Energy Management Case Studies

Environmentally Conscious Electric Cooling and Heating System with Closed-Cell Foam

The Problem: Fiberglass and its Environmental Hazards

A high profile company was looking to create a brand new, high-end residential cooling and heating system.  As an industry leader, they needed cutting edge design that was also environmentally conscious.  While fiberglass is normally used for insulation within these types of systems, the material presents certain environmental and health hazards that this company was looking to avoid. Often times when handling and installing fiberglass, small fibers can escape into the air and cause skin irritation.

This health hazard to workers, along with the environmental implications of using fiberglass, led our client to request an alternative material. While it seems simple on paper to replace the fiberglass, finding a material that insulates as well as fiberglass can be a complex task. Complicating the process is the fact that insulation materials must meet certain regulations.

The Solution: Polymer’s PLFS Closed-Cell Foam

When this client approached Polymer Technologies, they had very specific demands. They needed insulation foam that:

  • Passed ASTM E-84 flame spread and smoke development specifications of 25/50 or less
  • Was non-water absorbing
  • Featured closed-cell material
  • Met the R-value of 4.2 at a minimum

Faced with this long list of specifications, Polymer proceeded to create a handful of material options that met our client’s requirements. Polymer sent the different test materials, with documentation of material characteristics, to the client, and the client did in-house testing on each of the materials at their headquarters and put the test materials into action via field tests.

After three extensive field tests, it was clear that Polymer had provided the best solution compared to the competition; the chosen material was Polymer PLFS-CC – a specially designed Low flame spread and smoke generating closed-cell foam that provides insulation properties similar to fiberglass, but with a variety of added advantages including:

  • Easier and more efficient fabrication of materials
  • Easier and more efficient installation process
  • Safer working environment for employees
  • Is non-moisture absorbing

The Result: Superior Foam Insulation and Ease of Installation

By using Polymer’s PLFS closed-cell foam, our client is able to maintain their environmentally conscious attitude while still providing a superior heating and cooling product. The PLFS foam met the critical flame and smoke requirements, as well as the water resistance criteria, stated by client. In the end, the combination of required material characteristics as well as the ease and safety of working with Polymer’s material, helped our client prepare their new electric cooling and heating system for release in 2015.

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