New polyurethane foam chemistry could make metal springs in furniture a thing of the past and cut cost by up to 35%. Micro-Springs PUR foam technology from BASF Corp., Polyurethanes, Wyandotte, Mich., produces a one-piece, drop-in unit that consists of millions of tiny polymer “springs” that reportedly deliver the same or better comfort, feel, and durability as conventional eight-way, hand-tied metal furniture springs. The foam is typically around 4 pcf density compared with 1 to 2.5 pcf for typical PUR furniture foams.
BASF sells both the chemicals and the patented foam process technique that is said to enhance the durability and haptic (comfort) properties of the new foam. Integral to Micro-Springs is BASF’s Pluralux PUR system, based on its Pluracol high-resilience graft polyol, which reportedly confers better physical properties at high densities (3.8 pcf) than other HR or latex foams. Micro-Springs foam boasts tensile strength of 23 psi, elongation of 176%, tear strength of 176 lb/in., and recovery of 87%.