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Soy-Foam Wall Art

March, 2010 Soy can be a part of a child's development at an early age, as shown by the soy-based foam used in Wallables wall decorations. Wallables owner Dan Garr has worked with the United Soybean Board (USB) on research and development of the soy-based decorations for the past two years. "I saw a commercial showing the foaming process of a new soy polyurethane being used in Ford vehicles," says Garr. "I recognized the foaming process, and after a little research found Dow Chemical and the path was set." USB worked with Ford to incorporate soy-foam into seats in select Ford vehicles. Now that same technology can be found on children’s walls in the form of Disney characters, talking alphabet letters and other characters from Wallables. Wallables are three-dimensional sculpted wall décor products made out of soft polyurethane made from U.S.-grown soybeans. They attach to any flat surface with a Velcro patch, allowing them to be removed and repositioned, and possibly even played with as a toy. "Going green with the soy breakthrough in polyurethanes was a perfect way to be an example to our children and our environment," says Garr. "The manufacturing process emits 60 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the pure petrochemical manufacturing. Our social impact creates an awareness children can understand and relate to as they enjoy the product." Some other attributes soy brings to the table, or wall in this case, include the ability to take many textural forms and a strong skin for safety, while maintaining the softness for play action. Scientists assimilated all these qualities into one specific formula for Wallables. The soy-based décor has been tested continuously for safety, which Garr says represents the most important part of a child's toy. "Our materials surpass all industry safety standards," says Garr. "Petrochemicals may have worked as well, but the properties we get from soy are amazingly better than anything else I have worked with." Garr plans to integrate soy into future products and advocates that others in the toy industry use soy-based polyurethane polyols as well. "New technologies reveal breakthroughs in soy and bio sources that may allow almost full replacement of fossil fuels in some materials," says Garr. "While there remains a long way to go, companies like Dow Chemical push forward, and I will keep doing what I can to help." To learn more about Wallables, visit www.wallables.com.

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