Knoxville, Tennessee - The Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) has inducted two industry innovators into its Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognise individuals and corporations who have significantly contributed to the growth and betterment of the flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) industry in North America.
The additions are Rick Triolo, who was at the PFA meeting in Baltimore with his family to accept the honour and J. Allen Bernel, honoured posthumously, whose daughter Lynda Bernel accepted the honour on behalf of her father.
Rick Triolo made numerous contributions to the flexible polyurethane foam industry as a pre-eminent chemist, innovator, and industry leader, said the PFA's announcement. "As a premier polyurethane chemist, he combined his research and production skills with a rare ability to find practical applications for that chemistry." In addition to contributing to many innovative foam applications Triolo holds numerous US and foreign patents, mostly for technical products, for example in fillings for rubberised fuel cells for military aircraft. He also helped develop many other uses for reticulated foam such as in ink jet cartridges for computer printers.
He helped develop and commercialise shock absorption foams, and a number of innovative products specifically for bedding and automotive applications. Triolo has also been credited with much of the technical development related to prime polyurethane foam carpet cushion and was the leader of the technical team for ComfortWear, a flagship product for Foamex International.
According to the PFA, J. Allen Bernel, innovative engineer and entrepreneur, invented the polyether version of low perm foam used in gasketing for heating and cooling devices for the automotive industry. "His perfectionism, extraordinary engineering ability and penchant for business helped establish the US flexible polyurethane foam industry in its early days," said the statement.
He was head of Bernel Foam Products, headquartered in Buffalo, New York, a firm that was eventually sold to the Belgian company Recticel in 1979 and later acquired by Foamex.
PIC: Triolo (right) receiving the HFA award in Baltimore from Steve Riddle. PFA president.