“Our driving force is CPI,” remarked CPI Steering Committee Chair Tom Feige at the Opening Session of the 2016 Polyurethanes Technical Conference. “We have an association of people and resources that support a material that is vital to our society.”
The strength and momentum driving the industry forward served as the common thread linking together the 18 technical sessions, 73 technical presentations, 66 table top exhibits, 22 poster presentations and eight Professional Development Program courses at the 2016 Polyurethanes Technical Conference held in late September in Baltimore, Maryland.
In a keynote panel discussion to kick off the conference’s first day, COO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Mahesh Ramanujam and President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Cal Dooley explored the path forward towards meeting ambitious sustainability goals with the products of chemistry. Drawing on their experience and unique perspectives, both executives emphasized the vital need for their industries to join forces in in advancing industry-wide sustainability. Dooley also announced the formation of an executive-level task force to spur conversations about sustainability among leading chemical suppliers and manufacturers.
The competition for the prestigious Polyurethane Innovation Award at this year’s conference also reflected the pioneering spirit at the core of the industry. The three Innovation Award finalists – Dow’s VORA Zzz™ Ultra-High Airflow and Moisture-Wicking Foam Technology, Huntsman’s VITROX® HC 98010 Polyol with SUPRASEC® 9801 Isocyanate, and Shepherd Chemical Company’s BiCATs™ 8840 and 8842 Water Stable Bismuth Catalysts for Polyurethane Formulations – were presented at the Opening Session. After tallying the conference attendees’ votes and combining the tally with the expert judges’ scores, Shepherd’s winning entry was announced during the Closing Session.
This year’s 73 technical presentations examined important sustainability, automotive and construction issues facing the industry. Topics spanned from the push for global harmonization of automotive volatile organic compound (VOC) standards to the latest advancements on the use of spray polyurethane foam in construction applications.
Regulatory issues also featured prominently this year – the Regulatory Roundtable included presentations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the European Diisocyanate and Polyol Producers Association (ISOPA). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also presented during the conference’s technical sessions. At the Closing Session, attendees received an informative chemical management update from ACC Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Mike Walls. Walls spoke about the historic Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act that fulfilled TSCA reform and was signed into law this summer.
During the course of three and a half days, nearly 1,000 industry professionals gathered to network with colleagues, learn about the next, cutting-edge polyurethane advancements, and develop lasting relationships to strengthen the industry and propel it forward. For more information about this year’s conference and to watch video interviews, check out the ICIS interactive publication.
Join us next year in New Orleans next October as CPI celebrates the landmark 60th year of the longest-running polyurethanes industry event in North America! To receive the latest 2017 conference updates, follow CPI on Twitter and LinkedIn.