Surfactant helps reduce use of flame retardants.

Press Release Summary:

NIAX(TM) silicone L-650 is used in flame retardant grades of polyurethane slabstock foam used in furniture, bedding, and automotive products to reduce amount of combustion modification additives. It can be applied in conventional foam manufacturing processes as well as in those that use CO2 as auxiliary blowing agent. Product delivers very fine cell structure in CO2 processes and boosts flame-retardant performance for flexible polyurethane foam.

Original Press Release:

GE Advanced Materials' New NIAX* Silicone L-650 Surfactant Helps Reduce Use of Flame Retardants in Slabstock Foam Applications

WILTON, CONN - April 15, 2005 - GE Advanced Materials' NIAX* surfactant is a brand that is a familiar one to manufacturers versed in flexible slabstock polyurethane (PU) foam applications, particularly those that require the use of combustion modification additives. Although GE's NIAX surfactants are not inherently flame retardant (FR), they have been shown to deliver FR performance improvements to foam in small-scale combustibility tests.

Now, GE is launching NIAX silicone L-650, which offers a further 10- to 30-percent reduction by weight of flame-retardant use in slabstock foam applications, compared to earlier products in the industry. An additional improvement: new NIAX silicone L-650 can be applied in conventional foam manufacturing processes, as well as those that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as an auxiliary blowing agent.

NIAX silicone L-650 may be an excellent candidate for use in FR grades of foam for furniture, bedding, and automotive products, to reduce the amount of flame retardant required to pass small-scale tests like California Technical Bulletin 117 and MVSS-302. In addition to its outstanding FR improvement, this quality may also translate into reduced material costs for manufacturers who use GE's NIAX silicone L-650.

"GE's introduction of NIAX silicone L-635 in 2002 re-established equal processing performance for flame-retardant surfactants," said Lee Lawler, GE Advanced Materials' global technology leader, flexible slabstock foam. "Our NIAX silicone L-650 continues this level of processing flexibility with the added value of improved performance and costs."

GE's new NIAX silicone L-650 provides excellent froth formation and stability as required in CO2 processes to help make soft and low-density foam grades. It also delivers wide processing latitude, very fine cell structure in CO2 processes, and a very broad grade range latitude.

GE Advanced Materials' new NIAX silicone L-650 is virtually unrivalled in boosting - at reduced use levels - flame-retardant performance for flexible PU foam.

About GE Advanced Materials

GE Advanced Materials ( is a world leader in providing high -technology material solutions. Headquartered in Pittsfield, Mass., its businesses include Plastics, Silicones, Quartz, Automotive, Specialty Film & Sheet, Polymershapes, and Sealants and Adhesives.

GE (NYSE:GE) is a diversified technology, media, and financial services company dedicated to creating products that make life better. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, television programming, and plastics, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's website at

* NIAX is a trademark of General Electric Company.


The Americas
Milissa Rocker
GE Advanced Materials, Waterford, N.Y.
Tel: +1-518-233-3893

Christopher Tessier
GE Advanced Materials, Pittsfield, Mass.
Tel: +1-413-448-6926

Robert Scheib
GE Bayer Silicones
Tel: +49 2143040532

Junko Tsudo
GE Toshiba Silicones, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 3 5772 5345

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