Graham Peaslee

The Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) announced that Graham F. Peaslee, Ph.D. and Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry at Hope College was the winner of the spring 2013 Herman Stone Technical Excellence Award. 

Peaslee’s presentation of New Methods for Identification of Flame Retardants in Polyurethane Foams scored highest among the six technical papers presented during the PFA Spring General Business Meeting and Technical Program in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The paper focused on how changing flammability standards and increasing public awareness of the eco-toxicity of halogenated flame retardants may have significant implications for polyurethane foam manufacturers and their customers. The presentation described a novel method for the rapid detection and identification of flame retardant compounds in foams, plastics and fabrics.  Preliminary results of ion beam analysis of several hundred foams samples compared to traditional methods were presented, along with the impact of this technology.

Peaslee was trained as a nuclear chemist and continues to do research and teach. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1987 and his A.B. from Princeton University in 1981.  Peaslee helped develop the Hope College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory to perform quantitative elemental analysis on solid, liquid and aerosol particulate samples. He has authored or co-authored more than 160 papers on related research and technology.

PFA Technical Program presentations are scored by meeting attendees. Comparative average scores are calculated based on the number of ballots submitted.  Six papers were presented at the PFA Spring Technical Program.  A CD containing all the papers can be ordered in the Meetings Section of the PFA website at

The objective of the Herman Stone Technical Excellence award is to encourage the sharing of technical innovations, the use of scientific methodology, and professionalism in presentation technique. The award was created by the Herman Stone family in honor of Stone’s 80th birthday. Dr. Stone is a renowned researcher, inventor, expert in flexible polyurethane foam production technology, and a leading contributor to the FPF industry.  In 2007, Dr. Stone was inducted into the Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame, housed virtually at

The mission of the PFA is to educate customers and other groups about flexible polyurethane foam. This includes providing facts on environmental, health and safety issues related to flexible polyurethane foam production. The PFA also provides for its members and their customers generic technical information on the performance of flexible polyurethane foam in consumer and industrial products.  The PFA was founded in 1980. More information is available at

 Posting courtesy of Polyurethane Foam Association