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Soy oil-based PU foam is surefire sound suppressor

Within a short nine-month timeframe and thanks to a grant from the United Soybean Board (Chesterfield, MO), Dow Automotive Systems (Auburn Hills, MI) has developed a soy-oil containing acoustical foam formulation with significant renewable content. Developed under the trade name Betafoam Renue, the new polyurethane formulation is now undergoing trials with a major North American OEM and commercialization is expected by December 2011.

"It has been very exciting to develop a novel, sustainable product that will become a commercial reality," said Matt Asher, NA Technical Service & Development Leader, Dow Automotive Systems. "The grant from the United Soybean Board was instrumental in helping us move quickly from an innovative idea to a success story."

Similar to traditional petroleum-based feedstock-derived Betafoam PU acoustical foams, Betafoam Renue can be injected into vehicle cavities like A, B, C pillars and rocker panels to reduce air and road noise. The foam replaces baffles traditionally used in these areas and is also low density to reduce overall vehicle weight.

"This new product allows us to meet two very important goals," said Steve Henderson, General Manager, Dow Automotive Systems. "In addition to commercializing a new product, we are giving our customers a choice to select a product with renewable content that will help toward their sustainability objectives."

Of the 78 grants awarded, seven, including the grant to Dow Automotive Systems, are directly related to the use of soy technology in the automotive industry. The United Soybean Board administers activities toward research, market development and expansion aimed at viable uses of soy technology and the success of U.S. soybean farmers.-[email protected]

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