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BASF develops an especially flexible variant of its melamine resin foam

09 October 2006

BASF has refined its melamine resin foam Basotect. The new variant is called Basotect UF and it is substantially more flexible than conventional Basotect. As a result, this thermoset foam is now suitable for cushioning mattresses and upholstering sofas. Since Basotect is very fire-resistant, it is already now contributing to compliance with the stringent safety regulations that American consumer-protection authorities will be introducing for mattresses next year. The higher elasticity of this material goes hand in hand with greater processing and design freedom than was possible until now for certain applications, for example, the acoustic insulation of interiors.

Good prerequisites for fire-resistant mattresses
The high flexibility of this material, which is hard and brittle by nature, can be ascribed to its filigreed, open-cell network structure made up of very thin webs. The familiar properties of Basotect are retained in the UF variant as well, that is to say, the foam is flame-retardant, it is temperature-resistant and absorbs sounds. “Particularly the outstanding fire behaviour is an important prerequisite for the use of Basotect in fireproof mattresses; since it is so elastic, it lends itself very well for durable and comfortable upholstered furniture,” explains Bernhard Vath of BASF’s global innovation management for Basotect.

The particularly supple Basotect UF also entails advantages when the foam is processed for industrial applications such as the thermal insulation of technical installations in buildings and the acoustic insulation of rooms: this material can be easily processed into components having precise contours. Moreover, it can be attached quickly and is quite-suited for installation in curved surfaces.

Basotect – a jack-of-all-trades
Basotect belongs to the PlasticsPlus product line of BASF styrenics. In the meantime, this material is available in various versions and for different applications. The tried-and-true variant weighing nine grammes per litre has been used so far primarily to provide acoustic insulation in buildings such as sound-recording studios, cinemas and VIP lounges. In aircraft construction, Basotect Ultra Light (UL) is used, for instance, to insulate cabin walls and pipelines. Basotect TG, the first thermoformable thermoset foam meets the exacting requirements of the automotive industry in terms of allowing the efficient mass production of moulded, complex-shaped parts.

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