Polyols
February 2007
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The company says its Voranol™ Voractiv™ polyols are gaining widespread acceptance, and more than 95 percent of the customers who tried the product converted its operations to the low-amine emission polyols in the manufacture of polyurethane foam. The company’s next-generation technology enabled the development of the polyols, said to feature a captive amine catalyst that significantly reduces worker exposure to volatile amine emissions. Customer trials reportedly showed that the polyols enable manufacturers to simplify production processes, produce foam with a higher rate of product consistency and dramatically reduce waste in the cut and trim process. According to customers, foam produced using the polyols has thinner skins, smoother sidewalls, improved foam density, and hardness distribution through the entire foam slab. In addition, the polyols have lower sensitivity to changes in ambient temperature, resulting in less cooling time for the foam. Foam made with previous generation polyols, where the amines are added during the production process, are often associated with unpleasant odors experienced by consumers who purchase goods made with foam, such as bedding and mattresses, and foam seating found in sofas, chairs and automobiles. Concerns over odors are said to have pushed many foam manufacturers to consider the company’s next-generation polyols as a way to offer improved consumer benefits, while driving greater processing efficiency into their operations. The catalytically active polyols rely on a proprietary and patented process that grafts amine catalysts directly into the polyol, instead of requiring the use of a separate amine catalyst. The process is said to give customers the ability to eliminate or minimize a formulating step, resulting in lower additive costs and reducing or eliminating purchasing, handling and storage of amine catalysts. Using the polyols, flexible slab and molded foam manufacturers can reduce amine emissions and dramatically reduce staining, fogging and odor causing agents from the polyurethane foams. Dow Polyurethanes, a business of The Dow Chemical Company, www.dow.com

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