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Polyurethanes Expo 2001 held.

Polyurethanes Expo 2001, the International Technical Conference & Exposition, sponsored by the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry, will take place September 30 - October 3 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH.

Technical sessions will be held on environmental, testing, construction, automotive low VOC emissions, automotive fundamentals, automotive seating, blowing agents, innovations and new applications in CASE, furnishings and appliance. More than 50 papers will be presented.

Issues sessions will be held on the three ingredients for a highly productive workforce, product stewardship in polyurethane systems, respiratory protection, furnishings flammability, product quality, MDI/TDI emissions, blowing agents, writing a technical paper, automotive OEMs and MDI/TDI transportation guidelines. Industry experts and leaders from government agencies will speak.

Results will be released during the meeting on the API's "2000 end-use market survey on the polyurethanes industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico."

More than 70 exhibitors plan to participate in the trade show event, featuring polyurethane-related products and services.

Eric B. Dezenhall, president of Nichols-Dezenhall Communications Management Group, a crisis management firm, will present the keynote address, "We're in a culture of attack ... are you prepared?"

An environmental session, moderated by Bill Robert, BASF, will review current efforts on recycling. Papers will demonstrate the use of recycled materials in coatings and flexible foam applications from a variety of recycle methods, including mechanical pulverization and chemolysis.

Don Schomer of Bayer will moderate a session on automotive low VOC emissions. This session will focus on VOC reduction in parts production and end-use within the automotive interior through the utilization of new additives and foam systems. The first paper will describe a new non-fugitive amine catalyst for HR molded foam. The second paper will introduce a new silicone surfactant for TDI HR molded foam with low emanations and improvements in foam processing. The final paper will address reduction in amine catalyst vapors in elastomer and foam production with the objective of helping the polyurethanes industry achieve the goal of zero emission products.

A session on testing will be moderated by Steve Robbins, Air Products & Chemicals. The testing session will cover three important areas, including a new method to develop a better understanding of foam polymerization; improved methods for measuring heat transmission; and new testing for isocyanate emissions during the formation of composite boards. The foaming process is said to be complex, and this new technique may provide an additional window of information into the effects of changing formulation variables, offering an opportunity to speed development. In closed-cell foams, the ever-changing climate for blowing agents is said to require quick and accurate measurements of heat transmission, and state-of-the-art data acquisition is essential. The assessment of potential emissions during board formation is said to be an important industrial issue, and these new data will provide additional insight into this manufacturing process.

Michel Drouin of Johns Manville will moderate a session on construction. Alternative blowing agent issues are said to dominate the discussion in the rigid foam construction market. The deadline for converting to zero ozone depleting substances is one year closer, and this session will present the latest options for a wide variety of applications, including laminate board, pour-in-place and spray applied foam. Critical foam performance and processing characteristics such as flammability, emissions, adhesion and insulation properties will be presented. The presentations will provide timely information that the foam manufacturers will use as they prepare to comply with the regulations.

Three ingredients for a highly productive workforce will be examined in a session moderated by Elvira Monteleone of Huntsman Polyurethanes. This session will address several key areas of interest to employers. Speakers will discuss the importance of diversity in the workplace, and the value it offers in terms of innovation and idea generation. Employee alignment will be another featured topic. Discussion will center around the value created through proper employee alignment, as well as tips for making it work. Also discussed in this session will be approaches to ongoing employee learning and performance excellence. A third topic covered will be the new and emerging area of biomonitoring, the measurement of exposure to MDI or TDI through analyzing human biological fluids.

A session on product stewardship in polyurethane systems has been organized by Charlie Bartish of Air Products & Chemicals. Product stewardship efforts in the polyurethanes industry are said to have long emphasized safe handling of diisocyanates. However, manufacturing polyurethane products is said to require worker protection not only in transferring chemicals, but also in mold injection, demolding, cleaning, cutting and storing parts. Processing polyurethanes requires the use of a variety of chemical additives, including catalysts, surfactants, blowing agents, mold release and pigments. This session will discuss the role that product stewardship of additives plays in foam processing, as well as additives' impact on the product stewardship of the final foam parts.

Tom Jenson of General Motors will moderate a session on innovative polyurethane solutions for automotive applications. The initial series of papers in this session will introduce innovative processes and products for automotive interior components. The first paper will describe a new process for cost reduction in seat assembly. The second paper will address occupant protection via improved energy management foam with better resistance to environmental conditions. The third paper will describe implementation of alternative blowing agents that improve polymer performance. The second series of papers will discuss high-volume applications for polyurethane parts produced by the RIM process, detailing various innovations in materials and processes, enabling new market opportunities.

