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Polyurethane, chemical professionals seek to reward innovators

The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry of the American Chemistry Council seeks entries for its 2011 Polyurethane Innovation Award. The winner will be chosen during the closing session of the Polyurethanes 2011 Technical Conference, which runs Sept. 26-28 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Deadline for nominees is 5 p.m. Aug. 12.


“CPI’s Polyurethane Innovation Award recognizes the ingenuity and foresight of companies and individuals whose visions and perseverance bring new products, technologies and initiatives to the marketplace,” said Lee Salamone, senior director of CPI.

“With this award, CPI promotes the roles that innovation and advancements in technology play in the polyurethane industry.”

The latest polyurethane innovations for the auto industry, ranging from advancements in flexible molded foams to improvements in paint protection, will be part of the showcase presentations at the conference.

Award nominations may include finished products, initiatives, training or education programs, or processes or processing equipment, according to a statement from the institute. Entries must represent new ideas, technologies or processes that have not been previously submitted for the Innovation Award or in the marketplace longer than 12 months prior to this year’s submission deadline. All eligible submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of experts representing technical disciplines and the polyurethane supply chain.

Finalists will be notified by Aug. 22 and will receive one complimentary full registration to the conference. Finalists will give a three-minute presentation on their innovation, which will also be featured during the conference poster sessions. The winner of the 2011 Innovation Award will be announced Sept. 28 during the closing session of the conference.

Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered.

Details on the award, including an entry form, can be found at this link: Registration for the conference is now open by going to

One component of the conference will be to help automotive manufacturers to improve vehicle performance, fuel economy and comfort, so customers are more eager to buy new cars.

“Polyurethane use in transportation has been increasing for more than a decade,” Salamone said. “Our industry is constantly innovating to help improve the many automotive applications of polyurethane, including lightweight parts that decrease auto weight and help increase fuel economy for cars and vehicles.

“During the conference, attendees will learn more about how new polyurethane developments are allowing the automotive industry to continually improve cars and meet consumers’ demands.”

There will be more than 60 technical presentations. The 2011 agenda features a technical session with four papers on automotive-related topics as well as updates from members of the Molded Foam Industry Panel. These industry experts work to evolve automotive seating specifications. The four automotive topics are:

1. Researchers from BASF Corporation will begin the session with a discussion of new antioxidant systems that offer lower volatile organic compounds for flexible molded foam.

2. Scientists from Huntsman International will examine crosslinked thermoplastic polyurethane as automotive paint protection film.

3. Researchers from BASF Corporation, Dow, Huntsman International and The Woodbridge Group, who are members of the Molded Foam Industry Panel, will present an investigation of odor test methods for molded foam.

4. A discussion on the validity of polyurethane hysteresis loss as a viable prediction of long-term performance of automotive seating.

You can reach's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected].

Image source of a high-pressure polyurethane dispense unit, courtesy Wikipedia