2019 Fall Meeting

Nov. 6-7
Louisville, KY


We are excited about our November meeting at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville.  We’ll have a full menu of presenters, both local (Dr. Sharon Kerrick of the University of Louisville) and imported (Patrick deKort of Europur). Dennis Quick (Wanhua) will update us on research and regulatory activities on isocyanates.  And the Technical Program will spotlight the newest technology and practices in plant security, bismuth as a substitute for stannous octoate in slabstock production, and foam formulations designed to retain “compression set” after shipment.

We also hope you’ll get to see some of Louisville, which one travel website has called “the best city you’ve never visited.” Baseball fans will want to tour the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, where Northern White Ash and Maple are milled into the bats used by Little Leaguers and All Stars alike. The Muhammad Ali Center honors the athlete and activist who honed his skills at the city’s Columbia Gym. Don’t miss Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby has been run since 1875.  And we have arranged an optional Tuesday afternoon networking outing to the Jeptha Creed Distillery in nearby Shelby County, where you can tour distilling operations for bourbon and vodka.

Registration Details

To make a room reservation at The Brown Hotel, click here. (The Brown Hotel phone:  888-888-5252). Please Note:  For this meeting, our room block is finite. We won’t be able to request additional rooms when these are sold out, so please make your reservations early.

1 To register for the Fall meeting and pay by check (both member and non-member), click here

2. To register for the Fall meeting (pay online):

Click here for Member Registration

Click here For Non-Member Registration

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Sharon Kerrick
University of Louisville

The Keynote Speaker at our General Business Meeting on November 7 will be Dr. Sharon Kerrick, Executive In Residence at The University of Louisville, where she taught business for 14 years.

Dr. Kerrick has distinguished herself in the business world. An accredited Enterprise Angel investor, she has advised and coached hundreds of business startups. She was a founder/ co-owner of a technology firm that grew to over 300 employees. At the university, she founded VetStart, a community program to assist military veterans in launching small businesses. She has rung the bell at NASDAQ twice.

Cited by Forbes, her published research has focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. During the Thursday morning session, she will discuss how companies and individuals can innovate in a mature industry.

Fall 2019 Meeting Schedule 

Tuesday, November 5 Networking Event

Afternoon Bourbon Tour

Interested in the distillation of ethanol and its cogeners and trace esterification through prolonged exposure to pyrolyzed quercus alba?

Join PFA on a Distillery Tour to nearby Shelbyville, KY.  Jeptha Creed is a relatively young farm-to-bottle distillery, but the land has been in the Nethery family for generations.  They use only the finest ingredients, locally grown and sourced (when possible) to ensure their products meet the highest expectations for quality and flavor. In addition to a true Kentucky Bourbon, they distill a variety of flavored vodkas and moonshine as well. 

The networking event includes roundtrip transportation in a comfortable executive coach, guided distillery tour and tasting; $50 per person.  Tour departs from the Lobby of the Brown Hotel at 2:30 and returns by approximately 5:30 pm.  Click here to register.

Wednesday, November 6


10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CertiPUR-US® Meeting – Open to all


2:00 PM – 5:00 PM Industry Issues Forum – Paid registration required 

The Industry Issues Forum features presenters from key industry associations on pressing regulatory, trade, and sustainability topics.  

Speaker List:

Patrick deKort
Regulatory Affairs Manager, Europur

Patrick deKort received a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Utrecht, interned for the European Parliament’s Research Service, and worked three years for the European Plastics Converters and its service company Polymer Comply Europe. He will provide an update on Europur activities and the impact of REACH regulations.

Dennis Quick
American Chemistry Council’s Diisocyanates Panel Update

The American Chemistry Council’s Diisocyanates Panel serves as the lead advocacy organization in the U.S. for aromatic diisocyanates producers and importers. The Panel’s primary activities include regulatory and legislative advocacy and outreach. In addition to promoting the safe use and handling of diisocyanates, the Panel informs and educates regulators, policymakers, the value chain and other stakeholders on diisocyanates environmental, health and safety issues, and promotes the development of scientifically sound policy. The Panel focuses on the aromatic diisocyanates toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). This presentation will provide an overview of the current issues the Panel is engaged in at federal, state and global venues.

Bob Clark
Carpet Cushion Council

Clark, the Executive Director, will provide an update of the Carpet Cushion Council’s activities in legislative response, environmental issues, floorcovering sales trends, and the most recent industry FR test results.



Bobby Bush, Jr. 
Upholstered Furniture Action Council

Technical Director Bush will provide an update on UFAC activities, including regulatory developments, a new website, and other topics.



Michael Gallagher  
Mattress Recycling Council

Gallagher will provide us with an update on issues facing the bedding industry, with particular emphasis on new and growing programs in mattress recycling. The Mattress Recycling Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of statewide mattress recycling programs for states that have enacted laws. The organization provides valuable information and resources for industry professionals.


Legal and Legislative Activity Report
Jim McIntyre, McIntyre and Lemon (PFA Legal Counsel)

A review of current legislative and regulatory activity that may affect the flexible polyurethane foam industry, along with PFA’s advocacy and action. Topics include leadership changes as the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, and state legislation regulating FR content in mattresses, furniture, and other products. 

Thursday, November 7

9:30 AM – 12:00 NOON  General Business Meeting – Paid registration required

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Technical Program – Paid registration required

Note:  Recordings of Technical Proceedings now included in registration.

