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Silicone surfactants for moulded foam reduce voc emissions by 50%

GE Advanced Materials : 23 July, 2004  (New Product)
GE Advanced Materials has announced a new family of silicone surfactants for stabilising MDI and MDI-TDI flexible moulded foam used by the automotive seating industry.
Niax Silicone L-3415, L-3416 and L-3417 are based on a new molecular design that can reduce emissions from finished parts. The new products not only support the trend toward zero chemical emissions from auto parts, but they also have negligible impact on the cost of the finished product. By implementing Niax silicone surfactants, manufacturers of vehicle seating systems can cost-effectively boost compliance with industry requirements for lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The automotive industry is moving toward zero-emission seating systems and other components, and additives such as surfactants and catalysts play an important role in the level of VOCs. Many traditional additives for MDI and TDI moulded foam produce VOC emissions from the finished parts that can negatively impact cleanliness of car interiors. GE Advanced Materials’ new Niax silicone surfactants, however, can dramatically lower VOCs vs. existing products and significantly reduce fogging.

A second benefit of Niax surfactants is their excellent performance and processing characteristics. Composed of a proprietary high-efficiency active ingredient, Niax surfactants produce an open-celled foam with low shrinkage that features smooth skin and reduction or elimination of deep voids. These products offer wide processing latitude to automotive seating manufacturers.

The new family of silicone surfactants supports a range of moulded foam types. Niax L-3415 is designed specifically for MDI moulded foam, while Niax L-3416 is appropriate for MDI foam applications requiring additional stabilisation. Niax L-3417 works with TDI/MDI and modified TDI HR moulded foam in applications that require extra stabilisation.

“Manufacturers of auto seating and other systems face increasing pressure to support environmentally friendly vehicle design, but are under equally strong pressure to keep costs down,” said Alberto Melle, global marketing manager, Urethane Additives, GE Advanced Materials. “Our new Niax silicone surfactants address both concerns by allowing manufacturers to cut volatiles in half without cost implications. Plus, these products deliver superior foam quality and consistency. Moving to Niax surfactants essentially offers a triple advantage to the automotive sector. While the automotive sector is a key target, we expect our new products to find applications across dozens of end products such as foam–backed carpeting, furniture, bedding, and appliances,” Melle added.
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