HYPOL™ JM 5013 / JB 1009 is a two-component, water-based, catalyst-free polyurethane chemistry for comfort products. Manufacturers are challenged to deliver safety, comfort and sustainability in one single product. Conventional hydrophobic polyurethanes have superior mechanical performance but lack heat- moisture management and tend to emit VOC. Conversely, hydrophilic polyurethanes have poor mechanical performance but good heat, moisture management. The new HYPOL™ system offers everything (1) Low VOC (2) Very high moisture, heat transport for comfort without gels / PCMs, (3) Durability, resiliency for mechanical performance. Properties are maintained as the foams are compressed, important in comfort products. The HYPOL™JM/JB ratio can be adjusted for designer breathability, density, hardness for specific applications. The innovation stems from a hydrophilic prepolymer backbone of HYPOL™ JM 5013, with optimal NCO content, isomer weight ratios, molecular weight and functionality of reactants. The aqueous HYPOL™ JB 1009 is formulated with proprietary Dow polyols and additives.
The performance of the new HYPOL™ systems have been thoroughly measured and the value is captured in high-end applications, initially premium pillows and personal care foams. The temperature at the foam product-human body interface is key in controlling thermal comfort. An increase of just 1 oC causes significant discomfort, triggering thermoregulation mechanisms like sweating. Dow’s Comfort Science™ Studios uses state-of-the-art measurement to closely imitate use conditions and comfort. Extensive product testing shows twice the cooling power, measured by 23% higher specific heat capacity, 29% - 53% higher thermal conductivity (0-50% compression, respectively), 10 oC less temperature gain upon thermal load, 30% higher evaporative capacity, ¼ wicking time compared to conventional hydrophobic PU products. Mechanical properties are equivalent to convention hydrophobic PU, with even better tear strength, and far surpass hydrophilic PU which do not pass basic requirements in these applications.
Dow and Cell Foam Solutions Inc (formerly Diversified Distribution Group), the industry leader in North America for the cosmetic and personal care market, have collaborated to develop and commercialize the technology. The leading application of HYPOL™ PU is pillows, with bedding and furniture as adjacent markets being developed. This HYPOL™ technology will also address unmet needs in foams for footwear and exercise mats. The truly innovative aspect is that HYPOL™ is not limited to foams but can also bring breakthroughs to cosmetic applicators as elastomeric coatings, and to apparel as breathable membranes, especially in high-performance sports clothing. Medical prosthetics is another example requiring comfort, breathability, heat and moisture management, as well as mechanical integrity.
HYPOL™ JM 5013 / JB 1009 offers a water-based, catalyst free solution directly translating to materials that are odor-free and less irritating to skin / inhalation and without VOC, residual catalyst, or solvents. The end user and everyone in value chain, especially manufacturers and workers benefits. The foaming process is lower temperature, pressure and less exothermic without undesired byproducts. The durability, mechanical integrity, and moisture management enables longer life products, reducing waste. The end-of-life materials are inherently more environmentally friendly, when compared to conventional PU with complex formulations. HYPOL™ products are even recyclable with Dow’s RENUVA™ technology.