Markets for Forane® Blowing Agents

Arkema is one of the world's largest supplier of fluorochemical blowing agents for the rigid foam and other industries. Arkema's foams are used in a wide variety of markets and applications.



Polyisocyanurate (PIR) boardstock foam

worker installing insulation panels
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) boardstock foam is an energy-efficient and cost-effective insulation material. The three main applications for PIR boardstock in construction are roof insulation, wall insulation and residential air barrier applications. According to The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association's website (PIMA), polyiso foam insulation represents over 60% of all insulation used in new roof construction and at least 40% of all insulation used in re-roofing applications.

Spray foam

Sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) is used in many applications and is one of the fastest growing foam markets. SPF is mainly used for insulation in the construction and roofing industries, the aerospace industry, as pipeline insulation, and in hot tubs and spas. Because of its superior thermal properties, SPF is among the leading insulating materials used for these applications. Additional benefits of SPF include barriers to air, moisture, and dust, reducing heating and cooling costs, providing a seamless structure, and improving structural support. SPF can also be used as an adhesive in roofing, adding an additional layer of insulation while adhering boardstock insulation to the roof.

Appliance foam

inside of a refrigerator
Many of today's household and commercial appliances require the use of polyurethane-based foam for its excellent insulating quality and structural rigidity. Recently revised Department of Energy (DOE) standards and EPA Energy Star guidelines require energy efficiency ratings to be maintained. Polyurethane foam enables manufacturers of appliances to provide consumers with the features and performance they desire while satisfying these DOE and EPA requirements, economically and practically.

Polyurethane foam systems

By developing the appropriate formulations to meet product and cost expectations, which can be a complex and time-consuming endeavor, system houses provide their expertise to end users in order to assist them with satisfying their product requirements. Arkema, with our technical relationships with all of the major polyurethane foam components suppliers, can offer a broad range of assistance in the use of our blowing agents for customers’ partially or fully compounded systems.

Extruded polystyrene foam

polystyrene panels for insulation
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam is a closed-cell insulating foam used in construction. Its resistance to moisture, in conjunction with its strength, durability, and long-term R-value, make it an excellent insulation material in both roofing and sheathing applications. Because polystyrene is a thermoplastic material, it can be remelted and re-inserted into the manufacture of new XPS insulation, thus reducing waste. In addition to being recyclable, XPS foam is re-usable in reroofing situations. Both are good news for the environment.

Phenolic and other

paper house held by hands with dawn background
Phenolic foam is a lightweight foam created from phenolic resins. It is used in a large range of applications, such as flower-foam blocks, building thermal insulation, fire protection, damping and civil engineering in a wide variety of shapes. While hyrdrocarbons are the preferred blowing agent for flower-foam blocks, Forane® 141b has been used mainly as a phenolic-foam blowing agent for its insulating properties, as well as its non-flammability. Due to the recent phase out of HFCF-141b, various new foam blowing agents have been identified as replacements for its applications.

Integral skin foam

Integral skin foams are a type of polyurethane foam used to make many automotive parts, exercise equipment, and furniture. The key feature of these foams is a very tough, abrasive resistant skin surrounding a more flexible core. This skin is created during the foaming process by a combination of mold pressure/temperature and blowing agent. Fluorochemical blowing agents can often have the ideal solubility and boiling point for this process, and thus typically create a very thick abrasion resistant skin surrounding the inner foam core.