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Polyurethanes 2012 Technical Conference

Air Products specialists recently presented technical papers at the Polyurethanes 2012 Technical Conference, held September 24–26, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, and came away with two best paper awards.

Courtney Thurau received the best paper/presentation award in the Automotive Session for the paper she presented, “Reducing Silicone Surfactant Emissions in Automotive Flexible Molded Foam,” which covered the introduction of reduced emission surfactants Dabco® SI1301 and SI1101. The paper was co-authored with Al Arnold and Torsten Panitzsch.

Bulent Ozbas accepted the best paper/presentation award in the Construction Session for the paper he presented, "Low or Non-Emissive Amine Catalysts for Low Density, Open-Cell Spray Polyurethane Foam,” which covered the introduction of Polycat® 140 and 141. Jean Vincent, Jim Tobias, Joel Rogers and Juan Burdeniuc were the co-authors of this paper.

Copies of the papers and presentations, along with abstracts, are available below.

Center for Polyurethanes Industry Ventilation Project – Phase 1 and Phase 2 Update

Author: Mr. Rick Wood, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) Research Task Force has developed test protocol for the purpose of evaluating the effect of ventilation rates on the concentration of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) materials during application. The industrial hygiene air sampling study will measure emissions from low density half pound foam, medium density two pound foam and low pressure kit formulations.

The study consists of three Phases:
Phase 1) Development and testing of generic formulations and spray equipment
Phase 2) Monitoring of SPF components under controlled conditions
Phase 3) Field monitoring to verify airborne concentrations at specified ventilation rates

The results of Phase 1 will be discussed, Phase 2 test protocol reviewed, and preliminary findings presented.



Reducing Silicone Surfactant Emissions in Automotive Flexible Molded Foam

Authors: Courtney T. Thurau, Allen R. Arnold and Torsten Panitzsch, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
While emissions specifications guiding the use of flexible polyurethane foams in automotive applications have existed for over a decade, the rigor with which these specifications are being enforced and scrutinized appears to be increasing. In a market where lower emissions used to be a desired trait, they are quickly becoming a requirement of sale for many OEMs. In response to this market trend, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has focused recent development efforts on reducing emission contributions from the specialty additives required to produce high quality flexible foams.

This paper presents a new family of reduced emission silicone surfactants developed specifically for automotive foam applications. These surfactants offer the same excellent processing, foam appearance and physical properties as conventional surfactants, however they boast significant reductions in both siloxane and carrier emissions when subjected to industry standard emission tests such as VDA278 and SAEJ1756. The performance of reduced emission cell regulator and bulk stabilizer technology for TDI-based foams, as well as a cell regulator for MDI systems, will be discussed herein.

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Low- or Non-Emissive Amine Catalysts for Low Density, Open-Cell Spray Polyurethane Foam

Author: Bulent Ozbas, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Polyurethane foam related emissions and odor have been the driving forces for new technologies in flexible and automotive applications, and recently, the increasing use of spray polyurethane foam in interior spaces requires new additives that can enable the application of these products without negatively affecting the indoor air quality. Minimizing both applicator exposure and post-foam emissions, or off-gassing, are the key elements for developing safe products with minimal impact to environment and air quality. While worker exposure can be partially mitigated through proper use of equipment and work practices, safer products for end-users can be achieved by reducing the volatile organic components to acceptable levels. Also, eliminating any offensive odors -even though the indoor concentrations of the related chemicals are below safe limits- can help the acceptance of such products by consumers. Over the past years, Air Products (AP) has developed non-emissive and reduced-emission amine-catalyst technologies that meet the industry specific emission requirements for a variety of polyurethane market segments. In this paper, we present novel amine catalysts, Polycat 140® and Polycat 141®, which are specifically developed for low-density (~0.5 lb/ft3), open-cell, water-blown spray polyurethane foam. Emission and performance data will be presented, and the results will be compared Polycat 31® (low- or non-emissive), and Bis[2-(N,N-dimetylyamino)ethyl] ether based products.

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