French company Arkema, a major player in blowing agents for polyurethane and polyisocyanurate insulating foams in construction, is in the process of developing hydrofluorolefins (HFO), fourth generation blowing agents to replace hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs). HFCs are becoming increasingly regulated for some applications because of their Global Warming Potential (GWP) values (1300 for HFC-134a and 950 for HFC-245fa). The company says the next generation HFOs will enjoy a better environmental performance while maintaining excellent general properties including insulation properties for rigid polyurethane foams.
Accordingly, the company will launch newly developed series of zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) and low GWP blowing solutions at Utech conferences (Maastricht - March 31st to April 2nd 2009). These blowing agents are said to feature a similar blowing efficiency and provide some improvement in dimensional stability as well as a significant advantage on k-factor versus actual HFCs and hydrocarbons. Arkema is the world's leading producer of fluorinated blowing agents, with production facilities in Europe (Pierre-Bénite, France), the United States (Calvert City, Kentucky) and Asia (Changshu, China).