October 21, 2004 PFA Technical Program, Albuquerque Marriott, Albuquerque, New Mexico

 "Specialty Organosilicone Surfactant For Use In Combustion Modified Flexible Slabstock Foam"  Greg Pickrell, GE Advanced Materials, Silicones

Abstract: GE Advanced Materials, Silicones has developed a new organosilicone surfactant for use in flexible slabstock foam applications that require the use of flame retardants. This surfactant is specifically designed to minimize the amount of flame retardant required to pass the California Technical Bulletin 117 combustibility test. Performance improvement in other combustibility tests, like MVSS-302, is also expected. The typical range of FR reduction is 10 ? 30% less than presently required using existing “FR” silicone surfactants like Niax® silicones L-620, L-618 and L-635. This new product can be used in conventional foam manufacturing processes as well as those that use CO2 as auxiliary blowing agent.

 "A Study of Bonded Carpet cushion For Airborne PBDE Emissions"  Bill Oler, Carpet Cushion Council

Abstract: It is known that PBDE has been used in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam to help products being made for the upholstered furniture business meet certain flammability codes. It is also claimed that PBDE has been released into the environment in quantities sufficient to be of concern, and that an increasing number of state legislatures have considered regulation accordingly.

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which bonded carpet cushion made from a certain amount of post-consumer scrap polyurethane foam which contains a known amount of PBDE may emit the PBDE.

 "Reactive Flame Retardants For Flexible Polyurethane Foams"  Samuel Bron, AmeriBrom, DSBG

Abstract: Usually, the flame retardancy of polyurethane foams is achieved by addition of combustion modifiers or flame retardants. Most flame retardants used today have an additive character in the sense that they do not react with any other ingredient present in the foam formulation. The notable exceptions are in the field of rigid polyurethane foams: bromine-containing diols and polyols. For flexible polyurethane foams the leading flame retardants are non-reactive: chlorinated phosphate esters and penta-bromo-diphenyl ether. The former are less effective, particularly in view of forthcoming more severe fire regulations. The later will be banned for use for HSE reasons starting of 2008, and the manufacturer announced that its production will be ceased by the end of this year.

The present work deals with a different concept for making flexible polyurethane foams flame resistant: use of reactive flame retardants. Their inherent advantage resides in the creation of covalent bonds with the polyurethane network during the foam formation. Thus, the flame retardant is no longer free to migrate out of the foam. Our tests indicate that at most, only a small part of the FR could be extracted using an organic solvent at a long contact time and relatively high temperature. On the other hand, any other additive flame retardant for that matter, can be almost completely extracted using an organic solvent in exactly the same conditions.

The reactive flame retardants may affect to some extent the reaction path. This may result in some changes in the properties of the foam. However, we shall show that small adjustments in the design of the reaction mixture allowed us to bring the foam properties to the same level they were when a non-reactive FR was used. Examples will be given involving mono-functional bromine-containing flame retardants: FR-513, an off-the-shelf flame retardant, and FR-1335X, a recently developed, proprietary flame retardant produced by the Dead Sea Bromine Group.
1 - TAMI (IMI) - Institute for R&D, P.O. Box 10140, Haifa Bay 26111, Israel
2 - Dead Sea Bromine Group, Makhleff House, P.O. Box 180, Beer-Sheva, 84101, Israel

 "A New Generation of SAN Polymer Polyols for Use With Liquid CO2 Machinery"  Jurgen Maebe, Shell Chemicals

Abstract: The market trend towards flexible foam cushioning materials with superior support characteristics, as provided by polymer polyol based conventional high load bearing foams and high resilience slabstock foams, continuous to spread globally. In order to meet this increased demand, Shell Chemicals has invested last year in a new 50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) world-scale polymer polyols plant at Pernis (The Netherlands), which marks the latest step in a 10-year global strategy to strengthen Shell chemicals companies’ position as leading global suppliers to manufacturers of polyurethane foams used in the furniture, bedding and automotive industries.

The new polyols produced in this plant are based on proprietary SAN process technology and are a stable suspension of polystyrene-acrylonitrile particles in conventional ether and high resilience type polyols. These new polyols allow the production of high quality foams across a broad grade range and they exhibit wide processing latitude. Special attention has been given to the performance of the high load bearing type polymer polyol when used on the various types of liquid carbon dioxide foam making.
Therefore, the polymer polyol CARADOL MD30-45 (solids content ± 45%wt), which has a typical maximum polymer particle size of approximately 100 µm, has been treated (filtered) to eliminate those polymer particles with a diameter larger than 25 µm. Such controlled polymer particle size prevents blockage of the “pressure regulators”, used in the lay-down devices, which in some cases contain openings of a limited size smaller than 100 µm. This paper describes the foam physical properties obtainable with a wide variety of formulations based on the new SAN polyols.

