Not only are regulations around HFCs and blowing agents forcing the refrigeration industry to change its production processes, but trends around food consumption and the food chain are playing their parts in its development. Dow, Huntsman, Saip and UK plant distributor CTM shared their views with Jane Denny.
The cold chain is the almost invisible process which gets food from farms and food processors into the kitchens and diets of the developed world. Refrigerating or freezing food stops it spoiling along its journey and makes the process of growing, transporting and consuming food far more robust than it was even a few decades ago. The logistics of food delivery would be far more costly and much less efficient without polyurethane.
The global cold chain market was worth $167 bn last year and is projected to rise to $234 bn by 2020, reflecting a CAGR of 7% according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
It is a market that is split three main ways. Firstly, domestic refrigerators, then secondly commercial refrigerators such as supermarket display cabinets and industrial refrigeration units within factories and the food service industry. The third group is made up of refrigeration solutions for the transportation of food globally, nationally and locally.
While the distinct market segments have different design aspects, insulating foam is the connecting factor for all units. However, the amount of foam required and design sophisitication of the units varies…