Two companies were honoured in the first EuroPUR/Urethanes Technology International European Flexible Polyurethane Foam Awards in Brussels in early June.
The awards were presented at EuroPUR’s 50th anniversary dinner at Brussels’ Royal Museum of Fine Art. Awards were presented in two categories: Innovation and the Environment. In both cases the high standard of entries meant that there were runners up too.
Milliken won the Innovation award for its Milliguard AOX-1 antioxidant technology. Milliken said its polymer-bound chemistry allows the polyurethane industry to reduce antioxidant use, improve oxidation protection, and reduce the emissions of finished articles.
Dow Polyurethane’s range of Specflex Activ Additive Polyols won an honourable mention.
Covestro won the sustainability award for its cardyon carbon-dioxide derived polycarbonate polyols and the runner up was Dendro Poland which has been successfully using polyols from polyurethane process scrap in a range of foams.
"The Jury was not only impressed by the product itself, which they all thought was a real innovation that is of benefit to the industry."
Simon Robinson, Editor
In presenting the Innovation Award Simon Robinson, editor, Urethanes Technology International said that a number of things impressed the judges with Milliken’s entry and the claims made for the product: “The product interacts with other antioxidant classes and improves the overall stabilisation of the polyurethane. It does not create the coloured species that other antioxidant classes have been known to form and also has shown very good performance with foams based on natural oil polyols. The Jury was not only impressed by the product itself, which they all thought was a real innovation that is of benefit to the industry. They were also particularly impressed with the effort that went into drafting the entry and submitting a wealth of technical evidence to prove that the company deserved to win the award.
Jean-Pierre De Kesel from Recticel, presented the Sustainability Award. He said:
“The development of the product has taken several years and it has been tested with quite a number of foam producers in this room. And it works: several life cycle assessments have shown that the incorporation of CO2 allows for substantial Greenhouse Gas emission reductions. The major foam producers represented in the jury all agreed that it was the kind of innovation that can help our industry become more sustainable and help to address the challenges we all face in the coming years, namely how to reduce the environmental footprint of our product over its lifecycle.”
How the awards were decided
The winners were decided by a panel of judges: the President of EuroPUR, Bart ten Brink, the Chairs of the association’s working groups, Adri Aerts, Vita; Jean-Pierre De Kesel, Recticel; and Clint Raine, Covestro as well as Urethanes Technology International’s Simon Robinson.
The judges read and scored the entries before reaching consensus on the winners.
The Innovation Award was open to innovations relating to the production or use of PU foam that is commercially available and one the market. The Sustainability Award was open to products or process innovations that have a positive impact on the environmental footprint of flexible polyurethane foam or foam-containing products.
Covestro and CO2