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Bayer MaterialScience LLC

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Bayer MaterialScience LLC Scientist Finds That Low-Global Warming Potential Blowing Agents Could be Used as Substitutes for HFCs with Relative Ease

Since the elimination of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) 22 and HCFC 141b as blowing agents for rigid polyurethane foams in the United States, the polyurethane industry has sought comparable replacements.

Pittsburgh, PA, October 19, 2010 --( Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s Dr. Steven L. Schilling, senior principal scientist, Development - Insulation, set out to answer that question by conducting a laboratory study to compare the performance of some of these liquid and gaseous low-GWP blowing agents to their HFC counterparts. Results of the study are encouraging, indicating that with optimization of formulations, it may be possible to improve upon the performance properties of foams produced with HFC blowing agents.

Attendees at the Polyurethanes 2010 Technical Conference being held in conjunction with the UTECH North America Exhibition Oct. 11-13, had the opportunity to hear Dr. Schilling’s findings first hand. The results of this study were discussed in Schilling’s presentation “Comparison of Gaseous and Liquid Low-GWP Blowing Agents with HFC 134a and HFC 245a in Rigid Polyurethane Insulating Foams” during the Energy Critical Foams session at the show.

The study compares the performance of a gaseous low-GWP blowing agent to HFC 134a in polyurethane foams containing both high and low levels of the blowing agent. Similarly, the performance of a liquid low-GWP blowing agent is compared to corresponding foams prepared using HFC 245fa.

Through his research, Schilling determined that substituting low-GWP blowing agents for HFC blowing agents with similar boiling points results in surprisingly similar foam processing and properties. According to Schilling, “These findings suggest that low-GWP blowing agents could be used as substitutes for the currently used HFCs with relative ease.” Before these materials will be ready for commercial use in foams, further characterization and regulatory acceptance work will need to take place.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,300 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2009 sales of 7.5 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

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Bayer MaterialScience LLC
Bill Allan
For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC, call 412-777-7454, e-mail or visit
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