Flexible PU Foams Containing Latent Aldehydes

Patent Title: IMPROVEMENTS RELATING TO POLYURETHANES

 Number/Link: WO2017/001543

Applicant/Assignee: Shell

Publication date: 5 january 2017

Gist”: Flex foams from polyether polyols containing latent aldehydes show improved compression set

Why it is interesting: Aldehydes are a by-product of the alkylene oxide production. These aldehydes need to be removed before the alkylene oxide can be used in the manufacture of polyether polyols because even minor amounts of these impurities are considered undesirable and detrimental for polyol and foam properties. According to this invention, omitting the extra purification step of the alkylene oxide results in polyols with a certain amount of free- and latent aldehydes.  (‘latent aldehyde’ being an aldehyde incorporated in the polyether polyol with a labile bond). After removal of the free aldehyde, the polyols with (pref) >150ppm latent aldehydes (mostly propionaldehyde and acetaldehyde) can be used in the preparation of flexible foam with improved wet and dry compression set properties. While the examples indeed show some (but not a dramatic) improvement of compression set, no mention is made of eventual release of the aldehydes in the atmosphere, which (in my opinion) is a much bigger problem than compression set.

Propionaldehyde

Propionaldehyde

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