McDonalds looked to Franke Foodservice Equipment Corp. (La Vergne, TN, U.S.), part of Franke Holding AG (Aarburg, Switzerland), for equipment that would help it meet its corporate environmental goals. Franke, in turn, looked to Foam Supplies Inc. for a blowing agent for the insulation used in its commercial refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerated commercial fixtures such as this prep table. Ecomate is a nonhydrocarbon blowing agent for insulating foam and is designed to replace HCFCs, HFCs, and HCs.
Christian Zwiefel, corporate vice president of technology for Franke, said it switched to the blowing agent because of its zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and zero global warming potential (GWP), along with insulative performance that matched or surpassed polyurethane foams using HCFC-141b or HFC-134a. The new blowing agent replaced HFC-polyurethane foam-in-place insulation in its commercial refrigerators and freezers —including this refrigerated prep table.
The blowing agent’s properties are compared to HCFC-141b, with similarities including boiling point, solubility, and gas lambda value. Foaming characteristics, density potential, and thermal resistance are also similar, while upper and lower explosion limits (UEL/LEL) are broader than 141b. A molecular weight half that of HCFC-141b is said to make it almost twice as effective at blowing the same density foam, for user cost savings.
The switch to this blowing agent is also easy for users of HCFC-141b. Handling and use requirements are similar and minimal (or no) equipment changes are needed.