Manufacturing Process of Mattress
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Manufacturing Process of Mattress (EAC : 23, NACE : D, class: 36.15) General Mattress Categories Innerspring. The most widely purchased type of bedding uses the support of tempered steel coils in a variety of configurations. Layers of upholstery provide insulation and cushioning between your body and the spring unit. The result of this basic approach, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, is a full range of comfort choices. Foam. Solid foam mattresses also offer a wide choice of "feels." They can be made of a solid core or of several layers of different types of foam laminated together. Advanced technology in polyurethane foams, refinements to traditional latex and the new visco-elastic ("memory") foams have added to the choice of comfort, support and performance. Airbeds. Airbeds are now designed to look like the familiar mattress/boxspring combination, with an air-filled core providing the support instead of an innerspring unit or foam core. These designs also offer a range of feels and typically are adjustable to suit individual sleeper's needs. Futons. Futons are a popular alternative for those who need a sofa by day and a mattress by night. The mattresses must be very flexible, so they are typically made of cotton, synthetic fibers and foam in various combinations. The futon is designed to support sitting as well as sleeping. Adjustable Beds. Electrically adjustable beds allow sleepers to adjust the head and foot of the bed to the most comfortable position. The mattress and foundation must be specially built for the flexing motion and can be innerspring, foam or a combination. Since the flexing causes extra wear on the mattress, quality construction is very important. Mattresses not built for this purpose should not be used with an adjustable bed frame. Waterbeds. Most waterbeds are now designed to look like the familiar mattress/foundation, with a water-filled core providing support coupled with layers of upholstery for insulation and surface comfort. Quality construction is especially critical when water is involved, so look for assurance that the vinyl and seaming are designed for maximum durability. The Matching Foundation. A good foundation is as important as a good mattress. The foundation takes a lot of the nightly wear and tear and contributes to the bed's overall comfort and support. Never put a new mattress on an old foundation. When you select your new mattress, buy its companion foundation – the two are designed to work best together. In fact, buying the mattress without its matching foundation may affect the terms of the warranty. The Pillow. Just as your bed should provide good support for your body, your pillow should give you the right cushioning to position your head and neck properly. It should hold your head in the same relation to your shoulders and spine as if you were standing with correct upright posture. If you sleep on your side, you may want a fairly firm pillow to give your head and neck extra support. If you sleep on your back, try a medium-firm pillows to cradle your head with more "give." And if you sleep on your stomach (although some physicians caution against this position), choose a soft pillow to lessen the strain on your neck. Mattress dimensions Mattresses thicknesses range from six to eighteen inches (15 to 46 cm).
Upholstery layers Upholstery layers cover the mattress and provide cushioning and comfort. Some manufacturers call the mattress core the "support layer" and the upholstery layer the "comfort layer." The upholstery layer consists of three parts: the insulator, the middle upholstery, and the quilt. The insulator separates the mattress core from the middle upholstery. It is usually made of fiber or mesh and is intended to keep the middle upholstery in place. The middle upholstery comprises all the material between the insulator and the quilt. It is usually made from materials which are intended to provide comfort to the sleeper, including regular foam, viscoelastic foam, felt, polyester fibers, cotton fibers, convoluted ("egg-crate") foam, and non-woven fiber pads. The quilt is the top layer of the mattress. Made of light foam or fibers stitched to the underside of the ticking, it provides a soft surface texture to the mattress and can be found in varying degrees of firmness. The protective fabric cover which encases the mattress is called ticking. It is usually made to match the foundation and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Most ticking is made of synthetic fibers like polyester, or acrylic; or of natural materials such as latex, cotton, silk, and wool. Quilting Process Quilts or duvets are types of bedding or bed covering that consist of a quilt top, batting, and a fabric backing. All these three layers of a quilt are attached together through the process of quilting. Quilting is a form of sewing done either by hands, sewing machine, or by quilting machines. When done by quilting machine, it is called longarm quilting. The quilting process uses a needle and thread to join two or more layers of material together to make a quilt. Basic Process of Quilting The basic or the traditional process of quilting has the following steps. • • • • • • • •
Selection of patterns, fabrics and batting. Batting is the cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers in sheets that are used as filling for quilts or bed coverings. Measuring and cutting of fabrics according to the size given in pattern so as to make blocks. Piecing the blocks together to make the quilt top. Piecing is the process of sewing pieces of fabric together, along a common sized edge in order to form a larger, whole piece of fabric. To arrange the layers- the quilt top, batting and backing- so that a quilt sandwich is formed. Quilting by hand or machine through all layers of the quilt sandwich. Trimming the excess batting from the edges. Sewing the binding to the front edges of the quilt with machine and hand-stitching the binding to the quilt backing. Binding is a strip of fabric used to cover the raw edges of the quilt sandwich in order to finish the quilt off. Quilts are sometimes hung on the walls just like the wall carpets. In such a case, the quilting process includes making and attaching the hanging sleeve.
