By David Reed, UT EditorRoydon, UK-IFS Group, a specialist supplier of polyurethane chemicals to a wide cross-section of global industries, is supplying a system for making rigid foam supports for large sections of an oil pipeline which will run 1760 km from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean.The supports-properly designated as erosion breaker dams-are based on a low-density, open-celled, rigid polyisocyanurate foam made using a blend of polyether, polyester and natural oil polyols with MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), according to a 1 March statement from IFS. They are needed to support and protect the pipeline in areas of rough terrain, whilst allowing it to flex and move freely if exposed to storm conditions or seismic activity, explains the firm, adding that the open-cell nature of the foam allows water to pass though it without being retained. The system uses a blowing agent based on HCF-245fa (the latest hydrofluorocarbon material made by Honeywell) in combination with water which generates carbon dioxide; designated Cellafoam 35, this yields foam with a density of 35 kg/m3 and greater than 90 percent open cells. To provide the support required, the foam has a high compressive strength, which is achieved by trimerising it at high isocyanate index, said IFS managing director Barrie Colvin.”
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