PCM-Containing Viscoelastic Foams


Number/Link: WO2017/210439

Applicant/Assignee: Dow

Publication date: 7 December 2017

“Gist”: Open-celled visco-foam is impregnated with an aqueous dispersant composition containing a phase change material

Why it is interesting: According to Dow, open-celled viscoelastic polyurethane foams can be prepared by using a acid-modified polyolefin latex cellopener, as discussed before in this blog. In the current invention these open-celled foams are impregnated with an aqueous composition comprising an ionomer (a sodium salt of a maleic anhydride copolymer) and a microencapsulated PCM. The composition is said to ‘coat’ the cell struts with PCM and increase the comfort properties of the foam.
I wonder if with this process enough PCM can be in introduced to have a noticeable effect.


Dow’s proprietary BLUEWAVE dispersion process is used to prepare the cellopening latex

Monodisperse Polymer Polyol


 Number/Link: WO2017/172417

Applicant/Assignee:  Dow

Publication date: 5 october 2017

Gist”: Polymer polyol with a “monodisperse” particle size distribution is prepared by using a specific seeding dispersion

Why it is interesting: It is well known that the use of polymer polyols in flexible polyurethane foam formulations can result in improved airflow and load bearing properties. For optimal results the average particle size of the dispersed polymer needs to be similar to the cell wall thickness. According to this invention a SAN polymer polyol with a controlled and narrow particle size distribution can be prepared by using a seed dispersion which consists of an unsaturated macromer which, together with SAN particles of a particle size between 50 and 500 nm, is dispersed in a base polyol. The macromer is a PO/EO polyether with a (pref.) mole weight of 11000 to 14000 Da and having 4-5 OH groups and 1-2 reactive double bonds. The polymer polyol is prepared by dispersing the seed dispersion in the base polyol together with styrene, acrylonitrile and a solvent (e.g. isopropanol). After polymerization of the monomers the solvent is removed, resulting in a polymer polyol with at least 30% solids, average particle size of 1-3 μm and a size span of 1.25. In the examples the macromer is prepared by capping 1-2 OH groups of a 6-functional 90/10 PO/EO polyol with 3,3-isoprenyl-α,α-dimethylbenzylisocyanate.




Viscoelastic Polyurethane Elastomers


Number/Link: US2017/0233519

Applicant/Assignee: Dow

Publication Date: 17 august 2017

“Gist”: Viscoelastic foams are prepared from MDI, castor oil and a hydrophilic polyether polyol.

Why it is interesting: According to this invention energy absorbing foams with relatively low density and a low hardness and resilience in the temperature range from about -10 to +40°C, can be produced by reacting a blend of hydrophilic and hydrophobic polyols containing castor oil, about 0.5 pbw water and some catalyst and chain extender with MDI.  The examples show foams of about 500 kg/m³ with hardness below shore 50A and ball rebound below 15% at both -10 and +23°C. The foams are said to be useful for impact-protective garments.

Castor oil

Castor oil component

In Situ Reticulated Viscoelastic Foams


 Number/Link: WO2016/198433

Applicant/Assignee: Coverstro

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)