Practical Guide to Flexible Polyurethane Foams

  • ID: 2571062
  • Book
  • 244 Pages
  • Smithers Information Ltd
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Polyurethanes are one of the most versatile and exciting materials in the plastics family. Although there are many types, the flexible and viscoelastic foams have opened up vast possibilities as viable business ventures and expanding applications: they have established themselves as an essential part of everyday life, replacing traditional materials over the years.

This book imparts a sound knowledge of flexible and viscoelastic polyurethane foam from its chemistry to calculations and formulating methodology for quality production. The author presents valuable detailed information on foam manufacturing, based on over 40 years' hands-on experience, at both local and international level.

The detailed presentation of two manufacturing set-ups will greatly benefit entrepreneurs, medium-volume producers and the large manufacturers. For the entrepreneurs, the innovative low-cost start-up, high profit, tried-and-tested methods will no doubt be very encouraging. The medium-to-large volume producers will find the information provided both interesting and practical to solve inherent problems of excess wastage, better process control and plant efficiency, thus enhancing profitability.

Thanks to global environmental concerns, polyurethane chemical components are moving from petroleum sources to bio-based renewable resources, which presents an interesting challenge to developers. For continued profitable production, foam machinery manufacturers will need to offer cost-effective, highly-efficient and compatible machinery to producers.

This book provides practical guidance in all aspects of flexible polyurethane foam manufacture and it is an ideal information source for students, teachers, producers and entrepreneurs.
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1 Introduction
1.1 Brief History
1.1.1 Flexible Foams
1.1.2 Rigid Polyurethane Foams
1.1.3 Automotives
1.1.4 Elastomers
1.1.5 Insulation
1.1.6 Moulded Parts
1.1.7 Spray Roofing Systems
1.1.8 Speciality Urethane Systems
1.2 Types of Foams
1.3 Basic Foam Grades
1.4 Viscoelastic Foam Mattresses: Marketing Hype or Molecular Miracle?
1.5 Flexible Slabstock Foams
1.6 What is a Flexible Polyurethane Foam?
1.7 What is a Viscoelastic Foam?
1.8 Characteristics of Viscoelastic Foams
1.9 Physical Properties of Viscoelastic Foams
1.10 Performance Testing of Viscoelastic Foams
1.10.1 Reduction and Relief of Pressure
1.10.2 Hyper or Pseudo Effects?
1.10.3 Viscoelastic Foam: Summary
1.10.4 End Applications

2 Basic Chemistry
2.1 Brief Introduction
2.2 Organic Chemistry
2.2.1 Basics
2.2.2 History
2.2.3 Characteristics
2.2.4 Properties
2.2.5 Melting and Boiling Properties
2.2.6 Solubility
2.2.7 Nomenclature
2.2.8 Structural Presentation
2.3 Classification of Organic Compounds
2.3.1 Functional Groups
2.3.2 Aliphatic Compounds
2.3.3 Aromatic Compounds
2.3.4 Heterocyclic Compounds
2.3.5 Polymers
2.3.6 Organic Synthesis
2.3.7 Organic Reactions
2.4 Inorganic Chemistry
2.4.1 Industrial Inorganic Chemistry
2.5 Classification of Inorganic Chemistry
2.5.1 Coordination Compounds
2.5.2 Main Group Compounds
2.5.3 Transition Metal Compounds
2.5.4 Organometallic Compounds
2.5.5 Cluster Compounds
2.5.6 Bio-inorganic Compounds
2.5.7 Solid State Compounds
2.5.8 Qualitative Theories
2.5.9 Molecular Symmetry Group Theory
2.6 Basics of Analytical Chemistry
2.6.1 Qualitative Analyses
2.6.1.1 Flame Test
2.6.1.2 Gravimetric Analyses
2.6.1.3 Volumetric Analyses
2.6.1.4 Mass Spectrometry
2.6.1.5 Electrochemical Analyses
2.6.1.6 Microscopy

3 Basic Polymer Chemistry
3.1 What is a Polymer?
3.1.1 Polymer Synthesis
3.1.2 Modification of Natural Polymers
3.2 Polymer Properties
3.2.1 Monomers
3.2.2 Microstructure
3.2.3 Chain Length
3.2.4 Molecular Mass (Weight)
3.2.5 Polymerisation
3.2.6 Condensation Polymerisation
3.3 Mechanical Properties
3.3.1 Tensile Strength
3.3.2 Young’s Modulus of Elasticity
3.3.3 Melting Point
3.3.4 Glass Transition Temperature
3.3.5 Mixing Behaviour
3.3.6 Polymer Degradation

