Day Two: Huntsman showcases Rubiflex Gradient Hardness polyurethane system

On show at the expo, Huntsman’s Rubiflex Gradient Hardness polyurethane system is the company’s proprietary foam formulation, engineered to be poured in a single shot to provide a soft, cushioned top layer and a bottom layer that is up to 175% firmer than the surface. The next-generation seating foam gives drivers and passengers a plush, comfortable ride.

The technology achieves the effect of a topper pad with a softness of 3.5-4kPa and a lower layer of foam as firm as 6-7.5kPa. This is all achieved in one pour of foam, so OEMs benefit from reduced time and costs compared with using multi-step processes or legacy formulations.

As a leader in MDI-based foams for acoustic insulation, seat comfort and interior trim, Huntsman enables reductions of up to 25% in CO2 footprint by using recycled and natural by-product materials to offset fossil-fuel-based materials. According to Josh Wimble, marketing manager of transportation at Huntsman, this isn’t ‘mass balance’: “Huntsman actually uses renewable and recovered materials at 20% of the mass of each kilogram of foam while still meeting OEM specifications," he said.

“Huntsman’s Rubiflex HR Bio and Acoustiflex VEF Bio polyurethane systems use proprietary formulations containing a mix of recycled PET (post-industrial and post-consumer) combined with natural oil by-products," he continued. "The technology is adaptable to bio products widely available in each region: soybean oil in North America, cashew nut oil in Asia and rapeseed oil in Europe. The recycled PET is supplied by our Terol polyol manufacturing facilities around the world; at our US Terol facility, over one billion plastic bottles are recycled each year into polyester polyols used in Huntsman foam systems.”

Wimble revealed that Huntsman values opportunities such as Automotive Interiors Expo to connect with engineers in functions from product development to operations at Tier 1 and 2 foam molders and part manufacturers.

“We also like to collaborate with engineers and designers at auto makers so we can work together early on to address their innovation opportunities with polyurethane chemistry while also meeting their sustainability targets. By attending the show, we’re able to see emerging technologies being showcased, and we are happy to share our emerging technologies too. Our aim is to be ahead of market needs, with technology that addresses tomorrow’s problems with today’s solutions.”

Booth: A324

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