TDI1 foam for automotive seats eliminates 99% of volatile amines emissions

  • Faurecia introduces new type of TDI1 foam pad
  • Material composition eliminates 99% of volatile amines emissions
  • In addition: foam more responsive, lower resonance frequency

Faurecia, the world’s sixth-largest automotive supplier, announced that it has developed a new type of TDI1 foam pad for vehicle seats that eliminates 99 percent of volatile amines emissions which concur to a reduction of global VOC2 emissions by 60%, while improving seating comfort, a breakthrough solution in the current automotive seating industry. While the foam’s initial use plan is in rear backrests, it is appropriate for use in backrests and cushions in rear and front seats alike.

Volatile amines can have a harmful impact on the health of passengers, produce an intensely unpleasant odor inside the vehicle and cause windshield fogging, but these issues disappear with the new foam developed by Faurecia Automotive Seating in collaboration with Dow Automotive Systems. The Faurecia volatile amines-free foam pads, employing Dow’s SPECFLEX Activ polyurethane technology, will begin to be used soon by French automakers. Other automakers in Europe are also currently investigating the new Faurecia foam.

Automakers use either two types of polyurethane foam to provide padding for seats: MDI3 or TDI, each ofwhich provides different levels of density to meet the varying specifications of vehicle models. Until now, these products have incorporated amines as catalysts to promote gelling and blowing reactions that create polyurethane foam. Amines, however, are one of the major sources of VOCs and also can affect the mechanical properties of seating pads. The new foams from Faurecia do not require any external amines catalysts.

Faurecia submitted its new foams to an independent lab for testing, where results demonstrated that the new material’s composition eliminated as much as 99 percent of volatile amines emissions, compared with previous TDI pads. The Faurecia low-VOC TDI foam pads thus become the world’s first to achieve a nearly total elimination of volatile amines emissions.

In addition, the foam improves passengers comfort. Compared to current TDI foams, the new Faurecia pad is more responsive, returning quickly to its original shape after being subjected to deformation pressures. The new foam also performs better than previous TDI products with regards to vibrations that originate from tires, vehicle structures and road conditions, with a lower resonance frequency that makes vibrations less perceptible to occupants.

Faurecia will start to produce its volatile amines-free TDI foam pad in Magny-Vernois, France. Faurecia anticipates that the new foam will help automakers meet impending restrictions on global VOC emissions in Asia, in particular in China, Japan and South Korea. The foam product is available for seating applications that require a foam density between 45 and 55 kilograms per cubic meter.

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