Decorating the Quilts Complex designs and patterns are often used to decorate the quilts. The scheme of embellishing the quilt, however, depends upon the visualization and creativity of the quilter. With technologies like computer-aided-designs (CAD) getting popular, many quilting softwares have also been introduced in the market that help in visualizing and planning the quilt patterns and designs. The quilter can use a variety of threads including multicolored threads as well as metallic threads to add
richness to the quilt. On the other hand, the stitches can even be made invisible by using nylon thread or polyester thread or by stitching in the seam line. Many types of decorated quilts are made by the skilled quilters that include applique quilt, block quilt, embroidered quilt, among many others. Majority of the quilt tops are made by piecing many smaller patches of fabric that are popularly known as patchwork quilt, in which the patterns are created by combining individual blocks. On the contrary, while making whole cloth quilts, emphasis is placed on elaborate quilting on a single piece of fabric. For further decorating the quilts, polished chintz, satin fabrics, or other shiny fabrics are often used in whole cloth quilts. Machine Quilting Machine Quilting is either done by a sewing machine or a Longarm quilting machine. When done with the help of sewing machine, the layers are tacked together by laying the top, batting and backing out on a flat surface and either pinning, using large safety pins, or tacking the layers together before quilting is done. The layers to be quilted are placed on a special frame. The frame contains bars on which the layers are rolled. Thus, the layers remain together without the need for basting or pinning. These frames are used with an industrial sewing machine mounted on a platform. The platform rides along tracks so that the machine can be moved across the layers on the frame. The longarm quilting machine holds and keeps the quilt stationary on rods while the machine head moves the needle across the quilt. When quilting with sewing machines, the fabric has to be moved through the machine. Longarm Quilting Process In longarm quilting, a longarm sewing machine sew together the quilt top, batting and backing into a finished quilt. The longarm sewing machine is 10 to 14 feet in length and consists of an industrial sewing machine head, a 10-to-14 feet long table that is sufficient to make a king size quilt, and a number of rollers on which the fabric layers are positioned. The table of the machine has a flat region on which a layer of thin, clear plastic lies for placing patterns and other designs to be followed by the quilter. The longarm quilting machine completes up to 3500 stitches/minute and therefore it takes much lesser time than hand quilting or a traditional quilting machine. The handguided machine head has handles. On these handles, the quilter can guide the machine along the fabric in order to sew the pre decided design. The computer-guided machine head is attached to a computer system that lets the quilter to choose a design to be sewn onto the fabrics. With selection of the design, the machine will sew the chosen design onto the quilt without any assistance by the quilter. The longarm quilter is often referred to as the "longarmer". The longarm machine can be used from the front or the back of the machine. The process can be carried out without basting. Basting is temporarily holding quilt top, batting, and backing together with the help of thread, pin etc. so as to allow quilting. They are placed onto the machine by pinning the layers to large canvas leaders and then each layer is rolled separately onto the roller bars. The longarm is then positioned over the layers which makes it ready to be quilted. Most of the times, the quilt top is "floated" on the carriage system allowing it to be manipulated easily in any direction over the surface of the quilt. Since most quilts are made without back stitching therefore, it is important to make sure that the seams are secure and that they do not begin to pull out when crossing with another seam. It is more so important where multiple seams merge together as is the case with eight pointed star. Types of Longarm Quilting Based on the method of selecting and creating designs, there are two key styles of quilting done by longarm quilting machines - pantograph designs and customized designs. Pantograph designs: These are pre designed patterns that span the length of the longarm table. The longarmer takes the pantograph design and place it beneath the plastic layer on the table and then traces this design using the laser found on the machine head. The design can be repeated in rows to create an all-over design on the quilt top. This is a relatively fast and easier method of quilting. Customized designs: Here each block or area of the quilt is individually designed depending upon
the requirements of the end user or the customer. Many sewing styles are adopted for the purpose, such as meandering, feathers and motifs. Meandering involves an all over fill-in design and requires lesser attention to detail and as such can be done quickly. Feathers and motifs require more attention to details and alignment and therefore can be time-consuming which results in expensive quilts. Based on the styles, quilting can be further categorized into the following types. Edge to Edge Quilting: It is a continuous line design carried on from one edge of the quilt to the other edge, and repeated from top to bottom of the quilt. It is an economical method of quilting for the purpose of making utility quilts. It provides a balanced proportion of stitching without highlighting any particular area of the design. Creative Quilting: Most of the patch work quilting is creative quilting. It may include edge to edge work all over the body of the quilt with separate designs stitched around the border; medium size stipple meander of various styles; small quantities of ditch stitching; open grid work; some inset motifs etc. Heirloom Quilting: It is a more detailed version of creative quilting which may include fine stippling; grids & open cross hatching; large quantities of ditch stitching; free form interpretive designs having feathers, flowers and other intricate