4 Polyurethane Raw Materials
4.1 Polyols
4.1.1 Graft Polyols
4.1.2 Isocyanates
4.1.3 Bio-polyols
4.2 Catalysts
4.3 Blowing Agents
4.4 Surfactants
4.5 Methylene Chloride
4.6 Additives
4.6.1 Pigments
4.6.2 Fillers
4.6.3 Retardants
4.6.4 Anti-oxidants
4.6.5 Anti-static Agents
4.6.6 Cell Openers
4.6.7 Plasticisers
4.6.8 Anti-bacterial Agents
4.6.9 Ultraviolet Stabilisers
4.6.10 Colorants
4.6.11 Colour Basics
4.6.12 Foam Hardeners
4.6.13 Crosslinkers
4.6.14 Compatibilisers
4.7 Accessories
4.7.1 Kraft Paper
4.7.2 Machine-glazed Paper
4.7.3 Polyethylene-coated Paper
4.7.4 Peelable Kraft Paper
4.7.5 Plastic Films
4.7.6 Mould Release Agents
4.8 Summary

5 Properties and Foaming Technology of Polyurethane Foam
5.1 Properties of Polyurethane Foam
5.1.1 Basic Physical Properties
5.1.2 Tension Test (Tensile Strength)
5.1.3 Tear Resistance
5.1.4 Airflow
5.1.5 Resilience
5.1.6 Fogging
5.1.7 Durability
5.2 In Industrial Applications
5.2.1 Foam is a Good Air Sealant
5.3 Closed Cell Foams
5.3.1 Foams have Structural Advantages
5.3.2 Foam usage in Sound Control
5.4 Foaming Technology
5.4.1 Raw Materials and Their Functions
5.4.2 Polyols
5.4.3 Di-isocyanate
5.4.4 Water
5.4.5 Auxiliary Blowing Agents
5.4.6 Catalysts
5.4.7 Silicone Surfactants
5.4.8 Graft Polyols
5.4.9 Extenders
5.4.10 Colourants
5.4.11 Fillers
5.4.12 Additives
5.5 Foaming Process
5.5.1 Mixing
5.5.2 Nucleation
5.5.3 Expansion
5.5.4 Cell Opening
5.5.5 Gelation
5.5.6 Curing
5.6 Storage of Foam Blocks
5.7 Cutting and Fabrication
5.8 Filled Foam
5.8.1 Type of Filler
5.8.2 How Much Filler can be used?
5.9 Effects of Changes in Physical Properties
5.10 Processing Difficulties
5.11 Description of Additional Equipment
5.12 Procedure

6 Foaming Calculations, Other Calculations and Formulations
6.1 Calculations
6.1.1 Density
6.1.2 Mixing Ratio
6.1.3 Isocyanate Index
6.1.4 Ratio Calculation
6.1.5 Pump Rates Per Minute versus Flow Rate
6.1.6 Machine Flow Rate versus Mould Volume
6.2 Calculations for Making Large Foam Blocks: Discontinuous Process
6.2.1 Calculation of Material Required
6.2.2 Calculating Raw Material Components
6.3 Typical Formulations
6.3.1 Conventional Foam (Density Range 16.0–32 kg/m)
6.3.2 High-resilience Foams
6.3.3 Viscoelastic Foam
6.3.4 Slab Stock Foam (Continuous Foaming)
6.4 Calculating Indentation Force Deflection
6.5 Calculating Electrical Power
6.5.1 Basic Example as a Guideline
6.6 Calculating Water Requirements
6.7 Compressed Air
6.7.1 Air Pressure versus Volume Calculator
6.8 Financial Indicators
6.8.1 Breakeven Point
6.8.2 Return on Equity
6.8.3 Return on Assets
6.8.4 Gross Profit Margin
6.8.5 Cash Flow
6.8.6 Contribution Margin
6.8.7 Debt to Equity Ratio
6.9 Quick Performance Indicators
6.9.1 Return per Kilogramme
6.9.2 Cost per Kilogramme
6.9.3 Breakeven Analysis
6.10 Recommended Basic Foam Formulations
6.11 To Save Waste on Foam Buns (Blocks)

7 Plant Machinery and Equipment
7.1 Mould Design
7.1.1 Design Philosophy
7.1.2 Defining Product Requirements
7.1.3 Loading Conditions
7.1.4 Environmental Conditions
7.1.5 Dimensional Requirements
7.1.6 Preliminary Computer-aided Design Model
7.1.7 Material Selection
7.1.8 Process Selection
7.1.9 Process Influences
7.1.10 Orientation of the Final Product
7.1.11 Computer Simulation
7.1.12 Shrinkage and Warping
7.1.13 Basic Moulds for Flexible Foams
7.2 Foaming Machinery and Equipment
7.2.1 Low-pressure Machines
7.2.2 High-pressure Machines
7.2.3 Images of Foaming Machines
7.3 Foam Cutting and Fabrication
7.3.1 Horizontal Cutting
7.3.2 Vertical Cutting
7.3.3 Specialised Cutting

