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Additives

These  are  materials  introduced  in  a  foam  system  to  achieve  specific  or  desired  properties,  processing  and  end  use.  They do not interfere with the basic foam formation chemistry.

 

The examples of additives include;

  • Pigments
  • Fillers
  • Flame Retardants
  • Anti  Oxidants
  • Cell  Openers
  • Plasticizers
  • Bacteriostats
  • Anti  Static  Agents
  • UV  Stabilizers
  • Foam Hardeners and
  • Cross Linkers

The most commonly used are; pigments, fillers, flame retardants, hardeners and cell openers.

Hardeners:
They are highly viscous polyol based additives specially designed for the production of high load bearing flexible foam. They are special polyether or polyester polyols with high functionality cross-linkers and copolymers to improve foam hardness and reduce the foam production cost while still keeping good PU foam physical properties.
The use of Hardeners, increases foam hardness by up to 50%, reduces the foam production cost by up to 8% reduction in TDI or density as the case may be and provides a blowing effect and a consequent density reduction. 
The following are available;

  • *   XH – 3000
  • *   NIAX  -  FH – 400
  • *   NIAX – FH – 300

Pigments:
They  are  added  to the  foam  for  the  bases  of  foam  identification.  They  also  help  to  conceal  yellowing  of  the  foam  blocks  and  to  improve  product  aesthetics. Typical problems encountered with these pigments include;

  • *   Foam  instability
  • *   Foam  scorch
  • *   Migrating  colour
  • *   Limited  range  of  colour  and
  • *   Abrasive  action  on  pumps  and  mixers

Polyol and water-soluble pigments are most preferable. In using the water based pigment, care must be taken to know the water content so as to factor it into your foam calculation.
The following grades are available;

  • *   Gode Colours (Blue, Black, yellow, Red)

Fillers:
They usually come as finely divided inert inorganic fillers and are added to foam formulations to increase density, load bearing and sound attenuation. All other physical properties are generally sacrificed.
Of  all  the  available  range  of  fillers,  only  the  inorganic  calcium  carbonates  are  most  widely  used  in  foam  production. When fillers are  expertly  introduced  and  processed,  the  overall  cost  of  processing  can  also  be  significantly  reduced. However, care must be taken to dry fillers or to know the precise water content available so as to factor the data into the foam calculations.
Not available now.

Flame retardants:
Because  of  the  permeability  of  flexible  polyurethane  foam  products due  to cell  openness  and  high  surface  area  of  the  foamed  products,  they  burn  easily  when  exposed  to  ignition  source  and  oxygen. In  the  light  of  the  above,  flame  retardants  are  incorporated  in  the  foam  products  to  check  or  reduce  flammability  of  foam  products.