Mount Airy, North Carolina – NCFI Polyurethanes is working hard to move customers over to new blowing agents. The first deadline for removing HFCs from polyurethane foam products in the US is January 2017 for integral skin foams, with the next deadline in 2020 for most other foams.
“It is important to get the technology correct before moving over to new blowing agents,” said Will Jarrell, market manager for custom formulated products. “We are lining people up for field trials, and so far they are going well.” Jarrell was speaking on the sidelines of UTECH North America which was held here from 6-7 April 2016.
Jarrell is keen to encourage customers to prepare for the changes well in advance of the deadline, as the switch is not trivial. “The biggest challenge with these new blowing agents is that there is a limited number of catalysts that can be used with them,” he said. “You cannot simply drop them into old technology.”
Integral skin foams represent only a fraction of the overall construction market, and Jarrell expects that additional new blowing agents will reach the market ahead of the big 2020 deadline.
The final deadline for HFC replacement, for aerospace applications, has not been finalised, but Jarrell believes it may be 2025. This may be pushed back if technical problems arise because aerospace has a large number of safety critical components. “Testing in aerospace typically takes seven or eight years, and includes unmanned space flights,” he said. “It would better to delay the deadline than cause risk to life.”