Foams are an example of thermoset plastics, meaning that they cannot be further deformed after curing, either by heating or by other means. When creating the recipe for the foam, it’s therefore vital to understand exactly how the raw materials will react with one another in the subsequent production process.
The foams we fabricate in our factories are made from approximately two-thirds Polyol and one-third TDI or MDI. Around 10 extra ingredients, such as colorants or flame-retardant additives, are added to these main raw materials for each type of foam. Altogether, we create more than 250 foams with different properties..
The ingredients determine the future properties of the foam, such as its compressive strength, density, and tear resistance. Extensive expertise and many years of experience are needed to execute a continuous foaming process that results in a homogeneous foam block with evenly balanced properties at every point throughout its structure. We meet those criteria!
Our recipes are based on our wealth of essential knowledge and experience accumulated over more than 60 years of producing foam. Using design of experiments (DOE) techniques, our laboratory specialists create the formulas for new and improved foams. After mechanical and analytical tests, bench-scale experiments evolve into prototypes before going into series production – all of which takes place in-house.
Innovation management system was put in place at Eurofoam plants in 2008. The innovation process that is now established involves collecting, structuring, and selecting ideas from both internal and external sources. The work is carried out in interdisciplinary project teams, supported and coordinated by suitable project managers.
The process of planning new product developments is supported by strategic alliances with research institutions, development partners, and business partners, as well as through close cooperation with our customers.
Use of alternative raw materials
We are working intensively to determine which raw materials we can replace with alternative raw materials. In the case of our high resilient foam, which is used in mattresses, for example, we have already significantly increased the proportion of natural oil polyols. emc®verde, for instance, comprises up to 20% castor oil.
Foams need to be recycled separately. Scrap left over from our production operations is further processed into composite materials, for example. But we also consider other recycling options, including those that take us directly back to the initial raw material.
Our emc® brand stands for ergonomics meets comfort. It includes premium comfort foams, which are used in mattresses in particular. One of the highlights in the product category is emc®xd. This foam is very supple, offers a high degree of support, and is also extremely durable. This means it can be used for longer, which saves resources.