Unlike conventional flexible polyurethane (PU) foams, memory foams are characterised by their slow recovery after compression. For example, when the human hand is positioned (Figure 1) on the memory foam, the foam progressively conforms to the shape of the hand, and after the hand is removed, the foam slowly resumes to its initial shape. In general, memory foams are used in pillows, upholstered furniture, flooring underlays, cushioning, and as foams for noise and vibration harshness (NVH) control (Figure 2).
Memory foams are produced mostly via slab-stock process with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) based formulations. Recent trend in development of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) based formulations for manufacturing of both slab-stock and molded memory foams are driven by the need for performance and processing improvements as well as environmental (regulatory) demands and safety concerns (Smiecinski and Neff, 2006) This technology relates to the development of environmental-friendly memory foams made from palm oil-based polyols (Pioneer E-120 and Pioneer ES-145). These memory foams contain MDI as the polyisocyanates component, palm oil-based polyols and petroleum-based polyols in the presence of additives and water as a blowing agent.
Main Research: Nurul `Ain Hanzah