Polyurethane foam emissions can be reduced

August 11, 2010

The Dow Chemical Company has created a new line of catalytically active polyols that dramatically reduces amine emissions from polyurethane foam and allows flexible foam manufacturers to reduce their handling of amine catalysts.  The new line, Voranol Voractive polyols, enables Dow's customers to eliminate staining-, fogging-, and odor-causing agents from polyurethane foams for automotive, bedding, furnishing and carpet applications, with fewer processing steps.
    Says David Fischer, vice president
of Dow's polyurethanes business,  'With Voranol Voractiv polyols, we are not only able to help simplify our customers' processes and reduce VOC emissions, but also give our customers previously unobtainable product performance.'
    The new line is part of an ongoing initiative by Dow to set the standard
for volatile organic compound (VOC) levels emanating from polyurethane
flexible foams.  In March, the company introduced a new, low-VOC copolymer polyol process, which is part of Dow's long-term VOC emission reduction strategy. Dow continues to contribute to indoor and factory air quality by reducing VOC emissions inside of vehicles, offices and homes by bringing customers innovative technologies.
    This new technology will significantly reduce the amount of amine
catalysts that manufacturers need to add during the foaming process.  'Amine catalysts have been used very effectively in the manufacture of polyurethane foams, though they are among the volatile organic compounds released into the air once they are subjected to increased temperature and humidity,' according to Steven English, new business development director for Dow's polyurethane flexible business.

The polyols are manufactured using a proprietary Dow process
that grafts the catalytic activity into the polyol, saving customers a
formulating step.  This process simplifies the production of automotive
seating, noise vibration and harshness parts, energy absorption parts,
instrument panels, headliners, carpet cushioning, packaging, bedding and

    For further information about Dow, visit http://www.dow.com.


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