After the U.S. government declared formaldehyde as a known carcinogen, researchers rushed to find a cost-effective alternative. Support from the United Soybean Board (USB) helped Ashland produce Soyad™ adhesives — patented, water-based products made by mixing protein-rich soy flour with a proprietary cross-linking resin.
Today, Soyad adhesives are used by composite wood-product manufacturers that want to improve indoor air quality and stay ahead of formaldehyde-emissions regulations. Changing regulations represent market opportunities for Ashland.
“Growing marketplace awareness of the impact of formaldehyde-emitting, wood-bonding adhesives on indoor air is driving the escalating interest in our formaldehyde-free Soyad systems,” says Melinda Burn, Ph.D., of Ashland Water Technologies. “That awareness, the fact that it’s LEED-eligible as a non-added formaldehyde system and that it can be easily substituted for other wood adhesives, makes Soyad’s future bright.”
Ashland continues to conduct primary research for Soyad adhesives at two facilities located in the United States: the Ashland Research Center in Wilmington, Del., and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis. Scientists at the Ashland Research Center discover new products and processes, improve and refine existing products and processes, and develop new applications for existing products.
The Forest Products Laboratory houses world-class pilot testing equipment for producing plywood, particleboard, medium-density fiberboard and oriented strand board.
Since 2006, Ashland has been granted seven patents for wood-products adhesives and has another 18 patents pending, demonstrating the company’s commitment to developing innovative solutions for interior wood products.
Ashland’s Customer Applications labs are located regionally in Wilmington, Del.; Krefeld, Germany; Shanghai, China; and Paulinia, Brazil. Analytical and process-testing equipment at each location enable scientists to analyze and identify customer problems rapidly, compare the impact of system additives in various industrial systems and select the best chemistry or program to address a customer’s process needs.
To learn more about Ashland’s Soyad adhesives, visit www.ashland.com/products/soyad-adhesives