The Versatility of Polyurethane Foam

July 15, 2014 - "Industry Insight"

Flexible polyurethane foams can generally be divided up according to their chemical structure into polyether foams and polyester foams.  Polyester foams were the first flexible polyurethane foams to be commercially developed thanks to their stress and tensile properties and increased resistance to light and solvents.

It was only after the development of suitable silicone stabilizers and appropriate catalysts that, thanks to their superior elasticity, polyether foams came into being. Specialties such as viscoelastic foams, HR foams (“cold-curing foams”), hypersoft foams, HF-weld able ether foams and hydrophilic ester foams are also available.

Our coating technologies group formulates single and dual aluminum oxide and silicon carbide abrasive coated sanding sponges—the tool of choice for surface preparation.  Our complete line of wet and dry sanding sponges are designed for and marketed in the wood working, metal finishing, paint, drywall, plastic, ceramic, auto body, and solid surface trades.

Our no abrasive scouring surfaces consistently removes food particles but will not scratch non-stick coated surfaces; i.e., Teflon, silver stone or like surfaces in pans, pots and utensils. It is safe for use on ceramic plates, glassware, porcelain and stainless steel sinks, as well as Formica, stone, and tile countertops. Particles are never trapped, easily wash out, and can be rinsed clean. Our coatings seal the surface and slow growth and decay of food particles. Our coated surface technology can be applied and laminated in concert with cellulose, hydrophilic urethanes, rubber, and multiple scrim laminations to foam and other sponge materials. It is available in a rainbow of standard and custom colors.

Filter Foam products offer exceptional application versatility. Environmentally friendly and cost-effective, they feature controlled pore size-from 4 to 110 pores per inch (PPI) and great tensile strength. These high-quality reticulated filter foam products are available in both Ether and Ester based Polyols and are easily fabricated to meet any number of customer specifications.

The thermal reticulation process begins with conventional polyurethane foam that is cured and then placed in a special chamber. The chamber's atmosphere is removed and replaced with a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, then ignited. Once ignited, a controlled flame front vaporizes the foam's high surface area and Low Mass membranes across the cell faces, leaving only a skeletal stand structure or pentagonal dodecahedron (a geometric shape with 12 plane faces).

This is the natural structure of reticulated foam cells. Thermal Reticulation improves the physical properties and characteristics of the foam. The resulting reticulated filter foam is stronger and is completely permeable to fluids, sound and other medium. Most filter foams have a 97 percent void volume and have a greater capacity to filter out materials from various media.

Typical examples of our reticulated filter foam products are air filters, aquarium filters, automotive filters, baffles and fuel cells, ink jet cartridges, ink pads, Liners, outdoor seating, rollers, safety foam, small engine filters, vacuum filters, wet filtration products, bioreactor media and wicking foams.

 

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