The polyisocyanurate industry has used its experience to convert
from hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC-141b) to hydrocarbon blowing
agents for the manufacture of polyisocyanurate foam insulation. The
polyisocyanurate industry is responding to U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that eliminate the production
and import of HCFC-141b as of Jan. 1. These regulations are part of
the United States' commitment to the Montreal Protocol, an
international treaty designed to protect the stratospheric ozone
layer. Extruded polystyrene also is affected by these regulations.
Extruded polystyrene currently uses HCFC-142b, which is not slated
for elimination by EPA until 2010.
This is not the first blowing-agent change for the
polyisocyanurate industry, and polyisocyanurate manufacturers'
dedication to successfully make this transition is a testament to
the industry's ingenuity and commitment to achieving the highest
possible environmental performance for its products.
The blowing-agent transition, which took about five years to
complete, has been smooth, and product performance will continue to
meet industry standards. In fact, members of the Polyisocyanurate
Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) have installed more
than 1 billion board feet of polyisocyanurate with hydrocarbons as
the blowing agent throughout North America during the past three
years. These manufacturers report no product performance difference
has been observed, and this also is supported by more extensive use
of rigid polyurethane with hydrocarbons in Europe...
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