Insulation industry news from Global Insulation
Turkey/Luxembourg: Armacell International SA, a Luxembourg-based provider of insulation foams for the equipment insulation market, has acquired OneFlex, a Turkey-based manufacturer of insulation materials for building technology. OneFlex generated a revenue of US$11.2m in 2014. The acquisition will allow Armacell to strengthen its production capabilities and position in Turkey and to expand its footprint across the regions of Middle East, Africa and South-eastern Europe.
UK: Following a successful pilot launch during 2014, Dow Building Solutions has announced the commercial roll-out of XENERGYTM, a brand new, flame-retarded, XPS roof insulation product. In a departure from the blue STYROFOAMTM boards that the company is widely known for, the XENERGYTM boards manufactured by Dow Building Solutions' King's Lynn production site in Norfolk County, will be steel grey in colour.
Dow, the inventor of STYROFOAM, has developed XENERGY to achieve a significantly improved λ insulation performance and to deliver a global warming potential (GWP) of less than five. Through combining a manufacturing process which uses CO2 as the blowing agent and adding infra-red blocking particles to scatter and reflect heat radiation within the foam board, λ values have been increased by 11%.
XENERGY SL, the first XENERGY product available in the UK, is designed to offer highly moisture-resistant flat roof insulation at thinner thicknesses than conventional XPS alternatives. XENERGY SL offers 4mW thermal conductivity gains in various thicknesses.
"The UK is leading the way with the commercial roll-out of XENERGY, a product that has numerous benefits, including significantly improved thermal performance," said Chris Gimson, head of commercial at Dow Building Solutions. "It signifies a new era for the business and demonstrates our commitment to formulating and manufacturing the highest standard insulation materials."
US: Johns Manville (JM), a Berkshire Hathaway company, has launched JM Spider® Plus blow-in insulation, a re-engineered blow-in system. JM Spider Plus replaces JM Spider spray-in fibreglass insulation and JM said that it is ideal for residential, commercial and manufactured buildings.
JM Spider Plus is designed for installation by professionals using a blowing wool machine and features 'Interlocking Fibre Technology,' a new innovation from JM. Interlocking Fibre Technology allows the insulation fibres to spring and lock into cavities with no adhesive or netting. JM Spider Plus achieves an R-value of 15 in a 2x4 cavity and an R-23 in 2x6 walls.
JM Spider Plus is available to customers in North America immediately.
US: Honeywell has launched full-scale commercial production of a low-global-warming-potential (GWP) material for use as an aerosol propellant, insulating agent and refrigerant at its Flourine Products Baton Rouge production facility in Louisiana. The material is known by the industry designation HFO-1234ze and is marketed by Honeywell under its Solstice line of low-global-warming materials.
"Honeywell's Baton Rouge plant is ready to serve customers around the world with this innovative material, which has an ultra-low GWP of less than 1," said Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager of Honeywell's Fluorine Products business. "We are seeing increasing demand for our entire Solstice line of low GWP materials and this new product has already been adopted by a range of customers globally."
In September 2014, Honeywell announced that it would increase production of its low GWP refrigerants, insulation materials, aerosols and solvents and, prior to 2020, will drive a 50%/yr reduction in its production of high GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on a CO2 equivalent basis. Honeywell officials project the use of its low GWP Solstice materials to replace HFCs will eliminate more than 350Mt in CO2 equivalents by 2025, equivalent to removing 70m cars from the road for one year.
HFO-1234ze is a next-generation material that is non-ozone-depleting, non-flammable per ASTM E681 and ISO 10156:2010 testing and has a low-global-warming-potential of <1. It is also not a volatile organic compound (VOC), as determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB).
According to officials, HFO-1234ze is considered a preferred replacement for both HFC-134a (which has GWP of 1,300) and HFC-152a (which is flammable and has a GWP of 138) in aerosol applications and thermal insulating foams, including extruded polystyrene board and polyurethane foams. It is also being considered to replace HFC-134a for large stationary and commercial refrigeration applications and, compared to other low GWP refrigerant options, Honeywell's HFO-1234ze provides energy efficiency benefits.