A session on fundamentals will be moderated by Ralph Priester of Dow Chemical. This session will explore the newest understanding of structure-property relationships in fibers, elastomers and foams. In another important area, a revival of interest in polyether catalysis is said to be underway, as the double metal catalysts have evolved from a niche technology into a commercial reality for a wide range of polyols.

Respiratory protection will be examined in a session moderated by Bill Robert of BASF. This session will provide an overview of the recently changed OSHA policy regarding the use of air purifying respirators. The session will begin with a review of the criteria that would be used to develop an air-purifying respirator program for employees. The employer must conduct a hazard assessment of their facility and develop a change-out frequency for the respirator cartridges. Presenters will also review some of the data that can be used to develop a written respiratory program for specific applications. Finally, the session will review the new API guidelines for the elements of a model respiratory program.

Kurt Reimann of BASF will moderate a session on current issues in furnishings flammability. Pending state legislation and actions by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are said to make flammability of furnishings in residential homes and public occupancy buildings an important concern for the polyurethanes industry. In this session, delegates will be updated on the status of governmental and private activities relating to this complex issue.

Automotive seating comfort and durability - testing and methods will be presented in a session moderated by Hamdy Khalil of Woodbridge Foam. Recent advances in polyurethanes technology from the automotive seating perspective are said to have focused on comfort and durability. In particular, foam dynamic cushioning performance has been an area of concern in recent years. Longer lifetimes for modern automobiles are said to create new challenges for ensuring seat durability. New OEM and Tier 1 specifications for comfort and durability are being introduced, or are under development, and this series of papers will address these current issues.

Blowing agents will be discussed during a session moderated by Craig Sungail of Huntsman Polyurethanes. This session will cover practical considerations in the replacement of soon-to-be-phased-out-of-production blowing agents. First, a continuation of an aging study in refrigerator panels using third generation blowing agents will be presented. This will be followed by a focus on cell structure and raw materials in water blown foams as important factors for foam strength and incombustibility. The session will wrap up with an analysis of the evolution of 365mfc and blends in PIR foams to provide optimum performance with an assessment of future potential in Europe and the U.S.

The polyurethanes industry is said to be continuing to develop new technologies for CASE applications, and papers in this session will highlight the coatings, elastomers and sealants markets. Innovations in UV curable and waterborne coatings will be presented to address the reduction in solvents in the coatings industry. One of the newer areas addressed within CASE is said to be polyurethane gel technology, with applications in footwear and ergonomic markets such as wrist rests. Finally, novel technologies in the elastomer area covering RIM spray applications and equipment will be presented.

Product quality/Six Sigma will be examined in an issue session. The demonstrated potential of Six Sigma is said to have been a hot topic in the business press in recent years, with companies like GE and Allied Signal setting the example of significant bottom line impact from Six Sigma implementation. This industry forum will have speakers from Dow Chemical and Air Products sharing their perspectives on the Six Sigma odyssey.

MDI/TDI emissions will be discussed in a session moderated by Bill Robert of BASF. An in-depth look will be presented on how MDI and TDI emission reporting has impacted the industry. This session will trace the history of over-reporting and outline the history of API's and ACC's efforts to educate the industry, its customers and government agencies. The ACC Diisocyanate Panel's MDI Stack Emissions Project will be outlined, and preliminary estimates will be compared to actual results.

Craig Sungail of Huntsman Polyurethanes will moderate a second session on blowing agents. The panel assembled for this session will provide the most current information regarding the issues that affect this critical selection process. A question and answer period is planned for the conclusion of this session.

A session on how to write a technical paper will provide attendees with advice and useful guidelines for drafting an effective, high quality technical paper. Delegates will receive useful tips and guidelines from polyurethanes industry experts. The speakers will share the evaluation scheme used by API in its technical paper selection criteria.

Furnishings will be examined in a session moderated by Dimitri Dounis of Hickory Springs Manufacturing. In this session, new silicone surfactants, catalysts and a new concept polymer polyol with high polymer content will be discussed. Flame retardant evaluations will be discussed, along with further improvements in viscoelastic foam for bedding.

An appliance session will be moderated by Larry Wethje of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. This session will cover the upcoming changes needed to support the appliance industry in its transition away from HCFC-141b as the major blowing agent.

Automotive OEMs and MDI/TDI transportation guidelines will also be featured in issues sessions.

Registration fees range from $300 to $600. Further information on Polyurethanes Expo 2001 is available from the API (703) 253-0656.
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Publication:Rubber World
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2001
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