First commercial polyurethane insulation system using HFO blowing agent

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  • HFO replaces traditional HFC foam blowing agent
  • Improved shelf life, increased energy efficiency & faster de-moulding
  • Application: refrigerators at Whirlpool Corp.

BASF announced that its new formulation of Elastocool rigid foams utilizing Honeywell’s Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) is now being used by Whirlpool Corporation in a line of its consumer refrigerators. It is the first commercial polyurethane insulation system on the market that uses a low global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) foam blowing agent, according to BASF. This marks the first time that such a system was used to replace a traditional hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) based foam blowing agent in residential appliances.

Solstice LBA has an ultra-low-GWP of 1, compared to HFCs, which have GWPs between 700 and 1000. BASF’s Elastocool rigid foams feature a fine, closed cell structure that result in good mechanical and physical properties. Using Elastocool foam and Solstice LBA as an insulation system provides several advantages:

  • Improved shelf life stability of materials, leading to increased plant operational flexibility for Whirlpool
  • A 2-3 percent overall increase in energy efficiency of the appliance due to better insulating properties
  • Improved foam distribution during production, providing more consistent and uniform energy efficiency across the appliance
  • Reduced de-mould time during production, leading to reduced cycle time.
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