May 21, 2009 , PFA Technical Program, Sheraton Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “Interpretation of FPF Analysis In CertiPUR Testing” Nick Ordsmith, Hall Analytical

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