond the previously reported key properties of density, hardness and fatigue to other important properties such as elongation, tear strength, tensile strength, set properties, and foam exothermic temperature. Also, included are variables such as low TDI index and low index stabilizers, which show complex correlations including several interaction terms.

The second part of this paper discusses the influences of the specific variable for high resilience slabstock foams on a similar set of properties. Apart form the variables common to both HR and conventional foam, namely water level, TDI index and polymer solids, particular emphasis is placed on he effect of diethanolamine, as well as highlighting the inherent differences in hardness between the two types of foam.

This paper describes the use of these models to either calculate properties from formulations, or alternatively, to calculate formulations for given set of properties, as well as mathematical and computer techniques to perform these calculations.

Advanced Polymeric Colorant Technology in Bonded Foams, J.D. Cobb III, M.E. Ragsdate, Milliken Chemical, Spartanburg, SC, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

Milliken Chemical offers a polymeric colorant technology specifically designed to meet the needs of today and of the future of the bonded carpet underlay market. This new polymeric colorant technology is helping to transform the manufacturing and marketing of bonded carpet underlay. Milliken Chemical is well known in the industry for its Reactant® color technology used in prime flexible foam.

Using similar technology, Milliken has introduced a line of colorants specifically for the bonded underlay market. This technology is called Bond Tint® Colorants. They are reactive polymeric colorants specifically designed for coloring polyurethane adhesive used in manufacturing bonded carpet underlay. In comparison to conventional pigment dispersions, Bond Tint® colorants and metering systems are a superior means by which to color bonded underlay.

Introducing Foam Flush™ Urethane Remover - The Cure For Urethane Cleanup, V.T. Roberts, International Specialty Products, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

This paper covers a new program for replacing methylene chloride for cleaning polyurethane production equipment for the manufacture of flexible and rigid foams as well as for the manufacture of coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. The regulatory issues surrounding methylene chloride are the driving force behind the search for alternatives.

Foam Flush™ is more aggressive than methylene chloride, provides residue free cleaning, contains no water or other ingredients which can interfere with the foaming chemical reactions, and has the benefits of being safer in the workplace and friendlier to the environment. It is more efficient than methylene chloride because, having a very low evaporation rate, it clings to work surfaces and continues to penetrate long after methylene chloride has evaporated.

Foam Flush™ is a very active solvent, consequently, gaskets, seals and hoses must be checked for compatibility. Materials such as Viton®, PVC, ABS, Kynar®, Lucite®, Noryl® 731, Ultem®, and Buna-N are not acceptable. TeflonR®, Nylon101, butyl rubber, silicon rubber, polyamide, high density polyethylene and polypropylene are resistant.

Since this product is an active solvent for oils and greases, it will rapidly defat the skin. Therefore, the hands, face and eyes must be protected, as in the case in handling all urethane intermediates.

An Assessment of the Impact of the EPA Risk Management Program on the Polyurethane Foam Industry
, George Rusk, Tom Ferrara, Ecology & Environment, Proceedings of the Technical Program of the Polyurethane Foam Association Meeting, Newport, RI, October 6, 1994

The EPA has been involved with the polyurethane foam industry for many years. The EPA manages air permits and models, risk management plans, environmental impact assessment, site investigation sampling, audits and compliance, as well as training. With the aid of EPA, industry manufacturers can perform hazard assessments and develop accident prevention programs. Emergency response programs are also crucial. This presentation outlines each area of concern with various options and approaches.
The paper concludes that it is necessary for foamers to eliminate chlorinated solvents and other types auxiliary blowing agents from their production.

Also included is a case study entitled, "Application of California's Risk Management & Prevention Program (RMPP) to comply with EPA's upcoming risk management program (RMP) Rule" by Phuoc Le of the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). This report is followed by "EPA Risk Management Planning" by Peter McKnight of the SAIC. Attached to the paper is an addendum entitled, "Latest Manufacturing Solutions for Slabstock Foams" supplied by the Cannon group.

Benchmarking - Automotive Seat Cushioning Materials, I.L. Huges, The Woodbridge Group, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

Automotive seat cushioning material provides a multitude of functions in a well designed, stylish, comfortable and durable seat assembly. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a variety of current production as well as proposed cushioning materials with respect to their ability to produce a "best-in-class" automotive seat. The Woodbridge Group's evaluation provides a technical comparison of measurable properties of a common seat style with respect to the seat cushioning materials functional qualities.

Tests performed and reported in this paper are restricted to items which have a definite bearing on seat appearance, performance, comfort, and durability, and can be numerically compared to the automotive seat industry established specifications and acceptance criteria.

The seat style used in this evaluation is a 1994 Chevrolet Caprice drivers bucket seat with cushion pads manufactured from molded polyurethane foam, molded polyurethane foam with high levels of automotive recycled content (Woodbridge Ecostream™), molded polyester fiber, and molded rubberized natural fiber with animal hair.

Latest Manufacturing Solutions for Slabstock Foams, C. Fiorentini, M. Taverna, B. Collins, C. Greaves, T. Griffiths, Cannon Viking, Proceedings of the Polyurethane Foam Association, October 6, 1994.

As environmental pressure increases worldwide, it is becoming necessary for foamers to eliminate chlorinated solvents or any type of auxiliary blowing agents from their production. In some countries these solvents have already been banned. The impact on the flexible foam industry would be to increase foam prices, and to eliminate certain soft grades of foam.

The Cannon Group has developed a new process for introducing liquid CO2 into slabstock polyols, and successfully produce low density foams on modified slabstock equipment.

This revolutionary process, for which patents are pending, is named CarDio™, from Carbon Dioxide. The process enables foamers to continue producing their existing foam grades at a lower chemical cost due to the significant price differential between CFC's, ABA's and CO2.

A plant was built in the Cannon R&D Facility in Milan, Italy, to develop CO2 blown slabstock foam. Following the successes with the pilot plant, the first industrial plant was installed in March of 1994 in Italy near Venice.