Russia: TechnoNicol continues the construction of a polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam insulation board plant in Ryazan, despite the possible decline in demand in the construction market. The plant will have a production capacity of 2Mm3/yr. The launch is scheduled for autumn 2015, following investments of Euro21.2m.
TechnoNicol believes that the new material will be prospective, as PIR is not currently produced in Russia. The share of PIR in the European market of insulation materials for commercial facilities amounts to 40% and grows by around 3%/yr. About 76% of flat roofing in the USA is built using PIR boards. TechnoNICOL expects PIR to capture 2% of the insulation market in Russia by 2018, which currently stands at 47.5Mm3/yr.
Saudi Arabia: During a field inspection in Riyadh, the supervisory teams of the Commerce Ministry shut down three thermal insulation factories that were manufacturing flawed products. Samples taken by the teams proved that the insulation products did not comply with the required energy-efficiency specifications and standards of insulation materials. The Ministry has halted six production lines at the plants and confiscated 1500 product units. Plant managers were summoned by the Ministry for further inquiries. If found guilty of negligence, they could face severe fines or in some cases imprisonment.
Russia: Grigory Protosenya, the general director of Penoplex, has forecast that the demand for the company's products will decline until late 2015 or the middle of 2016 due to the inertia of the construction market. The demand reduction will affect all manufacturers, but mostly small companies.
Penoplex plans to raise its prices by about 30% in the spring of 2015 due to increasing costs of equipment and raw materials. It has no plans to cut production. Moreover, it will launch a new 2000kg/hr capacity line at its plant in Novomoskovsk, Tula region, in 2015.
So far, Penoplex has not shelved its plant construction project in the Volga region. Protosenya believes that the company will meet the current crisis in a 'steady state.' Weakening of the Russian Ruble will also allow it to start exporting products, primarily to Finland and Norway. However, shipments will be small at 20,000 - 30,000m3 and exports of around 2.50Mm3/yr.
UK: Veolia UK has introduced a new technology that it claims will transform non-recyclable paper and cardboard from household waste into a pulp called Pro-Fibre. The material can then be used in a range of products such as insulation and construction materials.
According to Veolia, the UK recycles about 815Mt/yr of recovered fibre, about 70% of the paper generated in the country. However, many different types of paper are rejected from recycling facilities because they have been contaminated with glass, sand, plastic, metal, food or grease. The contaminated paper has traditionally been sent to landfill or energy recovery facilities.
With its new system, Veolia will be able to convert the material into a recyclable material. It is investing Euro1.27m into the new technology at its facility in Sheffield, England, which will be able to treat up to 20,000Mt/yr and produce up to 14,000Mt/yr of Pro-Fibre. The process includes identifying and capturing the non-recyclable fibre fragments, pulping, cleaning, screening and a mechanical pressing stage.
The Pro-Fibre process includes five steps that will enable the removal contaminants to create a pulp that can replace virgin materials currently used in the construction and packaging industry, including insulation materials and biodegradable pots. Veolia is working with a specialist partner from the paper industry, which will analyse the properties of the Pro-Fibre so the companies can determine the product's commercial potential. The first batch of pulp is expected to be produced in early 2015. According to Veolia, Pro-Fibre can be manufactured either wet or dry and is suitable for businesses looking for a cost-effective and sustainable feedstock.
Latvia: The Latvian construction materials manufacturer, Tenapors, plans to invest Euro3.8m in a new production plant in Dobele. The new plant, which will produce insulation sandwich panels, will be completed in September 2015 and will employ 15 people. Roberts Kurma, director of the export department at Tenapors, said that the new plant would allow the company to double its production volume and sales in the Baltic States and Scandinavia. Tenapors had another factory in Valmiera, which produces insulation materials from geofoam.
Serbia: Masterplast, a major producer of thermal insulation materials in Central and Eastern Europe, has announced that it plans to expand its plant located in Szabadka, Serbia. Masterplast will invest Euro400,000 of its own resources in the expansion and will launch trial production in its second fibreglass plant.