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Materials and machinery advances will shine at polyurethane conference.

Materials and Machinery Advances Will Shine at Polyurethane Conference

Developments in waterblown foams, new fire-retardant materials, and some innovative processing machinery will highlight "Polyurethanes '90," the 33rd annual conference of SPI's Polyurethane Div., to be held Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Orlando, Fla. Over 90 technical papers will be presented during the conference's 20 sessions. The conference will also feature a special forum on solid-waste management and six industry issue sessions on topics ranging from proposed CFC regulations to environmental crisis communications. Here's a summary of the more news-worthy developments to be presented.



BASF Corp., Wyandotte, Mich., will report on using cell-formation enhancers to prepare low-density rigid foam without excessive use of water. These enhancers can be added to water-blown systems and traditional rigid polyols. Addition of small amounts has reportedly enabled production of foams with densities less than 1.2 pcf, without substantial loss of physical properties. BASF anticipates that all grades of foam can be produced using this type of technology, including low-density, high-firmness grades. The company acknowledges that some problems remain in duplicating the insulating ability of CFC-blown foams. (CIRCLE 31)

A partially water-blown spray formulation containing about 40% brominated polyether polyol by weight in the polyol blend will be introduced by Solvay & Cie of Brussels, Belgium. Around a 50% reduction in CFC use was achieved, and the low viscosity of the material reportedly allows a 1:1 volumetric ratio, even with the CFC reduction. The company will also present data on partially water-blown spray systems using HCFCs. (CIRCLE 32)

Two polyether polyols said to have low viscosity and high water compatibility, for use in both boardstock and spray foam, will be introduced by Polioles, S.A. de V.C. of Mexico. CFC reductions of up to 75% compared with sucrose-based propoxilated polyol are said to be achievable, without presenting significant changes in foam properties. (CIRCLE 33)

Arco Chemical Europe, Villers St. Paul, France, will present new technology based on proprietary polyols that reportedly allow the production of CFC-free soft, conventional slabstock in a density range of 1.2-1.9 pcf. (CIRCLE 34)

A novel polyol, trade named FD-310, which has reportedly overcome room-temperature deformation problems associated with many water-blown foams will be introduced by Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., Kawasaki, Japan. (CIRCLE 35)



A new TDI-based chemistry for pour-in-place (PIP) foam molding of automotive car seats has been developed by Union Carbide Corp., S. Charleston, W.Va. Fast gel is said to minimize penetration of foam into fabric layers, while permitting good flow to minimize air entrapment and reduce scrap, as a PIP part cannot be repaired. With minimal potential for foam shrinkage or strike-through and demold times as short as 2 min, the new system reportedly allows the manufacture of soft foams without CFCs and with lower part weights than foams based on current technology. (CIRCLE 36)

Mobay Corp., Pittsburgh, will discuss new technology for low density, MDI-based flexible molded foams with good physical properties and large processing window, without use of CFCs or alternative blowing agents. Whereas MDI-based flexible molded foams have recently gained a large share of European auto seating, headrests and armrests, higher density and lower physical properties have made MDI-based foams in the U.S. less economically attractive than TDI-based foams. (CIRCLE 37)

Also new from Mobay is a reinforcement for the Bayflex 150 polyurea RRIM system. A novel combination of substrate formulation and reinforcement reportedly provides both the isotropic physical properties required for large body panels and DOI values equivalent to painted sheet metal. (CIRCLE 38)

BASF has new filler and reinforcement technology for its Elastolit RRIM systems. The reinforcements consist of various organic materials with fibrous, flake, and spherical shapes. (CIRCLE 39)


Hardness reduction in water-blown flexible slabstock achieved by including a polymeric additive in the formulation will be discussed by Shell Research, of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. The additive is said to permit a reduction of up to 10 php in CFC-11 usage. (CIRCLE 40)

A new catalyst/surfactant package for all water-blown, MDI-based, cold-cure molded furniture foam will be introduced by Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, Pa. The catalyst is said to provide higher flowability and lower demold times via a smoother reaction profile. The surfactant reportedly maximizes air flow in the foam without sacrificing surface stability. Air Products will also describe the use of previously-introduced surfactants X2-5356, X2-5357, and X2-5354, in appliance insulation systems blown exclusively with water. (CIRCLE 41)

