Product applications

The versatility of rigid polyurethane foam makes it suitable for an extensive range of thermal insulation applications.

Around 29 million refrigerators and freezers for residential use are produced each year in Europe, Africa and Middle East. Similar numbers are produced in the Americas. The single biggest producer country for refrigerators and freezers is the People's Republic of China. Huntsman Polyurethanes' appliance application has gloabl research and technical support.

Polyurethane applications in appliances cover a number of types of units such as residential refrigerators, residential freezers, commercial refrigerators and freezers (such as ULT or ultra-low temperature freezers, reach-ins), and vending machines.

From a manufacturing point of view, the production is similar for the various types of appliances. Their common objective is to keep the items they contain cold or frozen. Insulation to assist chilling and refrigeration of foodstuffs throughout the supply chain is a primary function of rigid polyurethane foam in this segment.

Key drivers in the appliance polyurethane market are the Montreal and Kyoto protocols. The Montreal Protocol, the main target of which is the protection of the ozone layer, is leading to the phase-out and, ultimately, to a ban on the use of CFCs and HCFCs, traditionally used as blowing agents to produce foam.  

The choice and timing of replacement of blowing agents is driven regionally. For more information on this topic, please click on your region.

Energy consumption requirements are governed by national or international laws. For more information on this topic, please click on your region.

Product applications by Region

Europe, Africa, Middle East