Products made of flexible polyurethane foams are indispensable in everyday life today. This unique material is widely used in numerous industries on account of its versatility, its range of potential applications, and its consistently excellent quality. The variability of the raw materials used makes it possible to produce flexible foam articles with customized properties.
Flexible polyurethane foams can generally be divided up according to their chemical structure into polyether foams and polyester foams.
Specialties such as viscoelastic foams, HR foams (“cold-curing foams”), hypersoft foams, HF-weldable ether foams and hydrophilic ester foams are also available.
Flexible polyurethane foam is produced using continuous and discontinuous methods. There are basically two production methods, one for flexible slab foam, of which far greater quantities are used, and one for flexible molded foams.
Polyester foams were the first flexible polyurethane foams to be commercially developed. These are still in use in the automotive industry where they excel 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 were able to begin their meteoric rise and achieve the dominant position they enjoy today.
Flexible polyurethane foams are used in the furniture and mattress industry, the automotive, handbag and luggage, footwear and textile industries, in the home and in the engineering sector.
Bayer MaterialScience produces raw materials for the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foams and carries out research to ensure that the products and their production processes are constantly being improved. We offer our customers technical support and are committed to developing new applications. However, Bayer MaterialScience itself does not manufacture polyurethane foams other than for research purposes.