A new slabstock surfactant for use in reduced-fluorocarbon and all-water-blown flexible slabstock, as well as conventional slabstock formulations will be introduced by Union Carbide. The non-hydrolyzable, low-combustibility surfactant, trade named Y-10653, reportedly optimizes foam processing and properties in high-water formulations. It's designed for use with novel, proprietary process technology. (CIRCLE 42)

Goldschmidt Chemical Corp., of Essen, W. Germany, will introduce its Ortegol 300 additive, for producing soft, flexible slabstock foam without auxiliary blowing agents. (CIRCLE 43)

Uniroyal Chemical Co. Inc., Middlebury, Conn., will introduce novel antioxidant systems for polyether polyol stabilization that are said to significantly increase scorch protection in flexible foams. Scorching reportedly has become a more critical problem with the transition away from CFCs, which remove heat from the foam during processing. (CIRCLE 44)


A novel, high-index polyisocyanurate rigid foam system, which reportedly has fire resistance similar or superior to phenolic foam will be introduced by Nippon Urethane Service Co., Ltd., of Yokohama, Japan. The new material is a modified MDI composed of a multifunctional, high-molecular-weight polymer, selected polyols, and catalyst packages. It is said to have improved compressive strength and dimensional stability, and thermal conductivity comparable to conventional polyisocyanurate rigid foam, while being cost competitive. (CIRCLE 45)

An insulation facer material based upon a PET substrate that has been vacuum-metalized with a thin layer of aluminum on one side has been developed by ICI Polyurethanes. When laminated to rigid PU or isocyanurate boardstock, the vacuum-metalized PET is reportedly superior in maintaining R value and fire performance over typically used aluminum foil and paper laminates. (CIRCLE 46)

A new flame retardant for flexible PU foam has been developed by Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., of Yokohama, Japan. The additive is in the form of fine particles of a thermosetting resin with a surface modification that gives affinity to polyols. The company supplies a flame retardant/polyol mixture designate XFR-9950, which can be mixed with many types of polyols in various proportions. XFR-9950 as the sole polyol component reportedly gives an oxygen index of 27; when it's used at a 30% level, the formulation is said to pass MVSS-302. Good storage stability and handling characteristics are claimed. (CIRCLE 47)

New polymer polyols for lower density and improved properties of combustion-modified HR foams (with and without melamine) will be introduced by Arco Chemical Co., Newtown Square, Pa. (CIRCLE 48)


A dynamic mixer with metered dry filler feed capability will be introduced by Edge-Sweets (PTI) Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. The machine's reportedly unique feeding/mixing head separates the feeding zone from the mixing device. Since the shear energy required to ensure proper mixing is independent of the feed rate, high amounts of filler can be fed without altering shear rate.

The metered dry filler is introduced via a screw feeder prior to the point of injection of the liquid components. The feeder forces the dry fillers into the mixing head, at which point the reactive chemicals are introduced under pressure by standard metering pumps. Up to four different dry fillers (e.g., glass, minerals, microspheres, carbon black, melamine, or scrap regrind) can be metered, either simultaneously or in sequence, as required. The technique is adaptable for low flow rates, as required in molding lines, or in very high flow rates for incorporation into large slab lines. For foams with enhanced combustion properties, the problems associated with pre-blends are eliminated with this machine, since melamine is not added to the liquid until the point of reaction. This allows a stable blend and accurate ratios of melamine to polyol.

