Technology and Innovation

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane Foam is formed by the reaction of polyols with isocyanate in the presence of a blowing agent. Traditional foam mattresses use polyols derived from petroleum, but in Spaldin mattresses, 40-60% of petroleum-based polyols have been replaced by plant oil-based polyols. While other mattresses use Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) as the catalyst, Spaldin uses MDI (Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), which does not contain Toluene and is the least hazardous of available isocyanates.

Using an analogy to bread ingredients, the wheat flower would be the polyols, the yeast the catalyst (MDI) and water the blowing agent.

Just as different types and grades of grains, additives and cooking methods produce different types and quality levels of bread with different tastes and softness, different types of polyols (e.g., petroleum vs. plant-based), isocyanates (e.g., MDI vs. TDI) and blowing agents (e.g., water vs. pentane or HFC) produce different types and quality levels of polyurethane foams with different physical and chemical properties (e.g., standard polyurethane, high-resilience foam, memory foam, or viscoelastic foam).

From a chemical standpoint, none of the main individual ingredients used to make Spaldin’s foams can be isolated from the finished product once the chemical reaction is complete.

Therefore once the MDI combines with polyols and other ingredients to form foam, there is no longer any free isocyanate or associated health risks.

We recognize that in the foams of some other mattresses, additives such as low-cost blowing agents and deodorizing chemicals can remain in the foam and cause the noxious and even carcinogenic off-gassing that affect the health of some customers. Due to Spaldin’s high-quality ingredients and formulation, our foams do not have any of these toxic off-gassing issues.

We’ve gone the extra step to verify the safety of our materials for you by having each component of our mattresses (foams, covers, fire barrier) independently tested by Oeko-tex 100, who found that they are so squeaky clean that they qualified for the esteemed “Class I” certificate: “safe for babies and small children.”