The UK-based company Green Urethanes is currently working with natural oil polyols and a range of “off the shelf” flame retardants to create a win-win situation for the flexible polyurethane foam industry.
Green Urethanes has developed a solution that permanently locks flame retardant into flexible foams. The route involves heavy use of a newly developed “green chemistry” that still preserves the excellent original objectives of the longstanding Cal 117 flammability test — enhanced resistance to ignition leading to a fire and enhanced escape time from a fire.
Additionally, these newly developed foam formulas have an extremely high bio-renewable content (approximately 33% by weight), and efficiently bond with the additives necessary to provide home owners with the extra escape time should a furniture fire break out. Equally crucial, the suppressant materials stay locked inside the foam and do not migrate into people and the environment. The Green Urethanes’ route also utilizes the flame suppressant material more efficiently than ever before, reducing its usage in the foam by as much as 80%.
“TB 117 has been a globally understood and respected standard for the furniture industry. We wanted to look for a solution that would allow this standard to continue to offer consumers protection from fire, as in the past, and protection from chemicals too,” explained Green Urethanes’ Director Jeff Rowlands.
“Foam fire testing has been conclusive; and we’re now seeing VOC results that show the flame retardant has been fully captured within the foam matrix. These foams are setting new green and safety standards.”
Green Urethanes will present its work at the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) Spring Meeting from 22–23 May 2013 in St. Petersburg, FL, USA.