Sustainable development goals have raised the bar in terms of environmental impact and product performance. Manufacturers of building materials and white goods are continually challenged by the energy efficiency of their products, and in this, the insulating properties of polyurethane play a key role.
However, to remain competitive, these same manufacturers need to contain the cost of their processes. This is why they make use of efficient and flexible equipment, capable of handling different productions and formulations on the same line.
Energy generation is responsible for around 75% of greenhouse gas emissions from Europe, and energy efficiency has been identified by the European Commission as the key player for emissions reduction.
The joint efforts of the institutions and private companies must focus on improving industrial processes and on a total energy requalification of buildings and appliances, which is currently responsible for more than half of total worldwide energy consumption.
The role of Polyurethane and HFOs
Polyurethane has always played a principal role in the buildings and appliances sectors, known for its good insulation properties and its capability of processing in a liquid phase, obtaining a solid product with low thermal conductivity and high mechanical properties.
New regulations in terms of end-of-life treatment, fire behavior and insulation performances are pushing manufacturers to change the design and materials of their products.
Many of them are investing in the higher insulating power of foams through the use of more sophisticated blowing agents, such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). But while these help decrease gas conductivity and allow typical cell sizes to be reduced, they are excessively expensive.
Chemical formulators have therefore developed mixed solutions that achieve an advantageous compromise between cost and performance.
Handling Multiple Formulations
In order to optimize production costs, by obtaining a final product that is economically sustainable, many appliance manufacturers choose to mix HFOs into polyols or directly in the mixing head. Others choose instead to allocate a production line for the creation of refrigerators – and other household appliances – with different insulating capacities, belonging to different energy classes.
In any case, flexibility and efficiency are the characteristics required from their equipment suppliers.
In line with our customers’ needs and requests, our team at Cannon proposes several solutions that handle multiple PU formulations on the same dosing machines, either as alternatives or modulating for each specific shot:
- Premix units become more flexible by adding one or more components or feeding different percentages one after the other
- Two separate mixing heads with independent dosing and distribution lines
- Special valve for fast polyol switching upstream and downstream mixhead injector, optimized for minimum contamination
- Multi-component mixing heads for handling multiple polyols and slurries
- Multi-component mixing heads for handling additives for modification of one single polyol formulation
For our customers, each specific case requires a dedicated solution, and our team is here to address your needs and help you reach your goals.
Interested in learning more about our mixing heads solutions? Contact our team to learn what our offerings can do for you.