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February 4, 2013

Dow, Renosol Technical Paper Wins API Award 

November 20, 2002 – Arlington, Virginia – A groundbreaking paper co-authored by Dow Chemical and Renosol Corporation has won an Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry (API) 2002 Best Paper Presentation award. The innovative technical paper focused on the reduction of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions in automotive interior components and was presented at this year’s Conference.

Entitled Automotive and Low VOC Emissions - Recent Advances in the Development of Catalytically Active Polyols for the Automotive Market, the paper addressed a pressing need in today’s automotive industry to re-examine polyurethane flexible molded foams used in automotive seating. As part of this campaign, Dow has embarked on a program to develop catalytically active polyols that reduce amine catalysts in foam formulations and, thereby, lower VOC emissions during the foaming process, as well as when vehicles are in use. Renosol has developed formulations using VORANOL VORACTIV polyols for various molded foams that meet automotive OEM requirements.

“Dow is proud to be the recipient of this honor from API,” says Steven English, Business Development Director. “Our work to reduce VOC emissions demonstrates Dow’s commitment to the environment and to helping our customers through cutting-edge technologies. We could not have achieved this recognition without the joint effort from Renosol.”

The winning paper deals with the industrialization process of VORANOL* VORACTIV* polyols, which have the potential to eliminate conventional amine emissions. In the first phase, this new class of polyols was scaled up to production level in Dow’s manufacturing plants; the potential impact of the new polyol process on the environment was evaluated, and then large-scale trials on production foaming lines were conducted to develop polyurethane formulations that met all OEM specifications in terms of moldability and foam properties. Simultaneously, other key tests, such as VOC and fogging measurements, were carried out on these foams to assess how this technology improves working conditions on the molding lines, as well as end-use applications in automotive interiors.

The industrial production of VORANOL VORACTIV polyols was dependent on the development of formulations matching current foaming conditions on Renosol’s automotive seat molding lines. Studies indicate that VORANOL VORACTIV polyols can replace at least half of the amount of conventional amine catalysts using TDI 80/20 or MDI. This 50% reduction in amine usage is a key step toward eliminating VOCs.

The paper was authored by Jean-Marie Sonney and François M. Casati, Dow Europe GmbH, International Development Center, Meyrin, Switzerland; Bob Dawe, The Dow Chemical Company, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada; Khalil N. Khameneh, Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, MI; and Thomas Jones, Paul Fielding, and John Olari, Renosol Corporation, Ann Arbor, MI.

* Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company

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