8 Manufacturing Processes for Flexible Foams
8.1 Box Process for Small-volume Producers
8.1.1 Process
8.1.2 Advantages
8.1.3 Disadvantages
8.2 Discontinuous Process
8.2.1 Manual Process
8.2.2 Advantages
8.2.3 Disadvantages
8.3 Semi-automatic and Automatic Processes
8.3.1 Advantages
8.3.2 Disadvantages
8.4 Viscoelastic Discontinuous Block Foaming
8.5 Continuous Process
8.5.1 Advantages
8.5.2 Disadvantages
8.6 Maxfoam System
8.6.1 Basic Principles
8.6.2 Basic Features of the Maxfoam System
8.7 Vertifoam Vertical Foaming System
8.8 Varimax Continuous System
8.9 C-Max High-pressure System
8.10 CarDio Process
8.11 Viscoelastic Continuous Foaming
8.12 Laboratory-scale Production
8.13 Inherent Waste Factors
8.14 Moulded Flexible Polyurethane Foams
8.14.1 Component A
8.15 Effects of Temperature on Diphenylmethane Di-isocyanate
8.16 Polyol Blends
8.17 Basic Chemical Reactions
8.18 Shipping Containers for Component Systems
8.19 Checking for Water Contamination
8.20 Unloading and Storage of Chemicals
8.21 Preparing for Production
8.21.1 Filling the Day Tanks
8.21.2 Calibration of Processing Equipment
8.21.3 Foam Re-activities
8.21.4 Throughput
8.21.5 Free Rise Density
8.21.6 Foam Structure
8.21.7 Filling the Moulds
8.21.8 Pouring Pattern Tips
8.21.9 About Moulds
8.21.10 Mould-release Agents
8.21.11 In-mould Coatings
8.21.12 Moulding with Inserts
8.21.13 Mould Clamping
8.21.14 Mould Cleaning
8.21.15 Flushing the Mixhead
8.21.16 Lead-lag
8.21.17 Recharging Day Tanks
8.22 Examples of Typical Processing
8.22.1 Material Storage
8.22.2 Handling of Raw Material
8.22.3 Moulds
8.22.4 Mixing and Weighing Procedures
8.22.5 Tips for Minimising Waste

9 Basic Safety Factors
9.1 Buildings
9.2 Storage of Raw Materials
9.3 Production
9.4 Safety Provisions
9.5 Basics of Spill Management
9.6 Recommended Safety Equipment
9.7 Handling Precautions
9.8 Health and Industrial Hygiene
9.8.1 Polyols
9.8.2 Isocyanates and Prepolymers
9.8.3 Component Systems
9.8.4 Other Raw Materials
9.9 Spill Management

10 Setting-up a Manufacturing Plant for an Entrepreneur
10.1 Example A: Manual Operation
10.1.1 Raw Materials
10.1.2 Moulds
10.1.3 Cutting and Fabrication
10.1.4 Hot-wire Cutting Machine
10.1.5 Production Method
10.2 Example B: Making Large Foam Blocks
10.2.1 Foaming Systems
10.3 Description of a Typical Semi-automatic Batch Foaming Plant
10.3.1 Foaming Machine
10.3.2 Foam Cutting Machines
10.3.2.1 One Circular (Carousel) Cutting Machine
10.3.2.2 Vertical Cutting Machine
10.3.3 Foam-shredding Machine
10.4 Fully Automatic Operation
10.4.1 Production (Manual or Semi-automatic)

11 Manufacturing Plants for Large-Volume Producers
11.1 Planned Production
11.2 Location and Factory Buildings
11.3 Storage of Raw Materials
11.3.1 Storage Conditions
11.3.2 Tank Room
11.4 Trough Paper
11.5 General Machinery
11.6 Basic Equipment
11.7 Utilities
11.8 Plant Layout
11.9 In-house Laboratory
11.10 Quality Control
11.11 Safety Systems
11.12 Foam Production
11.13 Foam Cutting and Fabrication
11.14 Recycling of Foam Waste

12 Recommendations for Process Efficiency
12.1 Basic Laboratory Equipment
12.2 Recommendations for the Efficiency of Foam Plants
12.1.1 Key Factors on a Production Floor
12.2.2 Preventive Maintenance in Foam Plants
12.3 Guidelines for a Quality Control System
12.3.1 What is a Control Chart?
12.3.2 What is an X-R Chart?
12.3.3 What is a P Chart?
12.4 General Recommendations for Troubleshooting

Glossary of Terms

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Abbreviations

Index
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