Technology Today

Who's made the blowing-agent conversion?

Dec. 31 marks a significant milestone for polyisocyanurate insulation manufacturers—they must convert to third-generation blowing agents for their polyisocyanurate products. If you are involved in specifying, purchasing or installing rigid board polyisocyanurate roof insulation, you need to be aware of the changes.

Plant-by-plant statuses of polyisocyanurate insulation manufacturers' conversions to alternative blowing agents and third-generation polyisocyanurate insulation products

Citing concerns with the ozone-depleting potential of certain chemicals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated reductions in the use of a number of chemicals. Such a mandate was the primary reason for polyisocyanurate insulation manufacturers to change the blowing agent (a raw material component used when manufacturing polyisocyanurate insulation) from chlorofluorocarbon to hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC-141b) during the early 1990s.

Polyisocyanurate insulation manufacturers now face an additional EPA-mandated deadline. After Dec. 31, chemical manufacturers no longer will be permitted to produce HCFC-141b. As a result, polyisocyanurate insulation manufacturers again are forced to change a critical component in the manufacturing of polyisocyanurate insulation.

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