About 400 representatives of 115 flexible polyurethane foam organisations from Europe, North America and Asia met in Lisbon on 12 and 13 June for the annual conference of Europur (the European association of flexible polyurethane foam manufacturers) and Euro-Moulders (the European association of moulded polyurethane manufacturers for the automotive industry).
Over the two days, a number of topical issues were addressed, such as the circular economy, the problem of end-of-life and recycling of mattresses, furniture and flexible polyurethane foam.
The second day of the conference focused on more technical topics such as flame retardants, odours and VOC emissions, additives, product management, health and safety at work and updates to the latest European and North American regulations on flexible polyurethane foam.
The European Flexible Polyurethane Foam Market Report for 2018
As always, the qualifying moment of the Assembly was also the presentation of the Report on the European market of flexible polyurethane foam in 2018 according to data collected by Labyrinth Research & Markets Ltd. According to these data, total production of flexible polyurethane foam in the 28 member states of the European Union as well as Norway, Switzerland, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey reached 1.7 million tons in 2018. Of these 388,000 tonnes were molded polyurethane foam, down from 410,000 tonnes in the previous year and 1,318,000 tonnes of block polyurethane foam, again down 4% from the previous year.
The main reasons for this drop in production are mainly due to the shift in demand from high quality high resilient HR and viscoelastic products to low density foams by end users in the field of mattresses and upholstered furniture.