May 23, 2013, Vinoy® Renaissance Hotel, St. Petersburg, FL

 “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.

 “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.

 “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.

 “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.

 “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.

 “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.