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Refrigerators with added value  #6(112), 2012

The new insulation polyurethane system Baytherm® Microcell developed by Bayer MaterialScience AG, increases the efficiency of household refrigerators. Since 1937 when PU was invented, the BMS specialists constantly improve this material

The percentage of electricity consumed by household refrigerators of the total energy consumed by inhabitants of the modern private house or apartment is a two-digit number. Reducing this figure could ease financial burden on consumers and also contribute to climate protection.
Toughening of legislation on energy savings and increased environmental consciousness of consumers are the factors that are pushing manufacturers of refrigerators to laborious work on the further increase of their products’ efficiency. A key factor here is the insulation of refrigerators.

Ever since the early 60-ies of the XIX century the polyurethane foam is considered as the most effective insulating material. (By the way, it is symbolic that polyurethane was first obtained 75 years ago by German chemist Otto Bayer just in the form of a porous foam.) Since that time the product itself and its production technology were constantly improved. In modern refrigerators with efficiency class of A++ and higher a rigid foam is used in combination with vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) and high-performance compressors, which however lead to comparatively more expensive product.

Therefore the requirements of modern manufacturers of household appliances are aimed for further reduction of not only energy consumption but also of production costs. In spring 2012 the concern Bayer MaterialScience has presented a new heat-insulating polyurethane foam system Baytherm® Microcell, meeting the market requirements on savings of expenses and energy. Hereat it can be manufactured with the use of conventional technologies of foams production.

The new heat-insulating material has even smaller thermal conductivity than conventional foams and is suitable for production of household appliances of the high efficiency classes. The improved heat-insulating capacity is related to a pore size of the foam.The smaller the pore diameter, the lower the thermal conductivity. “In formulations with addition of Baytherm® Microcell the pore size can be reduced by 40 percent as compared to modern analogues, - explains Reinhard Albers, an expert on technical insulation of Bayer MaterialScience. – And this means that we’ve done another important step towards nanofoam. Other characteristics of the foam retained the same level as that of conventional types. Besides, the product has a good fluidity and can be quickly removed from the mold.”

The new material will be useful not only to the end consumers, but also for maintaining of ecological balance. “Using Baytherm® Microcell, one can significantly improve productivity and efficiency of manufacturing process of household appliances, - says Harald Wolf, marketing director of heat-insulating systems of Bayer MaterialScience. – Due to its excellent insulating properties Baytherm® Microcell can displace some other expensive insulation technologies.”

Another advantage of the new insulation system is that it allows to produce refrigerators with a larger internal volume. Applying Baytherm® Microcell, even a thin layer is sufficient to provide effective thermal insulation. The advantage is clear: the consumer can save more foodstuffs, even if it is a built-in refrigerator with relatively small dimensions.

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