meander designs; a good quantity of or small, inset motifs. Max Quilting: Quilting to the "Max" is the extended form of Heirloom category. In it, stitching is extremely close and can involve extensive stops and starts. Grids, circles & other line designs, including creative free form & thread painting, where the designs are stitched very close to each other. Trapunto: It is a dimensional design in a quilt by which closely sewn lines of stitching are stuffed with batting to make them appear 3-dimensional, or raised from the surface and is commonly used in whole cloth quilts. Innerspring- The Basic Unit of Mattress The core of a mattress is formed by making an innerspring unit. It is a series of wire coils, attached to each other with additional wire. Four types of coils are mostly used by the mattress manufacturers- the Bonnell; the Offset; the Continuous; and the Pocket System. The hourglass-shaped Bonnell springs are knotted at both ends. Offset spring is also in the shape of an hourglass but its top and bottom are flattened so as to facilitate a hinging action among the coils. Continuous innerspring is one very long strand of steel wire configured into S-shaped units. Pocket coil is encased in a fabric which also connects it to the adjoining coilcasing units. A mattress can have anywhere between 250 and 1,000 coil springs. In the mattresses that have fewer coils, a heavier gauge of wire has to be used. The individual coils can be attached in a variety of ways. One general method is that of using helicals- the corkscrewshaped wires which run along the top and bottom of the springs, lacing the coils together. Rigid border wires are also attached sometimes around the perimeters for stabilizing the innerspring unit. Components of an innerspring mattress A common innerspring mattress consists of three components: the spring core, the foundation, and the upholstery layers. Spring mattress core The core of the mattress supports the sleeper’s body. Modern spring mattress cores, often called "innersprings," are made up of steel coil springs, or "coils." The gauge of the coils is another factor which determines firmness and support. Coils are measured in quarter increments. The lower the number, the thicker the spring. In general, higherquality mattress coils have a 14-gauge (1.63 mm) diameter. Coils of 14 to 15.5-gauge (1.63 to
1.37 mm) give more easily under pressure, while a 12.5-gauge (1.94 mm) coil, the thickest typically available, feels quite firm. Connections between the coils help the mattress retain its shape. Most coils are connected by interconnecting wires; encased coils are not connected, but the fabric encasement helps preserve the mattress shape. Here are five types of mattress coils: • Bonnell coils are the oldest and most common. First adapted from buggy seat springs of the 19th century, they are still prevalent in less expensive mattresses. Bonnell coils are hourglass-shaped, and the ends of the wire are knotted or wrapped around the top and bottom circular portion of the coil and self-tied. • Marshall coils are each wrapped in a fabric encasement and usually are tempered. In the case of Beautyrest, high carbon magnesium is added, while the steel itself remains untempered. Some manufacturers pre-compress these coils, which makes the mattress firmer and allows for motion separation between the sides of the bed. • Encased Coils or encased springs, are a component part of a mattress in which each coil is separately wrapped in a textile material. Encased coils may also be generically referred to as Marshall coils or wrapped coils. • Offset coils are designed to hinge, thus conforming to body shape. They are very sturdy, stable innersprings that provide great support. • Continuous coils Or Mira-coils, work by a hinging effect, similar to that of offset coils. In a basic sense a continuous coil is simply that, one continuous coil in an up and down fashion forming one row (usually from head to toe) of what appear to be individual coils. The advantages of how firm a support the continuous coil provides it is somewhat tempered with the "noise" associated from a typical Mira-coil unit. The largest company using a Miracoil design, is Serta Mattress Company, though their coil units are supplied by Leggett & Platt. Bonell springs are hour-glass shaped, which means their resistance increases with load. They are therefore best suited for firm mattresses. Pocket springs provide support along the entire length of the body. This design works to maintain natural spinal alignment throughout the night. Air mattresses Air mattresses use one or more air chambers instead of springs to provide support. Quality and price can range from inexpensive ones used occasionally for camping, all the way up to high-end luxury beds. Air mattresses designed for typical bedroom use cost about the same as inner-spring mattresses with comparable features. Air mattresses as regular beds Several companies currently produce adjustable firmness air mattresses. In 1981, Comfortaire began manufacturing and marketing air mattresses that looked conventional, but allowed users to adjust the firmness. Select Comfort patented a variant and began marketing them in 1987. Adjustable air mattresses come in a variety of models from basic, no-frills ones that measure about 7" in height, to high-profile, 15" tall hybrids that contain several types of foam, pillow tops, and digital pumps with memory, for individual pressure settings. Air bladder construction varies from a simple polyethylene bag to internally baffled, multiple chambers of latex (vulcanized rubber) with bonded cotton exteriors. Mattresses have a layer of foam above the air chambers for added cushioning. The air chambers, top and sidewall foam all sit inside a removable two piece cover that looks like the outside of a standard innerspring mattress. These high-end luxury Air Beds are also known as soft sided Air Beds. Air mattresses for medical use Medical versions of adjustable firmness mattresses have special control mechanisms. In 1990s, the industry began producing self-adjusting air beds that automatically change their pressure periodically, and/or inflate and deflate several air chambers alternately. The intention of these periodic changes is to reduce problems with decubitus ulcers (bed sores).
