Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the key benefits to the manufacturer?
Are there more programs Dow is working on to reduce VOC emissions?
What are amine catalysts used for and how does the new Dow product and process help reduce the use of amines?
Does Dow foresee the complete elimination of VOC emissions from finished polyurethane foam? Does Dow have a timeline for this?
What led Dow to develop this process?
Why is minimizing amine emissions important?
Why is it important to customers that they not handle amine catalysts?
How do the new products help customers avoid handling amine catalysts?
What are other benefits to the customer?
In what way does VORANOL VORACTIV polyol help Dow's customers on a logistics level?
What differences may the consumer notice?
Where can I get more information about handling amine catalysts safely?
What are some of the key benefits to the manufacturer?
VORANOL VORACTIV polyols offer flexible and molded foam manufacturers cost savings through easier processing and reduced waste. Because the amine catalyst is grafted into the polyol, customers can eliminate or reduce their need to purchase, handle and store amine catalysts. The new product line also provides manufacturers with consistent product performance not found in other low-VOC technologies. Reduced amine emissions with consistency in foam products specifications, contribute to an improved overall performance of finished parts.
For bedding/furniture producers, foams made with VORANOL VORACTIV offer reduced odors associated with amines and produce more consistent, uniform foams with tighter density and hardness distribution. For automotive manufacturers, foams made with VORACTIV allow more complex seats and parts to be molded in a consistent manner. In molded operations, foams made with VORACTIV can reduce odors associated with amines and can lower VOC emissions by as much as 50%, leading to improved air quality. It also produces foams that significantly reduce windshield fogging, polycarbonate degradation, and PVC staining.Are there more programs Dow is working on to reduce VOC emissions?
Yes. The new line is part of an ongoing initiative by Dow to lead the industry in VOC emission elimination from polyurethane flexible foams. The company has also introduced the development of a new, low-VOC-copolymer polyol process. Both processes allow Dow to contribute to improved indoor air quality by reducing VOC emissions inside of vehicles, offices and homes.What are amine catalysts used for and how does the new Dow product and process help reduce the use of amines?
Most polyurethane foams are made with the aid of at least one catalyst, chosen specifically to allow polyurethane foam cells to develop sufficient strength to maintain their structure — without collapse or deformation — and for assuring completeness of reaction or "cure" in the finished foam.
As Dow continues its drive to lead the industry in reducing VOC emissions, it will continue to provide solutions that reduce or remove VOC emissions from polyols and isocyanates (raw materials necessary for polyurethane foam production).What led Dow to develop this process?
The polyurethane industry as a whole is continuing its drive to successfully reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds released from its operations, including amine catalyst emissions. At the same time, we recognized that customers want a polyol that offers cost savings and processing advantages, while improving consistency and product performance. Emissions from manufactured articles that contain polyurethane components are also a target in this drive. For example, many automotive OEMs around the globe are actively pursuing VOC emission reductions inside of vehicles.Why is minimizing amine emissions important?
Amine catalysts used in the manufacture of polyurethane foams are among the volatile organic compounds released after the foam is subjected to heat. New VORANOL VORACTIV polyols from Dow will help reduce odors associated with these amine emissions. Amine emissions are also believed to contribute to windshield-fogging, discoloration of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and degradation of polycarbonate components, which can lead to customer dissatisfaction and product returns.Why is it important to customers that they not handle amine catalysts?
During handling and processing of polyurethane chemicals, workers could be exposed to catalysts. By limiting exposure, formally educating workers and monitoring industrial hygiene, manufacturers can reduce the chance of workers experiencing skin irritation and temporary corneal edema ("blue haze," "halo effect," "glaucopsia").
We at Dow believe that with proper procedures, training and measures, the chemicals we produce can be made and handled safely. As an industry leader, we are experienced in such procedures, training and measures, and are therefore, well qualified to handle chemicals and chemistry.
This is why VORACTIV VORANOL polyols are such an important innovation. They let Dow “take care of the chemistry.”How do the new products help customers avoid handling amine catalysts?
By using VORANOL VORACTIV polyols, flexible or molded foam manufacturers can eliminate or minimize purchases, inventory, and storage of catalysts. At the same time, they can reduce pre-blending operations, waste water disposal, plant space and equipment replacement requirements associated with amine catalysts. It's as simple as having one less raw material to deal with from an infrastructure, quality control and inventory standpoint.What are other benefits to the customer?
VORANOL VORACTIV polyols offer flexible and molded foam manufacturers cost savings through easier processing and reduced waste. These polyols provide Dow's customers with more consistent, uniform foams with tighter density and hardness distribution. In molded operations, VORANOL VORACTIV polyols, compared to other low VOC foam types, offer improved compression-set properties (improving how well foam will return to its original shape after it has been compressed and greater resistance to humid conditions) leading to more improved product performance over time.In what way does VORANOL VORACTIV polyol help Dow's customers on a logistics level?
Dow's customers will see the following benefits:
By using VORANOL VORACTIV polyols, manufacturers can minimize purchases, inventory, handling, and storage of catalysts. In addition, they can reduce pre-blending operations, waste water disposal, plant space and equipment replacement requirements. It's as simple as having one less material to deal with from an infrastructure, quality control and inventory standpoint.What differences may the consumer notice?
The consumer may notice reduced windshield fogging and PVC part staining in automobiles. VORANOL VORACTIV polyols may also help reduce odors from end-use products, such as car interiors, home & office furnishings, mattresses and carpeting.Where can I get more information about handling amine catalysts safely?
The Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry (API) provides general information to workers, supervisory personnel, and others about health and safety issues associated with the use of polyurethane amine catalysts.