SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY–August 15, 2012–Walls and roofs are by far the most often profiled application of spray and injection polyurethane foam. However, foam's insulating versatility means it isn't relegated to building-based applications. In fact, one New York-based foam manufacturer, Aloha Energy, has looked beyond the ordinary and supplied polyurethane foam to some relatively novel applications.
Traditionally, covering a small body of water entailed an enormous swathe of heavy-duty fabric. Now, an army of plastic floats, somewhat reminiscent of hockey pucks, is an effective, viable option. The Hexprotect cover system, made by AWTT Inc., consists of small hexagonal modules, made of a polyethylene shell filled with closed-cell polyurethane injection foam, that are dumped in large quantities into small bodies of water where coverage is necessary. Application examples include water treatment facilities, aquaculture farms, and mining operations, to list a few.
Aloha energy supplies AWTT with a custom injection polyurethane foam for this application. The foam, as you might expect, provides buoyancy to the Hexprotect covers. What's not as intuitive is the insulating property provided by the foam is just as significant for a variety of coverage applications.
"It gives them a higher insulation value than just air would, and they definitely want to maximize their R-value," said Eletto, speaking of a wastewater treatment example. "If the tank is cooled down, it reduces the rate of bacteria growth."
The covers can also help keep heat in, as with temperature-sensitive aquaculture applications. It can furthermore mitigate evaporation, which would be useful in a reservoir application.
"They came to us out of the box; they wanted to use a totally Green injection foam," said Eletto. "They found us on the internet–actually, on SprayFoam.com."
Aloha also worked with AWTT in linking them with MIXSYN Equipment to produce the custom foam injection elements of their assembly line.
While the Hexprotect covers represent a unique idea entirely, Aloha Energy is involved with a much more common concept: refrigeration. In supplying foam to RTF Manufacturing, Aloha Energy has entered the high-end, state-of-the-art refrigeration and freezing industry. RTF manufactures refrigerating and freezing systems for industrial, marine and healthcare applications. Additionally, they engineer walk-in coolers and freezers as well (yes, including beer caves).
"They wanted to deal with somebody local, so they approached us and said, 'here's the parameters for what we're doing,'" said Eletto. "They tested it down to cryogenic temperatures and found it's completely stable."
Aloha also supplies a custom polyurethane injection foam to RTF. R-values for refrigerating and freezing applications are understandably crucial, but that might be an understatement for RTF ultra-low freezers. With some units that employ five inches of closed-cell foam and reach temperatures of -86ºC (about -123ºF), the foam is the unsung, or unseen, hero for the refrigerating and freezing units; the refrigeration mechanics couldn't run efficiently without it.
Aloha doesn't only do custom formulations for unique applications; the company also provides a full line of spray and injection foams. Foams range in density from 0.5 lb to 2.5 lb. and are decidedly highly eco-friendly.
"The big thing that's unique about us is our bio-renewable content is particularly high," said Eletto. "Sixty to seventy percent on the B-side."
The foams, which use a combination of soy, castor and sucrose, and are all water-blown. Aloha maintains that it produces the most renewable foams in the industry.
About Aloha Energy: Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Aloha Energy has been producing highly-renewable polyurethane foam since 2009. The company is focused on bringing customers a natural, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional foams. Aloha also distibutes foam application equipment. For more information, please use the contact details and links provided below.