Self-inflating air mattresses Air mattresses for camping are often filled with foam. The foam itself provides little support, but will expand when the mattress' air valve is opened, and draw in in air, so the mattress will (nearly) inflate by itself. This is especially useful for hikers, as unlike normal air mattresses no pump is needed for inflating. A common brand is Therm-a-Rest. Foam mattresses Foam mattresses use shape-conforming latex or viscoelastic memory foam plus polyurethane flexifoam to provide support rather than springs . Mattresses manufactured using memory foam or latex are generally hypoallergenic. Since foam varies in quality, prices can vary widely. Most mattress manufacturers offer a line of memory foam mattresses. Flexible foam for Mattress The main polyurethane producing reaction is between a diisocyanate (aromatic and aliphatic types are available) and a polyol, typically a polypropylene glycol or polyester polyol, in the presence of catalysts and materials for controlling the cell structure, (surfactants) in the case of foams. Polyurethane can be made in a variety of densities and hardnesses by varying the type of monomer(s) used and adding other substances to modify their characteristics, notably density, or enhance their performance. Other additives can be used to improve the fire performance, stability in difficult chemical environments and other properties of the polyurethane products. The Importance of Density Density is a key flexible polyurethane foam specification. It is an important indicator of foam performance with regard to comfort, support and durability. It is also an indicator of the relative economics of the foam. The Definition of Density Foam density is not weight. It's actually a measurement of mass per unit volume. Density is a function of the chemistry used to produce the foam, of additives used to increase density, and of any additives used to improve the combustion resistance properties of the foam. Flexible polyurethane foam is available in a broad range of densities, ranging from as low as 0.8 pcf to as high as 6 pcf. Most foam applications utilize foam in the 0.9 to 2.5 pcf density range. Foam density is a function of the density of the virgin, or unfilled foam. This is also called polymer density. If the foam contains no additives or fillers, the polymer density is the same as the overall foam density. When additives or fillers are used in producing the foam, the foam density will be higher than the polymer density. Generally speaking, the higher the polymer density of the foam, the greater the cost of the foam. However, this foam will generally also have better physical properties including support and durability. If there is a concern for foam performance, it is always important to determine whether the foam contains any type of additives so that the clearest understanding can be established as to whether the foam density and the polymer density are one and the same. Flexible polyurethane foam density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (pcf), or in metric terms, kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3). How Density Affects Foam Performance Obviously, the denser the foam, or the more material used to produce it, the more material there is in the cushion to provide support for weight. It is important to remember, though, that foam surface firmness is independent for foam density. High density foams can be produced to be very soft. Low density foams can be made to be very firm. Therefore, there is no such thing as "hard" or "firm" density. High density foam products generally offer great deal of support, but they may actually be fairly soft foams. What's the difference between firmness and support? Firmness (25% IFD) is a measurement of the surface feel of the foam. Support is the foam's ability to "push back" against weight and prevent the foam from "bottoming out." Higher density foam helps prevent the feeling of having the foam collapse beneath body weight in an end use application. Both firmness and support affect foam comfort. There is even a measurement to determine the foam's ability to provide support. This measurement, support factor, is determined by measuring the firmness (IFD) of the foam by compressing it 25 percent of its original height (e.g., a 4" block of foam to 3") and then measuring the firmness (IFD) when
compressing the same foam sample 65 percent. The ratio of the 65 percent IFD divided by the 25 percent IFD is the foam's support factor. The better the support factor, the greater the ability of the foam to support weight. Foams with support factors of 2.0 or above are better suited for load bearing applications, like furniture seat cushions. Density also translates into foam durability. Again, the more polymer material used to produce the foam, the better foam tends to retain its original properties. As a general rule, the higher the density (polymer or overall foams), the reater the support. Foam density is independent of foam firmness. Support factors can vary in different types of foams. Some “high performance” foam grades are formulated to have higher support factors even at lower densities. Research into foam durability by measuring flex fatigue, or the loss of foam firmness after flexing the foam a predetermined number of cycles, shows that as polymer density increases, firmness loss is lessened. Less firmness lose means that, for example, seat cushions still feel "new" and that mattresses retain their original "feel." Higher density foams also better retain their ability to provide support. Other factors used to gauge foam durability also improve as density increases. One of these is compression set, or the tendency of foam to lose height as it is used. As density increases, height loss decreases dramatically, which means that the fabric on furniture cushions stays taut and that mattresses don't get body impressions. In fact, may mattress manufactures have increased the densities of their quilting foam during the past few years to reduce instances of body impressions in innerspring as well as foam mattresses. The Role of Foam Additives and Fillers As noted before, overall foam density can be affected by additives and filling materials used to manufacture different foams. In some cases, additives are used to improve the combustion performance of foams. The most common occurrence of this is when additives are used to allow conventional polyurethane foams to meet the combustibility requirements of California Technical Bulletin 117 for residential furniture. Additive requirements to meet this regulation are relatively minor, but they can affect overall foam density. To meet stringent combustibility requirements, greater amounts of additives or filling materials are needed. For example, foams that meet California Technical Bulletin 133, the Boston Fire Code, or similar stringent requirements have large amounts of additives that can increase the foam's density by over a pound per cubic foot. Additives are used to increase foam density for other reasons. Additives may be used to increase the overall weight of the cushion, which gives the cushion a heavier, more luxurious feel, or additives and fillers can be used to simply increase the ability of the foam to provide support. Various materials are used as additives to increase density. However, it is important to note that while additives may increase density, and in some cases improve support, they may not improve other properties of the foam. Additives can make foams more likely to tear, and can reduce foam durability. This is because additives, since they are not part of the actual foam cellular structure, can act as abrasives that break down foam cell walls, making foam lose more of its original properties through use. Proper Handling and Storage of Flexible Polyurethane Foam Flexible polyurethane foam is an organic material and is combustible like all organic materials. Organic materials include a wide variety of substances like wood, wool, paper, cotton, nylon, polyester, and polyethylene. Polyurethane foam, once ignited, can burn rapidly, consuming oxygen at a high rate and generating great heat. Like any other organic material, when it ignites and burns, polyurethane foam liberates smoke containing toxic gases, the primary one being carbon monoxide. Hazardous gases released by burning foam can be incapacitating or fatal to human beings if inhaled in sufficient quantities. Oxygen depletion in an enclosed space can present a danger of suffocation. Therefore, fire safety is critical in relation to any storage and handling of flexible polyurethane foam. Foam should not be exposed to open flames or other direct or indirect high-temperature ignition sources such as burning cigarettes, matches, fireplaces, space heaters, forklift tailpipes, welding sparks, or bare light bulbs.