  "Micro-Springs FPF Replacement For Metal Spring Units in Furniture construction"   Todd Green, BASF Corporation

Abstract:  Conventional cushioned furniture construction usually involves the use of metal-spring elements supporting upholstered foam cushions. This method, while widely used, could be labor intensive and may have its own set of safety concerns for the furniture manufacturer.
We have developed Micro-Springs™ foam technology based on BASF's Pluralux™ foam chemistry that allows the metal spring elements to be replaced with a block of suitably engineered polyurethane foam. This paper reports on the testing of such materials in a love seat designed to accommodate both a metal-spring section and another section for interchangeable foam blocks. The foam samples were thoroughly characterized for physical properties. Once installed in the furniture, their performance was evaluated using human subjects in both pressure mapping studies and “comfort” opinion surveys. Several different foams were analyzed and compared with each other as well as with the metal spring element.
These investigations indicated that incorporation of polyurethane Micro-Springs™ foam technology into the furniture-design could help customize comfort, based on individual customers’ expectations, for superior feel without utilization of metal-springs.

 "Progress Towards the Development of Viscoelastic Polyurethane Foam Produced with VORANOL VORACTIV Polyols"  Robbyn Prange, Dow Chemical Company

Abstract: Viscoelastic foam has been gaining market growth over the past five years and is expected to exceed 400 million pounds by 2013. The exponential growth of viscoelastic foam in bedding applications is linked to its ability to conform to a shape, provide total support, and eliminate pressure points for people sitting or sleeping.

In 2003, Dow launched two commercial polyols for the viscoelastic market, VORANOL* 3150 offered in North America and DHT 750 offered in Europe. As a compliment to these products, Dow has utilized structure property relationships and polyol design to develop an autocatalytic polyol that imparts viscoelastic properties to foam. This experimental VORANOL* VORACTIV* polyol EP-143630 allows TDI-80 and PMDI based viscoelastic foams to be produced with decreased levels of amine catalysts. Given that viscoelastic formulations are prepared with high levels of volatile amine catalysts (based on density), the utilization of this VORANOL VORACTIV polyol can impart a large reduction of volatile amine catalysts while not negatively impacting viscoelastic foam processing or physical properties.

This paper describes research conducted at The Dow Chemical Company on VORANOL VORACTIV polyols specifically designed for viscoelastic foam applications. Formulations and physical properties for foams catalyzed with an autocatalytic experimental polyol will be discussed and compared to foams prepared with VORANOL 3150 and traditional amine catalysts

*Trademark of the Dow Chemical Company

 "Advanced Conveyou Technologies for FPF Production"  Jim Banks, Intralox, LLC

Abstract: In January 2004, Crest Foam Industries retrofitted its steel slat pour conveyor to Intralox technology to eliminate the threat of catastrophic failure and to reduce operational costs. There are inherent production and conveyance problems associated with the steel slat belting commonly used in foam plants. Intralox Modular Plastic Belt technology significantly reduces these problems. This document outlines the problems associated with steel slat belting, the advantages of Intralox Modular Plastic Belt technology, and the method used to apply this technology to the Pour Conveyor.

Manufacturers, regardless of the product, are always searching for methods to eliminate inefficient conveyor transport. Identifying new technologies that improve production capabilities and the companies that provide and service those technologies can be key in our pursuit of cost reduction. Three applications in a foam plant have been identified as promising areas for savings by transitioning to Intralox Modular Plastic Belt. These applications are the Pour Conveyor, the Bun Transport, and the Roll Compressor. The process for retrofitting a Pour Conveyor is documented here, and the results include a 100% reduction in maintenance since installation of the Intralox Modular plastic belt.

Benefits from the Intralox solution for the Bun Transport Conveyor are projected as: (1) an increase in annual foam production of 170,000 yards, (2) a reduction in scheduled downtime of 50%, (3) a payback in 7.5 months, (4) elimination of unscheduled downtime, and unscheduled maintenance. Benefits for the Roll Compressor Conveyor include the potential for an extension of belt life by 166%.