The machine allows for the addition of instrumentation for computer control and SPC. Instrumentation on temperatures, pressures, and flow rates for each liquid stream and on the dry filler transmits information to a computer. Data can be plotted on the monitor during pouring for on-line trending. (CIRCLE 49)

A new, automated machine for the production of rigid urethane foam building blocks at a rate of 240 blocks/hr will be unveiled by Mobay Corp.'s Hennecke Machinery Group. The machine repeatedly produces a 14-oz rigid foam block with no additional material (such as foil or kraft paper) on the surface contacting the mold to act as a release agent. The first user of the new machine, Creston Homes of Tempe, Ariz., previously manufactured foam blocks using labor-intensive, individual collapsible molds until market demand exceeded the limits of individual hand-operated molds. (CIRCLE 50)

Krauss-Maffei Corp., Florence, Ky., will introduce a metering and mixing machine for in-mold urethane coating of plastic parts RIM. It uses technology patented by Sherwin Williams Co., Chicago, which can be applied to in-mold coating of SMC, injection molded thermoplastics, or RIM parts (see PT, Sept. '88, p. 81). The new machine has high-pressure capability (8000 psi) and does not use solvent flushing. Problems solved during development included sealing of the high-pressure fluids, accurate and effective mixing of low-volume flow streams, abrasion, and plugging of lines. (CIRCLE 51)


A new system for measuring the gas transport properties of cellular and solid materials will be introduced by Holometrix, Cambridge, Mass. It uses an automated constant-volume sorption technique that provides the effective diffusion and solubility coefficients independently in a single test. For cellular plastics insulations, the diffusion coefficient may be used as input to a computational model to predict the change in thermal conductivity over time. The solubility coefficient is used primarily to understand the behavior of blowing agents in the foam system.

The new system reportedly provides results eight times faster than current gas-transmission test methods, due to thinner test samples and permeation of the test gas through both surfaces of the material. The system has four cells, each of which is capable of testing one sample. The instrument can be used with any non-corrosive gas. Each of the cells may have a different test gas/temperature combination and be connected to an intelligent controller/interface module, featuring software for cell configuration, test processing, and data analysis. (CIRCLE 52)

Union Carbide will describe a dynamic creep durability lab test apparatus to measure the comfort and durability of automotive molded foam. In an environmental chamber with controlled temperature and humidity, two constant loads are applied dynamically to a foam specimen for a time during which foam creep occurs. Measurement of the creep in real-time units gives an assessment of foam durability. Test data suggest that foam density and polyol structure are the most important parameters that influence foam durability. (CIRCLE 53)

Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., will describe how it is using an infrared technique to mimic a variety of processing conditions and study foaming reactions. By obtaining an infrared spectrum of a reacting foam system with a given temperature profile every 5-10 sec, chemical reaction rates and morphology development are evaluated. Computer-assisted spectral analysis simultaneously monitors both isocyanate disappearance and urethane and urea carbonyl absorbance. (CIRCLE 54)


A novel urethane-vinyl chloride graft copolymer without liquid plasticizers will be introduced by Nippon Polyurethane Industry Co., Ltd., and Tosoh Corp., of Yokohama and Yokkaichi, Japan, respectively. This thermoplastic elastomer, trade named Dominas, is said to overcome processing and performance problems obtained in blending PVC and TPU, which arise from the different glass-transition temperatures of PVC and TPU. (CIRCLE 55)

ICI Polyurethanes, W. Deptford, N.J., will introduce a prepolymer for shoe soles that is said to act as a reactive surfactant, controlling reactant compatibility, cell sizes, and open/closed cell ratios. With the new material, stable foams down to the free rise density are reportedly possible. With satisfactory properties at densities down to 0.20-0.25 g/cc, the result reportedly can be a 50% weight saving per sole. (CIRCLE 56)

Improved foams for carpet underlay based on a high-solids graft polyol will be introduced by BASF. These materials have recently lost market share due to some fatigue failures. BASF says the new foams show improved of flex fatigue retention in service while retaining desirable loadbearing qualities. (CIRCLE 57)

PHOTO : Advancements in automotive RIM will highlight SPI's Polyurethanes '90 conference. Novel reinforcements for RRIM will be presented, along with some innovative materials for foamed seat molding without the use of CFCs.

PHOTO : Dow Chemical will discuss the economics of automated RIM vs. automated TP injection molding. Here, at Decoma International's Polyrim Green Lane Div., tooling is sprayed by hand before fascia for the GM-200 APV is molded out of Dow's Spectrim HF-85 polyurea.
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Title Annotation:Polyurethanes '90
Author:Evans, Bill
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Previous Article:Novel reflective thermoplastic sheet needs no metallization.
Next Article:The struggle to make Q-1: a custom molder's story.

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