Foam is often stored in large quantities. Foam fabricators may keep large blocks of foam in inventory. Finished goods manufacturers may store individual cushions or cores for use in products such as furniture, bedding, packaging, or automobiles. Retailers and wholesalers may warehouse quantities of slab foam for resale to customers, or in the form of products such as replacement parts or carpet cushion. As with any combustible material, proper care must be taken with foam to minimize potential fire hazards. Even foams formulated to meet specific flammability regulations will burn, including those foams specifically identified as meeting flammability requirements. Safe and proper storage and handling of the material is essential. Different business will face different foam storage situations, depending on the amount of foam they use and the manner in which it is stored. Storage and Handling in Foam Manufacturing and Fabrication Operations Foam manufacturing and fabrication companies are likely to inventory the largest quantities of flexible polyurethane foam. Depending on the size of a particular manufacturing or fabrication operation, small pieces of foam or large "bun" sections containing hundreds of cubic feet of foam may be stored. Large amounts of foam represent a significant fuel source for a fire. Flexible polyurethane fires generally tend to create very high temperatures - high enough to damage steel framework of buildings if enough of a fuel load is involved. Once ignited, foam fires can spread rapidly, producing intense heat, dense smoke, flammable liquids, and toxic gases. Therefore, all areas where significant amounts of foam are stored should be protected by automatic sprinkler systems. Many fire districts and insurance policies require sprinklers. In fact, all storage areas for flexible polyurethane foam should be analyzed for three key principles of fire safety: • Detection, by using smoke detectors and/or other devices. • Alarm, to alert people in case of fire, so employees can exit the building and safety crews can respond. • Suppression, via sprinklers, fire extinguishers, fire doors, and other methods. Foam and fabricated parts should be stored away from fabrication operations, machinery, or other sources that have the potential to cause ignition. In some cases, insurance carriers require a fire wall between storage and fabrication areas. Scrap foam should not be allowed to accumulate. Welding operations are a frequent but avoidable cause of many fires in manufacturing operations. Whether performed by employees or outside contractors, these operations are often subject to strict insurance company guidelines, and extreme caution should be taken if heat or sparks could be generated around flexible polyurethane foam. Plant supervisors should be notified before welding or cutting takes place, so that proper precautions can be administered. Some foam fabrication processes, such as hot wire cutting, bonding or laminating can also pose potential fire hazards. Caution should be exercised when engaging in the processes. In certain fabrication processes, potentially dangerous fumes are emitted which should be exhausted through properly engineered ventilation systems. The fabricator should be guided by a Materials Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS, from his foam supplier to determine the proper procedures for handling the foam and to be aware of any special handling requirements in the fabrication steps. Avoidable Danger: Fires From Smoking Cigarette smoking is still the most common cause of fires in the home. The furniture industry, through its Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) program, has taken voluntary steps to minimize danger by making finished furniture resistant to ignition by smoldering cigarettes. Within the bedding industry, f Federal Flammability Standard mandates that all mattresses be resistant to cigarette ignition. Carelessness with cigarettes is a very real danger in foam storage and handling. Virtually all foam plants ban smoking, and cigarette smoking should be avoided anywhere flexible polyurethane foam is being handled or stored. A smoldering fire started by a cigarette may not be immediately
detected, and such fires pose tremendous danger. Simply put, there should be no smoking around foam.
