November 5, 2009 , PFA Technical Program, Wentworth by the Sea, Castle Harbor, NH

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

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

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

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

 “Principles Of Eco-Efficiency Analysis” Cristina Piluso, BASF Corporation

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

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

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

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

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