Markets for foam, solvents and aerosols
Arkema is one of the world's largest supplier of fluorochemical blowing agents for the rigid foam and other industries. Arkema's foams, solvents and aerosols are used in a wide variety of markets and applications.
Sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) is used in many applications and is one of the fastest growing foam markets. SPF is mainly used for insulation in the construction and roofing industries, the aerospace industry, as pipeline insulation, and in hot tubs and spas. Because of its superior thermal properties, SPF is among the leading insulating materials used for these applications.
Additional benefits of SPF include barriers to air, moisture, and dust, reducing heating and cooling costs, providing a seamless structure, and improving structural support. SPF can also be used as an adhesive in roofing, adding an additional layer of insulation while adhering boardstock insulation to the roof.
Many of today's household and commercial appliances require the use of polyurethane-based foam for its excellent insulating quality and structural rigidity. Recently revised Department of Energy (DOE) standards and EPA Energy Star guidelines require energy efficiency ratings to be maintained. Polyurethane foam enables manufacturers of appliances to provide consumers with the features and performance they desire while satisfying these DOE and EPA requirements, economically and practically.
Polyurethane foam systems
Developing the appropriate formulation to meet product expectations, reproducibility, homogeneous mixing, time/temperature profiles for curing and cost containment can be a complex endeavor. System houses provide their expertise to end users to assist them with satisfying their product requirements. Arkema has technical relationships with all of the major formulators and can offer a broad range of blowing agents suitable for customers' partially or fully compounded systems.
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) boardstock foam
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) boardstock foam is an energy-efficient and cost-effective insulation material. The three main applications for PIR boardstock in construction are roof insulation, wall insulation and residential air barrier applications. According to The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association's website (PIMA), polyiso foam insulation represents over 60% of all insulation used in new roof construction and at least 40% of all insulation used in re-roofing applications.
Extruded polystyrene foam
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam is a closed-cell insulating foam used in construction. Its resistance to moisture, in conjunction with its strength, durability, and long-term R-value, make it an excellent insulation material in both roofing and sheathing applications. Because polystyrene is a thermoplastic material, it can be remelted and re-inserted into the manufacture of new XPS insulation, thus reducing waste. In addition to being recyclable, XPS foam is re-usable in reroofing situations. Both are good news for the environment.
Phenolic and other
Phenolic foam is a lightweight foam created from phenolic resins. It is used in a large range of applications, such as flower-foam blocks, building thermal insulation, fire protection, damping and civil engineering in a wide variety of shapes. While hyrdrocarbons are the preferred blowing agent for flower-foam blocks, Forane® 141b has been used mainly as a phenolic-foam blowing agent for its insulating properties, as well as its non-flammability. Due to the recent phase out of HFCF-141b, various new foam blowing agents have been identified as replacements for its applications.
Solvent blends to replace HCFC-141b are used in precision cleaning, electronics cleaning, and other carrier applications. Arkema has a range of liquid HFCs as well as low GWP molecules for these applications.
By definition, aerosols are suspensions of fine solid or liquid particles in a gas or a substance packaged under pressure with a propellant for release as a spray of fine particles. Today, the aerosol industry contributes hundreds of different consumer products that are used as household and industrial cleaners, disinfectant, deodorants, insect repellant, paints, perfumes, and hair products, to name a few. Since 1978, aerosol products made in the US, except for some necessary medical applications, have not contained CFC's, which are known to deplete the ozone layer.