NCFI Polyurethanes’ Spray Foam Products Use Honeywell’s Low Global-Warming Material

Honeywell has announced that NCFI Polyurethanes has transitioned to Honeywell’s low-global-warming material for roofing applications, with wall insulation systems to follow.

NCFI is offering closed-cell polyurethane spray foam formulated with Honeywell’s Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) in roofing products. This offering marks another milestone as NCFI transitions its engineered building products line from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents with high global-warming-potential (GWP) to low-GWP products. This includes converting much of its polyurethane product line to Solstice LBA encompassing integral skin and other applications in advance of environmental regulations calling for a phaseout of HFCs.

Solstice LBA, which is based on low GWP hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) technology, is an ingredient in closed-cell foam, allowing it to expand and enabling insulating performance. Solstice LBA has a low GWP of 1, which is 99.9 percent lower than HFCs and equal to carbon dioxide.

“A part of our low-GWP commitment is to introduce HFC-free spray foam products that meet our performance standards,” states Chip Holton, president, NCFI Polyurethanes. “Not only is our internal plan for conversions to a SmartSPF line ahead of the deadlines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we also believe these spray foam products give us a competitive advantage.”

The adoption of Solstice LBA is part of how NCFI is fulfilling its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was first publicized during a 20-company roundtable discussion held by President Obama at the White House last October. At that event, NCFI was honored for plans to transition from HFCs to low-GWP products. Honeywell was also recognized at the event during which it presented projections on the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of the Solstice product suite. Worldwide adoption of Solstice products has resulted in the reduction of more than 31 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, equal to eliminating emissions from more than 6 million cars. 

“NCFI continues to make progress with the adoption of Solstice LBA,” says Laura Reinhard, global business manager for spray foam, Honeywell. “Not only is NCFI demonstrating environmental leadership by offering spray foam products with reduced climate impact, it is also seeing performance improvements.”

Compared to NCFI’s HFC-based insulation systems, the new systems featuring Solstice LBA deliver improvements in sprayability, consistency, and surface finish. The foam is strong and allows for walking on the roof to maintain equipment with less risk of damaging the foam.

Solstice LBA is nonflammable (ASTM E-681) and is not a volatile organic compound under applicable EPA air quality regulations. Solstice LBA is listed as an acceptable substitute for HFC blowing agents under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program. Similarly, in Europe, Solstice LBA is regarded as non-global-warming and is not considered an F-Gas under the F-Gas regulations. It is registered under the European Union’s REACH program. Honeywell’s Solstice LBA manufacturing plant in Louisiana started up in May 2014.

Asphalt and Polyurethane Create Durable Membrane

The Garland Co. Inc.’s OptiMax polyurethane-modified asphalt-based roof membrane is developed with a process that combines asphalt with polyurethane to create a durable and long-lasting modified membrane.

The Garland Co. Inc.’s OptiMax polyurethane-modified asphalt-based roof membrane is developed with a process that combines asphalt with polyurethane to create a durable and long-lasting modified membrane.

The Garland Co. Inc.’s OptiMax polyurethane-modified asphalt-based roof membrane is developed with a process that combines asphalt with polyurethane to create a durable and long-lasting modified membrane. OptiMax becomes increasingly resilient as it ages because, with time, polyurethane molecules are chemically linked with one another. The process was first used in Europe in the paving industry.

When traditional SBS-modified membranes age, the oils within the membrane heat up and “cook out”, causing cracking and eventually leaking. OptiMax utilizes an “active modification” process, which involves chemically reacting the polyurethane modifier to specific molecules within the asphalt. This modification provides enhanced long-term performance characteristics and weatherability.

Its performance is further improved by the fact that minerals are more strongly attracted to the polyurethane in the OptiMax membrane. The result is improved adhesion thus providing UV protection, preventing the likelihood of cracking and leaking issues common in traditional membranes. During advanced surface testing, OptiMax had fewer cracks when compared to traditional asphalt-modified membranes and retained its tensile strength in the face of damaging UV radiation.

“OptiMax has the ability to literally change the face of the roofing industry. This new technology will revolutionize the market and redefine expectations of building owners in terms of performance and protection. OptiMax has been engineered to outperform other commercial roofing products in the industry,” explains Melissa Rus, Garland’s director of research and development.

PHOTO: The Garland Co. Inc.