Free To Meeting Attendees:  Glossary Of Urethane Terms

Thanks to PFA Member Edge-Sweets Company, meeting attendees can pick up vintage copies of “The Glossary of Urethane Terms.” This reference tool, originally published in 1973 by the Martin Sweets Company of Louisville, KY (Now Edge-Sweets Company), is still very useful today.  Read more details on the glossary here

Technical Program Abstracts

Bismuth Catalysts As Alternatives To Tin In Flexible Foam Presenters: D. Patten, Everchem; N. Eckert, Shepherd Chemical Company

Growing concerns about emissive amines, the health and environmental impacts of tin catalysts and accelerating adoption of hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agents are driving foam formulators to reinvent their chemistry, especially the catalyst packages.  Traditional catalyst strategies often do not meet the strict performance and EH&S requirements for current and developmental polyurethanes.  Innovations such as Shepherd Chemical’s patented BiCAT® 8840 and BiCAT® 8842, hydrolytically stable bismuth catalysts, can be viable alternatives to stannous octoate in rigid and flexible foam applications.  This presentation will provide information and data demonstrating BiCAT®’s comparable quality and efficiency to stannous octoate in an industrial slabstock foam matrix.

Best Practices And Technology In Facility Security Doug Kelly, Covestro

U.S. Federal Regulatory security requirements, such as the Department of Homeland Security Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (DHS CFATS) or the United States Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Security Act (USCG MTSA), provide a backbone for protection of assets.  Regulated, as well as Non-regulated facilities, often struggle with complexity of the regulations and implementing effective security concepts to their facilities.  Incorporating best practices and voluntary programs may provide a simplified and robust physical security posture for facilities.


Comparing Direct Laydown and Trough Pouring Technology In Terms Of Processing Flexibility and Waste Minimization Raphael Bretz, Hennecke

Process scrap foam results from changes in foam grade, color, pouring duration times, and from startups and shutdowns. Minimizing scrap foam reduces both environmental externalities and disposal fees associated with landfilling. This paper compares the quantity of scrap foam generated by the two most common production technologies: Direct Laydown and Trough Pouring.

In Direct Laydown Technology, the chemicals are dispensed onto an adjustable pour plate that allows the mixture to spread out along the width of the block as the entrained air rises to the top. As the mixture starts to react it increases viscosity and begins falling down the incline of either the angled conveyor or fall plates. Trough Pouring Technology dispenses the reactive mixture of chemicals into a trough, where it rises and expands. The sides of the trough are angled to increase the volume capacity of the trough to allow for continued chemical reaction and expansion. The volume of the trough is designed to allow a specific dwell time to ensure that the reactive mixture is viscous enough to prevent it from running down the fall plate and under-cutting the rising foam. However, because the technology requires a size and volume-specific trough it also demonstrates limitations by causing additional startups, shutdowns and longer change-overs. In addition, more reactive foams such as Viscoelastic and MDI foams can cause a buildup in the trough causing a limitation in the pouring duration time. This further increases the number of shutdowns and startups thus, increased scrap foam.

The authors review the historical trends in the utilization of these two technologies, present data on their relative efficiency in minimizing scrap foam generation, and discuss recent equipment refinements that improve the efficiency of Trough Pouring.

Evaluation of Parameters that Impact Compression Set J.Kniss, R Borgogelli, K. White, A. Terheiden, R. Landers, D. Hermann, I Wessely, C Toyoshima

Consumers are changing the way they shop. Shifts away from visits to “brick and mortar” stores toward internet purchase with direct shipment of a compressed mattress to the home is a significant trend. Upon arrival to the home, quick recovery to the original dimensions of the mattress is critical. Among other requirements, this trend re-focuses on performance of flexible foam physical properties, specifically compression set. Flexible slabstock foam manufacturers utilize ASTM D 3574 (1) or EN ISO 1856 (2) test methods to verify foam compression of less than 10% when subjected to certain conditions.

   Good compression set values of flexible slabstock foam are dependent of a variety of factors. Predictability of these factors and trends for acceptable compression set performance via additives, chemistries, foam cell size adjustments, processing conditions or foam curing regimens is a frequent topic of discussion. Of the long list of options, crosslinking chemistries provide straightforward options to support favorable compression set performance. A matrix of surfactants, catalysts, additives and crosslinking options suitable for use in various foam formulations will be discussed in this paper.

Risk Assessment of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Flexible Polyurethane Foam Based in CertiPUR® Testing Patrick de Kort, EUROPUR

The “Risk Assessment of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Flexible Polyurethane Foam Based in CertiPUR® Testing” report explains where specific VOC emissions are originating from and places them in context by comparing the worst-case emissions with toxicological benchmarks to determine if there is a risk for the consumer when using the foam. The report has been made available to EUROPUR members and can be used in the context of R&D efforts to limit specific emissions and in discussion with customers that question the safety of PU foam, as it has been demonstrated that end-consumers using flexible PU foam are not exposed to levels of individual VOCs to an extent that they would be at risk. In the presentation, the risk assessment methodology, the origin of specific individual emissions, and a summary of the results will be presented. 

Thursday, November 7



6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Industry Cocktail Reception – Paid registration required

Sponsored by Monument Chemical


Join PFA meeting attendees for food and drink, networking, and renewing friendships. During the reception, we will announce the winner of the Herman Stone Technical Excellence Award, and feature a brief presentation from our reception sponsor, Monument Chemical.

Gallery: Louisville Images