Polyol producer Nanjing Hongbaoli claims to make inroads into the market for fire-retardant (FR) insulation foams by offering new highly FR polyisocyanurate (PIR) systems based on its aromatic polyester polyols (APPs), said Horace Xing, technical manager.
"By May we will expand our capacity to 160 ktpa from 100 ktpa," investing about RMB 250 million ($39 million) in this project - the cash raised from its recent listing on the domestic stock market. Most of the funding will be used for these FR materials, for construction, he emphasised.
This is because China is developing stringent rules on fire behaviour of construction materials Hongbaoli is able to offer panel manufacturers polyester polyols and systems with a very high level of fire resistance, Xing said.
In its other major outlet, the appliance sector, Xing claimed Hongbaoli has 11 patents on a pressure-reducing foaming technology (see p 24 for news of a breakthrough in this area by Dow Polyurethanes/Cannon Group).
Hongbaoli sells to appliance groups such as BSH Horne Appliances Ltd (Bosch Siemens), Haier, Arelik (ofTurkey), and LG Group in Korea.
"All the top companies in the world are coming to talk to us about their interest in cooperating in this area," Xing claimed.
Using this technology would raise energy efficiency by 6 percent and reduce material usage by around 5 percent, Xing said. "BSH, LG, and Samsung are already saying they will carry out trials on the technology, while Medea, the biggest Chinese fridge maker according to Xing,is already using Hongbaoli's technology in its plants after trials using many products, he added.
Hongbaoli claims its brand is well recognised in the country, with a range which covers base polyester and polyether polyols and blended system polyols.
"The show has been very good for contacts," Xing said in an 8 Sept interview at UTECH Asia/PU China 2011, explaining that Hongbaoli is assessing new markets and is seeing wider business opportunities, for example in the Middle East.
Hongbaoli has recently set up a new materials business, which will be responsible for the group's systems business, Xing said. This enterprise and Hongbaoli itself are "developing at a very fast pace," because the Chinese construction market is growing at such high speed.
Xing said the domestic market uses materials such as EPS and XPS (expanded and crosslinked polystyrene) but he said their fire performance is not up to the task, which is why Hongbaoli has a focus on developing fire-resistant PIR foams.
The market for Hongbaoli's materials is growing well: "I personally see 20 percent average growth for the next five years," in polyols and systems, Xing said.