Crystal Achievement Awards 2015: The Crystal Standard

Emily Kay Thompson
September 19, 2015
FEATURE ARTICLE | Design & Performance

Most Innovative Door Component

BioFoam by GlassCraft Door Co.

Our judges turned their eye toward environmental awareness for our door component category, citing the seemingly lower environmental impact of GlassCraft Door Co.’s Bio- Foam as the tipping point of innovation.

Green is Still the New Black

Roughly half the population considers a company’s environmental reputation when making product choices. And, millennials are even more likely to consider a company’s environmental record.

Source: Marketing communications and research firm Shelton Group’s recent EcoPulse annual consumer green affinity study.

“BioFoam is an innovative alternative to polyurethane foams,” explains one Crystal Achievement Award judge. “Less hazardous to manufacture and use, it can contribute to green building efforts and reduced fossil fuel usage.”

BioFoam is a plant-based foam fill material developed by GlassCraft as an alternative to polyurethane insulating foam material. “BioFoam represents a giant leap with regard to environmental and health benefits,” the company states in its nomination. BioFoam is formaldehyde-free, contains no harmful air pollutants, nor volatile organic compounds, according to the company.

Innovative Elements

BioFoam replaces petroleum-based polyols with plant-based carbohydrates in the manufacture of the urethane foam, lessening dependence upon fossil fuels. The manufacturing process utilizes no toxic chemicals or additives, and exhibits zero emissions of volatile organic compounds, providing employees with a safer work place and customers with a “greener” door, according to the company.

BioFoam is a castor-based, water blown, rigid, closed-cell foam formulated for use in GlassCraft’s FiberCraft Premium Composite doors. The company reports it exhibits uniform density and even cell structure and uses no synthetic blowing agent or ozone-depleting substances. Instead, the process uses carbon dioxide generated during the reaction to expand the foam and create and fill the door core.

GlassCraft’s product development team worked closely with its chemist to develop a bio-based foam that performed to their specifications. “The resulting product represents a fundamental leap forward when it comes to environmental features and benefits,” says the GlassCraft nomination. “The polyol used in this foam includes a very high castor plant-based oil content that exceeds 40 percent.” Castor-based polyols, the company reports, have about one quarter of the negative environmental impacts of petroleum based polyols.

The foam formula replaces toluene, which may generate dangerous fumes during production, with methylene MDI in its formulation. MDI is a clear, aqueous solution that is free of acidic or alkaline catalytic salts. It is formaldehyde-free, cures quickly, and is, according to the company, the cleanest and most versatile of the isocyanates for foam production.

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Thompson is editor in chief of Window + Door,, and WDweekly. Write her at