The Manufacturing Process of Spring mattress In most of the cases, a mattress manufacturer do not make the innerspring units. The work is outsourced and these units are made by the specialized firms. Once these completed innerspring units are received, the work of at the mattress factory begins. •
The textile furnishing layers are affixed to the innerspring manually. There are essentially two upholstery layers- the insulator and the cushioning layers. The insulator, is affixed directly onto the innerspring and prevents the next layer, the cushioning layer, from molding to the coils. While the insulator used is almost standard, the number of cushioning layers differ widely in number. These cushioning layers range from 2 to 8 layers and from 1/4 inch to 2 inches (.63 to 5 cm) in thickness. These cushioning layers determine the feel and comfort of the end product. The core mattress is given an attractive exterior by decorative mattress cover. The cover is manufactured with the help of giant quilting machines having a multitude of needles that stitch the cover to a layer of backing material. The quilted fabric is cut into panels that are attached to the top and bottom of the mattress. The side panels are often cut from the same quilted fabric but sometimes it is made separately on a border machine. Side handles or Vents, if they have to be fitted to the side panels, are attached before these side panels are applied to the mattress. Flanges are the connecting panels that are attached to the quilted cover of the mattress with the help of hogs rings which are large, round staples. The flanges are attached to the top and bottom panels with the help of a specially modified sewing machine and the hogs rings are stapled to the flanges. During the closing operation, the hogs rings are secured to the innerspring unit. Closing operation is very critical which needs highly skilled execution. A movable sewing head that is mounted on a track is used for the closing operation. The Tape edge operators manually feed the top, bottom, and side panels and a heavy duty binding tape into the sewing machine as it moves around the mattress. It highly depends on the skill of the operators to feed just the right amount of each material into the machine in order to get the end product of a professional standard. Some of very high quality mattresses may also have a pillowtop on them. A panel filled with soft upholstery is attached to the top panel of the mattress. Prequilted Pillow top is, then, taped to the mattress.
Foundation or boxsprings There are three main types of foundations. • Box-springs consist of a rigid frame that contains extra-heavy-duty springs. This type of foundation contributes to softer support and a bouncier mattress. Because box-springs can cause mattresses to sag, many manufacturers add high-density block foam underneath the coils or provide a rigid foundation instead. • Traditional wood foundations are usually made of soft woods, such as pine, or hard woods. They usually consist of seven or eight support slats covered with paperboard or beaverboard. This type of foundation, called a zero deflection unit or an "Ortho Box" in the bed industry, increases the feeling of firmness and stability. • Grid foundations are a combination of steel and wood. A foundation mattresses or boxsprings lie directly beneath the mattress, resting on the frame of the bed. There are different varieties of boxsprings. In some of them, spiked coil configuration is used where there is a spring system while in others, torsion bars are used for giving support. In yet another type of boxspring, no springs at all are used and it consists of a built-up wooden frame. From among these, the boxsprings having spiked coil design are the most common ones.
The spiked coil design boxspring is made by attaching the bottom of each coil to a flat wooden frame. A wire grid is placed on top of the springs in an aligned manner and is locked manually. A thin layer of upholstery is attached at the top. If, however, the intended boxspring contains no springs, it consists of a wooden frame that may or may not have a layer of upholstery attached to its top. The frame is usually inserted into a pre-sewn cover that encases the top and sides of the unit, regardless of the internal composition. A matching fabric border is applied to the sides, and a dust cover is also added to the face. Storage and Handling in Finished Goods Manufacturing Operations Finished goods manufacturers, such as furniture and bedding producers, will usually keep smaller amounts of foam than fabricators, but these amounts may still warrant storage and handling procedures similar to that of the foam manufacturer or fabricators. In fact, FME&R recommends that storage of large quantities of covered polyurethane foam mattresses be protected in the same manner as "raw" polyurethane foam. Even in minimal quantities, it is recommended that foam be stored in a fully sprinklered area. Foam is a difficult material for most manufacturers to warehouse because of its bulk. The foam industry has traditionally provided a variety of quick shipment or "just-in-time" delivery systems to provide manufacturers with the quantities of foam they need for production. In such cases, shipments of foam are usually quickly dispersed through a manufacturing plant to assembly locations and customers. This combination of smaller shipments and quick dispersal can minimize storage of raw foam and reduce the finished goods manufacturer's need to provide protected areas. These types of program offer convenience, but they can be just as important for helping manufacturers improve plant safety through proper handling of flexible foam and other materials. In Case A Fire Does Occur Should a fire involving flexible polyurethane foam occur, evacuate the building immediately. Contact the local fire department and leave the fire fighting to the fire safety professionals. Firefighters should drench burning foam with water with a spray nozzle. Firefighters should use selfcontained breathing apparatus in areas where foam is burning. Manual firefighting may be difficult due to dense smoke and gases. When flexible polyurethane foam is properly stored and protected, the risk of fire can be minimized. It is critical that proper caution be used to make sure that foam does not come into contact with potential ignition sources, and that all management and employees be properly instructed on safety procedures regarding foam and other combustible materials. Flexible polyurethane foam suppliers can provide additional information on proper safety procedures, as can local fire safety officials and insurance company guidelines. Quality & Testing of mattres Many parameters determine mattress quality. Laboratory test methods have been established for some of these parameters, such as pressure distribution, skin microclimate, hygiene, edge support, and long-term stability. Many of these have been developed by Dr. Duncan Bain, working on behalf of the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Other parameters, such as firmness, are more specific to the sleeper. In general, firm mattresses are recommended for stomach and some back sleepers, soft mattresses are recommended for side sleepers, and medium mattresses are recommended for the majority of back sleepers. Some brands offer mattresses with one softer side and one firmer side, or with adjustable firmness levels, to accommodate sleepers who share a bed. Cornell Tester The Cornell Tester is designed to simulate approximately 10 years of normal use on a mattress set. It uses a dual sphere shaped ram-head to apply a 230 pound load to a set position at the bottom of the stroke. The test, which runs for approximately 10½ - 11 hours, consists of 100,000 cycles at a speed of 160 strokes per minute. The Cornell Test is an interactive test that includes 8 different stages of calibration and measurements.
