Green Urethanes Ltd announces rebranding to Natural Foams Technology
In response to Green Urethanes’ growing specialization developing bio-renewable foams for the furnishing, bedding and automotive industries, the UK-based green technology company will begin operating under the new name Natural Foams Technology in April 2014.
The change reflects the company’s commitment to working exclusively with natural oil polyols and follows a multiyear research effort to “tackle two major challenges facing the industry,” says company Director Jeff Rowlands. A lack of high-quality foam with high bio-renewable content in the marketplace, and the legacy of flame retardant from foam migrating into the environment.
To produce a green ultra-low emissions foam still able to pass tough flammability standards, Natural Foams worked with specialty chemicals supplier Clariant, building on the Swiss company’s reputation for developing safe replacement chemicals across a spectrum of industries.
Choosing Clariant’s Exolit OP 560 additive, based on Environmental Protection Agency safety endorsements and the chemical’s excellent performance efficiency, has enabled manufacturers to use up to 80% less of the additive to achieve the same fire protection levels of standard foam.
In subsequent heat, stress, and extraction tests, the new OP560 bio-foams show no trace of the reacted additive in the foam, and produce impressive ultra-low smoke and emissions data overall.
“There’s understandable public distrust of flame retardants, and the undeniable truth that foam, by nature, readily contributes to a fire situation,” says Rowlands. To counter this, Natural Foams has developed a two-tier solution — developing a range of bio-renewable formulas with the suppressant reacted in, and a range with no flame retardant added, label them clearly in the finished product, and let consumers decide.