From field to table- Polyurethanes Insulation in the Cold Food Chain
A cold food chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain, which helps extend and ensure the shelf life of food products. It starts from food production and ends in domestic refrigerators.
From insulating animal sheds to distribution of refrigerated containers via storage in cold stores, to local storage in supermarkets, and ending in domestic refrigerators, freezers or portable coolers, polyurethane insulating foam plays its role.
Polyurethane foam is not only a versatile material which exhibits desired processing characteristics such as toughness, it also offers a unique combination of lightweight and closed cell structure with encapsulated insulating gas. This is the primary reason for its very favorable insulation-to-thickness ratio, which saves space and material while achieving required insulation values. The mentioned advantages have resulted in polyurethanes being the predominant insulation material and construction element for many of the individual "parts" in the food chain - up to 100% so in some of them.
Polyurethanes are widely used in the insulation of buildings used for rearing chickens. In cold climates it maintains higher temperatures to help young chickens resist the elements, while in hot climates it preserves a cooler atmosphere to promote growth. As fishing vessels have to increasingly fish further from their home ports, polyurethanes insulated holds keep the catch fresh until it is landed.