Everberg, Belgium – Huntsman, working in collaboration with Switzerland-based Brugg Pipes, has developed a PU foam system for connecting ground source heat pumps and local heating units to domestic or commercial buildings. The companies claim the pipes are highly flexible, thermally efficient and pre-insulated.
The closed cell Suprasec/Daltofoam TE system is being marketed by Brugg, a global producer of pipe systems for the transportation of liquids, gases and heat.
With increasing demand from companies and consumers for greater sustainability, heat pumps are rapidly gaining in popularity as an alternative to fossil-fuel based HVAC systems. These capture warmth from outside and move it inside, or vice versa, depending on the need for warming or cooling.
Traditionally, expanded PE has been used to insulate plastic pipes joining local networks and heat sources to individual buildings. This new PU foam offers, the company claims, better insulation properties with a low lambda value, while using a thinner layer of insulation. It also gives better overall insulation performance than existing PE-based systems. As a result, the pipes in Brugg Pipes Flexstar range can be thinner, lighter and more flexible, making them easier to install and reducing the carbon cost in their distribution.
Bora Yayla, head of marketing at Brugg Pipes, said: ‘We’d been wanting to enter the heat pump market for a while and needed a competitive insulation solution that would enable us to quickly gain ground in this market. Key to our success was achieving a good degree of flex in our pre-insulated pipes to ensure ease of handling without compromising insulation performance.’
Pipes that are more flexible have a smaller winding radius, meaning they are easier to transport, and quicker for heating engineers and installers to lay in confined spaces or where there are tight bends and building entry points to navigate. Yayla added that they are now getting orders for the pipes from all over the world.
Tjerk Lenstra, senior market manager at Huntsman, said: ‘As countries worldwide work to achieve ambitious net zero targets, the spotlight is turning on solutions like ground source heat pumps, which have a much lower carbon footprint. Growth in this sector is evident across all primary heating markets in North America, Europe and North Asia – so the development of a new Suprasec/Daltofoam system solution is timely, exciting and will deliver value – long-term – for our customers, our business and the planet.’