The Urethane Blog

Johnson Controls Low Emission Foam

Johnson Controls introduces third generation low emission PU foam

The automotive seating systems manufacturer Johnson Controls is bringing the third generation of its reduced-emissions polyurethane foam to market. According to the company, depending on the specification the foam registers up to 90 % fewer VOCs than ten years ago. Johnson Controls says it also has significantly reduced the quantity of odour-generating material impurities and aldehydes to an absolute minimum.


Emission (aldehyde) improvement with Johnson Controls' third generation low emission polyurethane foam

Emission (aldehyde) improvement with Johnson Controls' third generation low emission polyurethane foam

“Our aim is material substitution with low-emission materials suitable for series production, without altering the unique properties of polyurethane foams such as durability and stiffness,” said Ingo Fleischer, group vice president and general manager product group foam at Johnson Controls Automotive Seating. “Ultimately, innovations like our latest low emission foam lead to cleaner and healthier air in the vehicle interior.” 

“We continually and systematically examine and test all new materials solutions and technologies on the market in close cooperation with our material supplier. Based on the results, we adapt the production process to maximise the potential of a new material for emission reduction,” Fleischer added. “Foam plays an incremental part for the seat in terms of comfort and gives the seat's cushion and back its shape. Based on an average foam volume of 0.25 m3 (approximately 8.83 ft³) in a car seat, this optimised formulation supports our efforts to contribute to a cleaner and healthier interior environment.”

Taking the lead in research into low-emission foam development is Johnson Controls' Technical Center in Strasbourg, France. Cooperating with the company's Research and Development Centers in Plymouth, MI, USA, and Shanghai, China, the Strasbourg team creates solutions for the global market that exceed the strict emission requirements of global OEMs. Production of the latest low-emission foam takes place at the company's facilities in Europe and China. A third location in the USA is planned.

“Over the years, we have been able to improve not only the foam material but also the production processes, testing methods and our overall expertise,” said Fleischer.