Mattress Rollator The Mattress Rollator is also designed to simulate approximately 10 years of normal use on a mattress set. During testing, a 240 pound Hexagonal Shaped Roller passes back and forth across the width of the mattress set 100,000 times at a pre-set speed. The test runs non-stop for approximately 3½ - 4 days. Upon completion, the surface condition and profile of the mattress set are evaluated and compared to results taken before the test. Additional measurements are taken again after a 24 hour recovery period. Foam Compression Tester The Foam Compression Tester is designed to evaluate the height and firmness of a mattress or mattress set. It measures Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) between 0 and 4 inches in ½" increments, using a 13.5" circular pattern. These measurements represent the firmness or feel of the product and are taken at five different locations on the mattress. Flammability Testing In 1954, the United States Congress passed the Flammable Fabrics Act that required fabrics to meet mandatory standards. The first test was CS 191-53, a simple test that identified hazardous, flammable fabrics from those formerly considered safe for sale into commerce. Standards were later developed for identifying hazardous, flammable mattress ticking. There are other tests that are quoted when the flammability of mattress ticking and interior furnishing fabrics is discussed. Some of these tests are mandatory while others are voluntary. Some are component tests performed only on fabric or foam, while others are composite tests performed on the product as it would be purchased and used. The following is a brief description of these tests, how they are performed and how the test results should be interpreted. Federal Flammability Standard Title 16CFR1632 (Formerly DOC FF 4-72) – The United States Government Standard For The Flammability Of Mattresses. May be referred to as CTB 106. The 16CFR1632 test is sometimes referred to as the cigarette test. This is a component test that measures the horizontal flame spread of a lighted cigarette placed on top of the ticking fabric. The burned area on the ticking is measured after the cigarette has burned its entire length. If the burned area is over one inch, it does not pass. The Class A test is performed by placing the ticking over a thickness of cotton batting and the Class B test is performed with the ticking over urethane foam. NFPA 101 Life Safety Code The NFPA Life Safety Code® Handbook is guide that lists safety requirements in public occupancy buildings. In regard to fire standards for mattresses it basically states if a facility is protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system, follow city, state and the federal regulation 16 CFR 1632. If there is not an approved automatic sprinkler system mattresses must pass California Technical Bulletin #129. California Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin #117 This is a component fire retardancy test that is applied to filling or covering materials such as fabric, polyurethane foam or cotton batting. The test varies for different items, but basically it is a vertical flame test which measures after-flame (time it burns after source of flame is removed) and char length. Other 117 test procedures involve using a cigarette on treated cotton batting with a sheeting cover over it, or a cigarette placed in a crevice of folded fabric on a mini chair mock-up. California Technical Bulletin #121 A full scale composite test that subjects mattresses to open flame ignition from ten double sheets of newspaper burning in a metal wastepaper basket. This ignition source is placed under the bed in a test chamber equipped to monitor weight loss, ceiling temperature, concentration of carbon monoxide, and smoke opacity. If any one of the first three test criteria is not met, the product does not pass. This test is mandatory for products used in the State of California in high risk occupancy buildings such as prisons nursing homes and health care facilities. As a composite test, it addresses the flammability of the end product. If there is 10% of weight loss, the mattress fails.
California Technical Bulletin #133 A full scale composite test that subjects seating furniture to an open flame ignition from five crumpled sheets of newspaper placed in a small metal and wire container. The test is conducted in a chamber by placing the container on the seat and igniting the newspaper. Air temperature, smoke, carbon monoxide, and weight loss are monitored. As a composite test, it addresses the flammability of the end product. This test is required for Seating Furniture to be used in public occupancies. Underwriters Laboratories Proposed Standard 1985 A full scale composite test of mattresses and box springs similar to California Technical Bulletin 121 with the exception of the ignition source and its placement. The UL 1895 open flame ignition source is a five-pound crib of kiln dried hardwood placed beside the bed and ignited. The UL test monitors the rate of heat release, the concentration of carbon dioxide, and smoke density. This test was designed by fire engineers and represents the latest in available fire technology, relating sophisticated lab calorimeter results to full scale burn testing. As a composite test, it addresses the flammability of the end product. California Technical Bulletin #129 A mattress is fully made up: • Mattress Pad • Bottom Sheet • Draw Sheet • Top Sheet • Blanket • Pillow with pillow cover The bed clothes must be 50% synthetic fiber (poly) and 50% cotton. (cotton burns slowly and poly burns fast.) The bedclothes are tucked under the mattress except for the top sheet and blanket which is left hanging. A burner (like a blowtorch) is ignited at the side of the mattress. A mattress passes based on a combination of factors that includes weight loss, toxic fumes, rate and heat release, ceiling temperature, etc. Many Fire Marshals and Safety Officers require mattresses to past this test if there is not an approved automatic sprinkler system in each room where mattresses will be used. 5/2007_Page 3 of 8 Boston Fire Code IX-11 A mattress is fully made up with: • Mattress Pad • Bottom Sheet • Draw Sheet • Top Sheet • Blanket • Pillow with Pillow Cover A container is placed under the mattress, filled with newspapers, and ignited. A combination of factors including weight loss, toxic gases, rate of heat release, ceiling temperature, etc. is considered to determine pass or fail. Federal Flammability Standard Title 16 CFR Part 1633 Effective July 1, 2007, all mattresses manufactured, imported or renovated for sale or introduction into commerce must meet new federal regulations regarding flammability. This new standard, 16 CFR 1633 (referred to as 1633), is similar to California Technical Bulletin (TB) 603 but is not the same. The new federal regulation has energy release levels that are more stringent than TB 603, and requires that mattresses have a label exclusively dedicated to showing they are 1633 compliant. The new Federal Standard sets two criteria to limit the growth of the fire in a mattress or mattress set as follows: • Must not exceed a 200 k W peak heat release rate within 30 minutes of the test.
