Essen, Germany — Evonik, which makes catalysts and surfactants for polyurethane foam, will now only sell silicone surfactants in Europe to products that are low cyclics or low in VOCs.
Cyclic silicones are used as surfactants in the PU foaming, where they are used to stabilise the foam while the cross-linking reaction takes place. They are commonly used in both rigid and flexible formulations.
Ralph Marquardt, head of Evonik's PU business, said: 'Lowering cyclic content meets increasing consumer needs for healthier, safer and more environmentally friendly products.'
The company added that all its silicone surfactants now meet or surpass strict regulatory and sustainability standards. Using the catalysts and processing additives aid in the production of low VOC polyurethane foams, it said.