In conversation with Justin Weare, North America marketing manager for Polyurethane Additives at Dow

There are endless ways to adapt polyurethane basic chemistry to work in a wide variety of processes that produce an immense range of properties—including being one of the best insulation material currently available in the industry

What are Dow’s best-known products/services/solutions?

The new Dow that emerged from the DowDupont merger one year ago offers a unique set of chemistries spanning from polyolefins, to polyurethanes, cellulosics, acrylics, silicones and many more.

Dow has been a member and a partner of the polyurethane value chain for decades, providing formulators with a wide portfolio of solutions and innovations.

Our offerings to this industry include silicone performance additives, surfactants, and release agents, marketed under the VORASURF™ and DOWSIL™ brands.

Our teams around the world offer distinct technical support and innovation capabilities to tailor our innovative, customizable polyurethane additives to help formulators address their specific performance, sustainability, and profitability objectives. See also the conversation with Mr. Ricardo Badía Melis, PhD Expert and Consultant in Food Waste, Food Security and Cold Chain

Which industry sectors are your customers in and which ones are growing fastest?

Our VORASURF™ polyurethane additives franchise helps meet a variety of needs across a wide range of applications – from footwear to mattresses, automotive interiors to spray foam insulation used in refrigerators and construction: everywhere polyurethane is used, and more!

High performance insulation for industrial and domestic cold-chain appliance is an area where demand growth is driven by quickly changing, increasingly stringent energy efficiency requirements, combined with the value chain transitioning to new formulations and blowing agents following the evolution of health and environmental regulations worldwide.

What are your most recent product innovations?

We are regularly adding new products to expand our portfolio of silicone additives and surfactant for polyurethane, helping formulators to meet their performance, innovation, sustainability and profitability goals.

Dow is very committed to this market, and we recently announced the global availability of 4 innovations for the cold chain insulation foam market:

VORASURF™ RF 5374 Additive is the formulator’s choice achieving high polyol side solubility, blend stability and clarity, when complex cabinet design requires enhanced flow and good aesthetics in applications demanding high insulation performance, such as cold chain, commercial and domestic refrigeration appliances.

VORASURF™ RF 5382 Additive, which brings improved system compatibility to help maximize the insulating performance of pentane-blown rigid foams, helping address challenging energy efficiency criteria in cold chain appliances and installations.

VORASURF™ RF 5388 Additive that helps formulators meet essentially all desired properties of appliance foam systems, with higher pentane solubility, excellent flow and exceptional surface aesthetics to avoid liner defects in domestic or commercial refrigerators and freezers.

VORASURF™ SF 2937 Additive, which supports enhanced k-factor in pour-in-place, continuous panel, closed-cell spray polyurethane and polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation foam, suitable for use with a variety of traditional and more sustainable blowing agents (HC, HFO, HFC and water-blown systems).

What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?

We see emerging performance, sustainability, and profitability challenges in the rigid polyurethane foam space and our innovations are aligning to those to help our customers achieve their goals.

We continue to expand our industry-leading portfolio of VORASURF™ silicone additives for polyurethane, combining strong polyurethane knowledge and technical customer support capabilities, with the strongest silicone franchise in the industry.

How does business in 2020 compare to previous years? What’s your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?

2020 has been a surprising year in many ways. For us at Dow, nothing is more important than safety, and we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and well-being of all our colleagues, customers, suppliers and the broader global community.

During these uncertain times, our ambition to become the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world has been our north star and rallying cry for our team. 

We have taken balanced measures with our stakeholders in mind to respond to changes in business climate with agility, and ensure a nimble recovery.

Can you tell us about any recent customer contracts and how you helped the customer meet their challenges? 

Dow continues to partner with major foam formulators and brand owners to deliver customized solutions that enable superior performance in cold chain applications and beyond.  

Recently, our technologies helped a major component and PU systems producer to formulate rigid foams with improved K factor, fluidity and aesthetics for use in complex cabinet structure of cold chain appliances.

These properties are all important to help OEMs achieve optimal cost in use and cabinet insulation performance, which is critical to meet enhanced energy efficiency requirements for that kind of equipment.

Could you please share your views on Cold Chain Sector for our magazine readers?

The global and regional supply chains have been tested over the past few months, including the cold-chain, which is so critical for securing our food and pharmaceutical supplies.

This kind of event highlights how important it is to have efficient, resilient systems in place. We need to make sure we continue to innovate to meet the latest expectations and requirements of a society and world that are changing rapidly, including protecting the planet and the climate.

Dow believes that the best is yet to come and that is why we continue embracing change to elevate our society to a better place, which include the appliances and systems that serve our needs.

There are endless ways to adapt polyurethane basic chemistry to work in a wide variety of processes that produce an immense range of properties—including being one of the best insulation material currently available in the industry.  That is why Dow is committed to advance the product presence of VORASURF™ in the cold chain sector.

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