History and Development of Flexible Polyurethane Foam According to Research and Market Request


The discovery of Polyurethane Foam is attributed to Otto Bayer, who obtained this new material for the first time in 1937, while he was trying to obtain a new polymer in the Bayer laboratories in Germany.

The first polyester based polyurethane foam was born in Germany in the first Forties. Thanks to its fluidity it was soon employed in the building industry. In fact it was useful to fill the natural cavities of the traditional materials improving the insulation of the structures.

In the half Fifties further developments of this material made it successfully employ in stuffed furnishing components replacing flax waste.

The flexible polyurethane foam is an elastomer. Its main characteristics are elasticity and resilience, which make it bear remarkable elastic strains and get it back to previous dimensions when the load is removed. In this way the original shape is naturally regained and avoids harmful depressions.

Through the research we have been able to take care of our customers’ requirements, developing more and more innovative materials.

The microcell structure of the flexible polyurethane foam allows air circulation and dampness loss, which prevent from allergies caused by acara and bacteria and provide the human body with natural transpiration.

Thanks to these characteristics the flexible polyurethane foam is definitely considered an anergic compound that follows the most severe hygienic standards.

Furthermore the flexible polyurethane foam can be easily recycled thanks to new recycling processes. The physical recycling is obtained by binder agglomeration; the chemical recycling is obtained by the decomposition of polymer and the energy recycling is obtained by the combustion of the material in special incinerators.

Research & Development division

of PELMA S.p.a.