More efficient production of refrigeration equipment
Covestro develops polyurethane system for faster demolding / Processing on existing plants / No compromises in quality and energy efficiency
In the highly competitive market for refrigeration equipment, OEMs want to maximize the utilization of their systems to remain competitive. They need to improve manufacturing productivity and shorten cycle times. One important production step is foaming the housing with rigid polyurethane foam. Faster demolding is essential to accelerate this process.
At the K 2019 plastics trade fair, Covestro will be presenting new polyurethane systems at Booth A75 in Hall 6, which enable up to 20 percent faster demolding of refrigerators with standard wall thicknesses. The new systems based on optimized polyols, isocyanates and catalysts not only accelerate production, but also enhance the good insulating efficiency of existing rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
"With the development of this polyurethane system, we are helping the appliance industry master one of its most important challenges," explains Reinhard Albers, an expert for refrigerator insulation at Covestro. "Manufacturers can process the system on their production lines without having to compromise on quality features such as energy consumption or housing geometry," explains Albers.
Sustainable preservation of food products
About 20 percent of the energy consumed by buildings is spent on the operation of cooling appliances. Rigid polyurethane foam offers very good insulation – so it has been used for many years to efficiently insulate almost all refrigerators worldwide. Continuous improvement of the insulation performance means that appliances of the highest energy efficiency class A+++ can now be manufactured. They make a special contribution to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions and conserve fossil resources. Efficiently insulated refrigerators reliably protect food from spoilage and contribute to a sustainable diet for the populace.
The expansion of the foam after demolding is a fundamental feature of PU rigid foam, which influences both the processing and insulating performance. The new PU system results in significantly reduced post-expansion and enables very good process productivity compared to foams of the previous generation. The system has excellent flowability during manufacture and ensures homogeneous density distribution of the foam in the refrigerator housing. This enables the production of energy-efficient refrigerators at low cost using established foam processing technologies.
With 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,800 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2018.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.