New system with HFO, the ‘eco-friendly’ gas for insulation with projected polyurethane

Improving the thermal insulation of a building can lead to energy savings, economic savings, and reduced CO2 emissions of 30% with regards to heat and air conditioning consumption. This reduction is even more significant when taking into account the fact that climate control represents approximately half of the total energy use for one building, while as a group, buildings represent 17% of the total energy use of a country.

One of the most widespread insulation solutions is the use of projected polyurethane, a material that offers excellent insulation capacity for both heat and sound. It also stands out for being versatile, impermeable, inert, harmless, with low thermal conductivity, and all of this at a quickly depreciable price. These properties have transformed it into a highly popular material that is widely used in the construction sector: houses, industrial warehouses, farms…

Projected polyurethane systems have evolved over the past 30 years as a result of increased environmental awareness. The first variants included in their composition CFC gases, which were then followed by HCFC gases, and years later, HFC gases. From an environmental standpoint, each new generation of these fluorine-based gases was an improvement over the previous, but to greater or lesser degrees they have continued to be harmful to the ozone layer and have contributed to climate change. The latest generation to arrive on the scene, the HFOs (hydrofluoroolefins), have put an end to this issue, and could be considered an ‘eco-friendly’ gas.“Tras una importante labor de I+D, el Grupo Barcelonesa ha sacado al mercado un sistema de poliuretano bicomponente para proyección en suelos, paredes, techos y cubiertas, cuyo componente poliol contiene HFO y que la empresa comercializa bajo el nombre comercial de BD SYS 6602”, explica Mónica Fabra, Business Development Manager Polyurethanes de Barcelonesa. Es decir, “en este nuevo producto, el HFO actúa como agente expandente del poliol en sustitución a los actuales HFC”, especifica Fabra.

“Following significant R&D work, Grupo Barcelonesa has put on the market a polyurethane bicomponent system for projection into floors, ceilings, and roofing, whose polyol component contains HFO and which the company is selling under the trade name BD SYS 6602”, explains Mónica Fabra, the Business Development Manager for Polyurethanes at Barcelonesa. In other words, “in this new product, the HFO acts as an expanding agent for the polyol to replace the current HFCs”, Fabra explains further.

The Barcelonesa technician assures us that “the HFO is destined to become the replacement for current HFC gases”. “As an insulator, it is equally as efficient as the HFC, with the significant advantage that it has infinite benefits from an environmental standpoint: its ozone depletion potential is equal to zero and it has very low global warming potential (GWP), meaning it is a far more environmentally friendly alternative”, Fabra points out.

In reference to the BD SYS 6602 product, the Grupo Barcelonesa spokesperson states that “the polyol component with HFO works perfectly: it enables the cream and gel times to remain the same, as well as the excellent performance of the systems with HFC, and ensures good adherence to the substrate and between layers”. Regarding pricing, the expert explains that, “at the moment, the new systems with HFO gas will be slightly more expensive”, a situation that surely won’t last long given that “the price of HFC is going up as it is becoming increasingly scarce while the price of HFO is going down as its use is becoming more widespread”. One more point in favour of HFO.