Mobius Technologies Inc. of Grass Valley, Calif., has come up with an easier way to process post-industrial polyurethane foam and use it in furniture and automotive interiors. General Manager Dan Matteson said the system provides an alternative market for foam scrap that has been going largely to carpet foam manufacturers.
"The good thing about the carpet-padding industry is that the collection infrastructure is in place. We don't have to go out and teach the world collection of post-industrial scrap," he said. "Now we've got a system that provides even more value for that scrap."
The 3-year-old, northern California company designs, builds and installs the foam recycling system on site at foam manufacturing plants. The first commercial installation was a year ago, but Matteson would not identify the customer.
Matteson said a key to the Mobius system is the ability to grind foam particles fine enough to integrate with virgin material.
"The material has to be ground to a fine powder. We have patents pending on our grinding technology," Matteson said in a recent telephone interview. "Once the material is ground it needs to be classified. We've applied for patents in that area as well.
Matteson said next for the company is applying the technology for automotive and aerospace foams.
"We are conducting trials with major auto manufacturers and suppliers to those auto manufacturers," he said. "We've done work with heat-resistant foam for space shuttles.
"Those foams are expensive to make, so any scrap they can recycle can prove to be very valuable."Mobius Technologies Inc. designs, makes and installs foam recycling systems. Above, ground foam is being loaded onto a conveyor belt.