On the leading edge of blowing agent technology

By the 1980s, the writing was on the wall. And the Montreal Protocol of 1987 reinforced the fact that ozone-depleting CFCs—widely used as foam blowing agents in addition to their other commercial uses—were on the way out.

Foam Supplies was ready, patenting an HCFC-22 blown chemical system in 1989. It was the first CFC-free rigid foam technology ever developed.

While HCFCs significantly reduced ozone depletion, they still posed environmental threats as powerful greenhouse gases. Knowing that more regulations would follow, we introduced the industry’s first HFC-134a foam technology.

But HFCs also posed threatening global warming risks. So we set out on a mission to pre-empt incoming environmental mandates and develop the most environmentally responsible blowing agent for our customers.

1980s

Zero-GWP, non-VOC—decades ahead of competitors

We reached that goal in 1998 when we developed a foam blowing agent free of CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs. Ecomate®, a zero-GWP, non-VOC product, received U.S. and worldwide patents in 2002—fully 17 years before signatories to the Kigali Amendment agreed to begin phasing out HFCs.

This fourth-generation blowing agent complied with all U.S. federal and state SNAP regulations, too. And in just two years in the global market, it replaced 95% of our customers’ HCFC systems.

Today, Ecomate® remains ahead of the curve with almost two decades of proven commercial performance. As the departure from HCFCs and HFCs continues, we’re proud to offer technology that satisfies statutory mandates and customer performance requirements—an embodiment of our commitment to innovative and sustainable solutions.

Two decades of Ecomate® milestones

Ecomate® has evolved over the years, leading the industry as the first next-generation blowing agent and becoming a core element in products in a wide range of applications. Here’s a year-by-year look at the evolution of our blowing agent technology.

1998

The search for the next-generation blowing agent

Foam Supplies develops Ecomate®, a fourth-generation blowing agent that preempted environmental mandates by 21 years.

The search for the next-generation blowing agent
2001

Class I foam

Ecomate® successfully passes UL 723 (ASTM E84) Class I fire rating at Underwriters Laboratories.

Class I foam
2002

Ecomate® receives worldwide patents

The original Ecomate® worldwide patents are granted, with additional patents granted in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Ecomate® receives worldwide patents
2003

EPA SNAP compliance and VOC-exempt status

The U.S. EPA lists Ecomate® as a SNAP-compliant blowing agent, designating it a certified alternative for harmful HCFC and HFC blowing agents. Ecomate® also receives VOC-exempt status from the EPA in record time.

EPA SNAP compliance and VOC-exempt status
2003

UN seeks help for Article 5 nation compliance

The United Nations requests that Foam Supplies help developing nations achieve HCFC phase-out benchmarks.

UN seeks help for Article 5 nation compliance
2004

95% customer conversion to Ecomate®

Less than two years after commercial launch, 95% of our customers have converted to Ecomate® blowing agent systems.

95% customer conversion to Ecomate®
2005

Expanded presence with international partnerships

Ecomate®’s international adoption continues. FSI forms partnerships in Australia, Brazil and the UK. Additional partnerships are formed in China, India, South Africa, South Korea and Middle Eastern and African regions.

Expanded presence with international partnerships
2006

FM Approval, the highest standards for safety and loss prevention

Foam Supplies’ Discontinuous Panel Producer achieves Factory Mutual (FM) Approval using the Ecostar™ Class 1 rigid foam system.

FM Approval, the highest standards for safety and loss prevention
2007

Meeting marine flotation standards

Ecomarine™, our rigid flotation foam solution, meets stringent U.S. Coast Guard criteria for use in life rings.

Meeting marine flotation standards
2008

Surpassing ENERGY STAR standards

FSI customer reports exceeding ENERGY STAR efficiency standards by 23.7% by manufacturing products that include Ecofoam® rigid pour-in-place foam.

Surpassing ENERGY STAR standards
2008

Environmental Innovation Award recipient

Ecomarine® receives the Environmental Innovation Award for Boatbuilding Methods and Materials at the IBEX Trade Show for displaying innovative and impactful achievements in the foam supply industry.

Environmental Innovation Award recipient
2009

Awarded safety approval by the FDA

Ecomate® achieves GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) approval from the FDA, denoting safety for food service applications.

Awarded safety approval by the FDA
2010

McDonald’s supplier chooses Ecomate® technology

A major foodservice equipment manufacturer seeks a sustainable alternative for manufacturing equipment it supplies to the McDonald’s Corporation. Energy consumption tests show Ecofoam® outperforms incumbent HCFC-141b and HFC-134a systems. The manufacturer switches to Ecofoam® company-wide.

McDonald’s supplier chooses Ecomate® technology
2011

Direct global reach established with India sub-headquarters

Foam Supplies opens its New Delhi, India operation. International partnerships in Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia also begin.

Direct global reach established with India sub-headquarters
2012

Technology evolution into flexible and CASE industries

FSI expands Ecomate® technology to the flexible foam and CASE markets, offering industry-low densities and customizable comfort attributes to flexible foam manufacturers and durable elastomers for CASE applications.

Technology evolution into flexible and CASE industries
2015

Foam production facility expansion

Continued strong demand for Ecomate®-blown foam systems spurs the expansion of a production facility in St. Louis.

Foam production facility expansion
2015

EPA SNAP rules call for low-GWP blowing agents

The EPA’s SNAP Rules 20 and 21 call for phasing out HFC and HCFC blowing agents. Ecomate®, with zero GWP and VOC-free status, is a clear choice for manufacturers ahead of the impending deadlines.

EPA SNAP rules call for low-GWP blowing agents
2016

ACR approves carbon offset methodology

The American Carbon Offset Registry (ACR) approves methodology to reduce emissions and monitor the transition to advanced formulation blowing agents in foam manufacturing.

ACR approves carbon offset methodology
2019

Ecomate® technology supports Kigali Amendment aims to reduce HFC consumption

As an HFC-free technology, Ecomate® aligns with the goals of the Kigali Amendment. This supplement to the Montreal Protocol aims to reduce HFC consumption by more than 80% by 2047.

Ecomate® technology supports Kigali Amendment aims to reduce HFC consumption
Looking forward

State action continues push for HFC phase-out

The future of EPA SNAP Rules 20 and 21 remains uncertain as companies challenge the rule in court. California lawmakers pass SB 1013 (the California Cooling Act), adopting elements from SNAP 20 and 21; 25 states have joined the U.S Climate Alliance, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

As environmental mandates continue to evolve in the 21st century, Ecomate® remains the preeminent alternative to HFC and HCFC technology.

State action continues push for HFC phase-out

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