St. Petersburg, Fla., May 21, 2015 — A good mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep. Today’s consumers want their foam mattresses to offer comfort and quality. Now, consumers and mattress OEMs alike can rest assured that it is indeed possible to achieve these attributes, thanks to new viscoelastic foam formulations developed by Bayer MaterialScience LLC.
Flexing its considerable expertise in polyurethane chemistry, Bayer is introducing new formulations for its Softcel™ VE-1100 polyol. This polyol is capable of making a wide range of TDI-based viscoelastic foam grades at relatively high index, which is crucial for addressing shifting consumer preferences.
Viscoelastic polyurethane flexible foams have become widely used in many different applications. To meet growing applications like bed in box and viscoelastic toppers, there is increasing demand for higher-quality viscoelastic foams and densities outside of the original high-density range. These two applications are highly compressed and therefore must meet 90 percent compression set targets, significantly higher than the 50 percent compression set requirements of initial viscoelastic foams. Due to the nature of the compressed product, the foams also need to have faster recovery.
End-user concerns about foam mattresses also played a major part in the new requirements. For example, end-users prefer foam to recover faster when moving on the mattress and not create body impressions that are slow to recover. They also desire more open foams that dissipate heat better and yield a “cooler” sleep. Finally, foam mattress buyers want the firmness of the mattress at home to mimic the firmness in the showroom. However, they have sometimes found that it can be too hard or soft in their house, depending on the home temperature.
“By reformulating VE-1100 with polyols currently in most foam manufacturers’ plants, we are able to meet these new requirements,” explained William Gower, technical service representative, Raw Materials Flexible Slabstock Applications Development Group, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Viscoelastic foams made with the new formulating techniques are able to achieve high airflows, better tear strengths, better compression sets, fast viscoelastic recovery and generally better physical properties overall.”
“The same polyols are used in all formulation grades, which adds ease of processing,” said Susan McVey, manager, Flexible Slabstock Applications Development Group, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “And, since TDI is used in the manufacture of the foams, traditional trough pours can be used and direct laydown is not necessary, translating into even greater processing efficiency.”
As an added benefit, reformulating the foams eliminates certain chemicals, which helps OEMs meet requirements from customers, certifying agencies and government regulations.
Gower and McVey will discuss these new formulations in greater detail during the technical program held in conjunction with the Polyurethane Foam Association’s general meeting. They will present Expanded formulation options for producing new viscoelastic foam grades Thursday, May 21, during the afternoon technical session.
About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Bayer MaterialScience has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,200 people at the end of 2014. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company. Sustainability is central to the company’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, social responsibility and respect for the environment.
Russ Glorioso, Phone: 412-777-2051
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For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC polyurethane materials, call 1-800-662-2927, visit www.polyurethanes.bayer.com.
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