• The total energy released must be no more than 15 MJ for the first 10 minutes of the test. Fabric Flammability The primary flammability hazard associated with textile products such as drapes, furniture, upholstery, and mattress ticking is accidental exposure to an ignition source. Fabrics composed of cellulosic fibers such as cotton, rayon, and linen or thermoplastic fibers such as polyester, acrylic, nylon, and polypropylene will ignite source and as a result, expose a composite product’s inner components as potential fuel for a fire. In a room the resultant fire can then reach flashover in a few short minutes. Flashover is a phenomenon that occurs when an individual room fire approaching 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit actually explodes the room. When this happens, every organic thing in the room is consumed and the now intense fire proceeds to hallways and adjacent rooms repeating the flashover. This domino effect of flashover has been known to consume entire buildings with catastrophic results. The burning of urethane foams such as those used in mattresses and upholstered furniture has proven to be a vehicle that can carry a room fire to flashover. The National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) has created a highly sophisticated computer model that is able to accurately predict a room flashover situation by entering room furnishings, room dimensions, and laboratory fire test data into the program. This model predicts that by protecting the flammable fuel sources (i.e., foams and stuffing) in a typical room through the use of barrier textiles, it is possible to contain the fire within the room thereby averting a flashover situation and protect the building from catastrophic destruction. NIST computer model results have been confirm4ed with full room burn testing. With flammable materials involved in a room fire, flashover can occur in as few as seven minutes. With state of the art barrier fabrics in room furnishings, the probability of flashover is dramatically reduced. Innovative fibers, such as Kevlar ®, and fiberglass, add a high level of inherent flame retardancy to fabrics to the point that these high tech products have become the current sate of the art for fire protection all over the world. Flame Retardant (FR) You should be aware that there are many fabrics that will pass component flammability tests when burned in single strips as per that particular test’s protocol. Some of these same fabrics, particularly thermoplastic products such as polyester, nylon, and polypropylene can burn, melt, or shrink away when subjected to an ignition source. This action can expose flammable contents underneath to the fire creating a dangerous and potentially deadly fire situation. By testing the end use (composite) product, such as a mattress or an upholstered chair, flammability test results are much more meaningful. This is why you should place more confidence in composite testing that in component testing. Composite tests such as California Technical Bulletins 121 and 133, Boston Regulatory Notes (2-7-83), and Underwriters laboratories Proposed Standard 1895 recognize that real life fire situations involve the entire finished product and these tests have been engineered to set parameters and gauge the results. Composite testing must be considered when one realizes the potential for death, property damage, and the resultant liability associated with building fires. Additional Fire Codes ASTM E 1590: This test method provides a means of determining the burning behavior of mattresses used in public occupancies by measuring specific fire test responses when the test specimen (mattress or mattress with foundation) is subjected to a specified flaming ignition source under well ventilated conditions. To pass this test the peak rate of heat release for the mattress shall not exceed 250 k W. ASTM E 176: This terminology covers terms, related definitions, and descriptions of terms used or likely to be used in fire-test-response standards, fire-hazard-assessment standards, and fire-riskassessment standards. Definitions of terms are special-purpose definitions that are consistent with the standard definitions but are written to ensure that a specific fire-test-response standard, firehazard-assessment standard, or fire-risk-assessment standard is properly understood and precisely interpreted.
NFPA 267: Standard Method of Test for Fire Characteristics of Mattresses and Bedding Assemblies Exposed to Flaming Ignition Source. NFPA 267 presents a test method using an open calorimeter environment to determine heat release, smoke density, weight loss, and generation of carbon monoxide of mattresses and bedding assemblies when exposed to a flaming ignition source, 1998 Edition. NFPA: 260: Standard Methods of Tests and Classification System for Cigarette Ignition Resistance of Components of Upholstered Furniture, 2003 Edition. NFPA: 261: Standard Method of Test for Determining Resistance of Mock-Up Upholstered Furniture Material Assemblies to Ignition by Smoldering Cigarettes, 2003 Edition. NFPA 267: Standard Method of Test for Fire Characteristics of Mattresses and Bedding Assemblies Exposed to Flaming Ignition Source, 1998 Edition. FF4-72: State of California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Home Furnishings, Technical Bulletin #106, Federal Standard 16 CFR 1632 (FF 4-72): See Federal Flammability standard on page 1 of this Primer.