PCM Containing PU Gels

Title: Temperature Regulating Polyurethane Gels

Number/Link: US2017/0210961

Applicant/Assignee: Technogel

Publication Date: 27 july 2017

“Gist”: Fatty acid ester PCMs are incorporated into Technogel-type gels without encapsulation

Why it is interesting: Polyurethane gels have been discussed before in this blog. The current invention is about “Technogel-type”  gels, made at low NCO-index and high functionality, that contain phase change materials (PCMs). The PCMs are esters of fatty acids that can be blended in molten state with the low EO polyol to form a clear solution, which is then reacted with isocyanate to form the gel. Despite not being encapsulated or forming a separate phase, the PCMs can reversibly melt and crsytallize while in the fluid phase of the gel. In the examples blends of lauryl laurate (C12-C12) and myristyl myristate (C14-C14) are used as PCM such that the phase change temperature is about 22-38°C.  The gels are said to be useful for ‘close to body’ comfort applications especially for use in matresses to improve sleeping comfort.

Lauryl laurate


In Situ Reticulated Viscoelastic Foams


 Number/Link: WO2016/198433

Applicant/Assignee: Covestro

Publication date: 15-dec-2016

Gist”: Composition of 3 semi-miscible polyols and a surfactant

Why it is interesting: This case claims a polyol composition for the preparation of a viscoelastic, reticulated foam without the need for a separate reticulation step. The composition consists of (at least) three polyols and a surfactant:  a low mole-weight all-PO ‘rigid’ triol, a conventional flexible polyol, a high- or all-EO polyol and some off-the-shelf silicone surfactant.  The composition is foamed with water and polymeric MDI or a polymeric MDI/TDI mixture. This is a well-known composition and it is hard to see why this should result in a reticulated foam – unless maybe in some fine-tuned cases.  Apart from the ball rebound being less than 15% the claims do not mention any parameters related to reticulated foam (such as airflow). It is doubtful (in my opinion) that this will get granted.

Cell structure of a reticulated foam

Cell structure of a reticulated foam

Green Tea Memory Foam

Patent Title: Foam with Green Tea Additive for Foam Mattresses, Pillows and Cushions

 Number/Link: US2016/0270549

Applicant/Assignee: Zinus

Publication date: 22-09-2016

Gist”: Green Tea is added to memory foam formulation

Why it is interesting: Powdered leaves of the Green Tea plant (Camellia sinensis) are added to memory foam formulations in an amount of less than 2% (w/w) on the total composition.  The Green Tea is said to kill bacteria, mites and molds and reduce the smell of the foam when used in pillows and mattresses for example. Since tea leaves are also claimed to “brighten eyesight, refresh the brain and resist radiation” it’s hard to know if the claim is true. If it doesn’t work it won’t hurt I guess.

Cammelia sinensis (Wikipedia)

Camellia sinensis (Wikipedia)


Novel Cellopener for Flexible- and Viscoelastic PU Foams


 Number/Link: WO2016/100306 & WO2016/100263

Applicant/Assignee: Dow

Publication date: 23-06-2016

Gist”: Dispersions of acid modified olefins in water act as cellopeners

Why it is interesting: According to this invention aqueous dispersions of acid-modified olefins can be used as cellopeners for conventional, high resilience and viscoelastic foams. The examples show that a 40% ‘solids’ dispersion of an acrylic acid – ethylene copolymer in water, used in about 1 to 2% on the total isocyanate-reactive composition has a clearly positive effect on foam air-flow properties. The polymer dispersions can be made according to Dow’s proprietary BLUEWAVE™ extrusion technology.

The BLUEWAVE dispersion process

The BLUEWAVE dispersion process


Novel Polyurethane Gels


 Number/Link: W016/036786

Applicant/Assignee: Dow

Publication date: 10-03-2016

Gist”: PU gels are made from MDI prepolymer, high EO polyol and some diamine at low NCO index.

Why it is interesting: Polyurethane gels are well known and are sometimes used in comfort cushioning as layers or dispersed as particles in e.g. viscoelastic matresses. According to this invention plasticizer-free gels can be made by reacting a slightly branched, low NCO prepolymer ( based on 2,4′ and 4,4′ MDI and a high EO polyol), with a large amount of high EO polyol (triol or higher) and some amine-ended low mole-weight diol.
Although the material is said to be ‘plasticizer-free’not all of the polyol will be reacted at low NCO index.  However, because of its high polarity, the unreacted polyol will probably not leach.

A Polyurethane Gel

A Polyurethane Gel