Clariant supports safer fire retarded polyurethane foams for upholstery

Clariant supports safer fire retarded polyurethane foams for upholstery

Swiss internationally operating specialty chemicals Clariant supports the use of Green Chemistry to create safer, fire retarded polyurethane (PU) foams for the upholstery sector

Research by Green Urethanes Ltd., the provider of green solutions to the global PU industry, confirms that manufacturers can use reactive halogen free flame retardant EXolit® OP 560 with this rechnlogy to develop low emission flexible foams that meet internationally accepted flammability standards such as Cal TB 117 (California Technical Bulletin 117, a flammability test for uphostred furniture using a small fame).

In the furniture and bedding industries, large quantities of non reactive flame retardants are traditionally used to achieve flame resistance for flexible foams. These flame retardants, which are merely physically mixed into the foam, can migrate out of the foam matrix, and are associated with adverse environmental and health consequences.

Clariant’s Exolit OP 560 phosphonate liquid flame retardant addresses these concerns by eliminating unwanted emissions. The grade chemically reacts into the PU foam polymer, therefore it does not migrate and remains fixed within a foam formulation, thus resulting in reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Phosphonate’s high effectiveness and high polymer compatibility allows it to be used at low dosage in the foam matrix, which adds to its overall sustainability.

By applying Green Urethanes’ unique processing characteristics, the amount of flame retardant required for flexible foam to pass the smoulder and open flame tests in California TB 117 is reduced by 80 %. Further benefits for PU applications include excellent ageing stability, slow smoke density and smoke gas corrosion, and good recyclability. The Green Urethane’s Technology is already available in the U.S. market and uses Natural Oil Polyols (NOP) to produce a range of standard foams for the North American bedding and furniture industries. These more natural foams are easier to produce, they provide better comfort and durability than petrochemical based foams and they have a total bio-renewable content of around 35 % by weight.

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