You are here

We're starting a new series of articles on the Barcelonesa Group blog called "Myths about Chemistry". We will be periodically posting content in which we try to debunk some of the common and entrenched myths related to chemistry. We've set out to do this because we believe that the activity of the chemical sector is essential to guaranteeing the development and well-being of society as a whole.

When chickens are little, they tend to peck at just about everything. What's more, poultry farms use high-pressure hot water for cleaning purposes. These two factors cause the spray polyurethane foam-based thermal insulation in these installations to "rapidly deteriorate" and, "in just a few years, it has to be replaced by the farmer", explains Mónica Fabra, Business Development Manager for Polyurethanes with Grupo Barcelonesa.

Polyurethane coexists with you without you even noticing its presence all around. More and more everyday items employ polyurethane due to its amazing properties – beds, cars, cleaning products, sportswear, sofas, refrigerators, the walls and ceilings of your home, even the shoes you wear out on the street contain polyurethane. And just as with any other chemical substance that is used on a day-to-day basis, it is the subject of multiple rumours and myths.

Mattresses, cushions, car seats, sponges, protection for fragile parcels, heat and acoustic insulators, floor coverings... though we may not be aware of them most of the time, polyurethanes are probably the most common polymers in our everyday lives.

Improving the thermal insulation of a building can lead to energy savings, economic savings, and reduced CO2 emissions of 30% with regards to heat and air conditioning consumption. This reduction is even more significant when taking into account the fact that climate control represents approximately half of the total energy use for one building, while as a group, buildings represent 17% of the total energy use of a country.

Due to its greater thermal stability, better fire behavior and greater mechanical resistance, PIR sandwich panels (polyisocianurate) have become the preferred option for designers, engineers and architects to the detriment of PUR panels (polyurethane), predominant until now. The main difference between both types is that PIR panels have more isocyanate content and this gives better properties to the final material. Such properties are increasingly necessary due to a more strict regulation in terms of fire safety and the focus on energy efficiency.

Polyurethane systems demonstration: Water-based and HFO-based

A few weeks ago, we invited a customer to our facilities at Cornellà to see how two different polyurethane floor systems can be put together—one water-based and the other HFO-based. The demonstration, which lasted several hours, was given by a team of specialist installers responsible for laying out the systems.  Each of the two systems was created using both 3 and 4 layers.    Installation safety equipment and measures