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Disruptive polyurethane foams with improved passive fire protection to increase energy efficiency & safety in buildings, houses and transport.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SAFE-PUR (Disruptive polyurethane foams with improved passive fire protection to increase energy efficiency & safety in buildings, houses and transport.)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-05-31

PROBLEM:
While Polyurethane is the most efficient thermal insulating material, it is not the most used in insulation of buildings and houses, mainly due to cost and safety considerations. After Grenfell Tower fire, where polyurethane derived insulating materials were responsible of 80 fire deaths, more strict regulations are being implemented for these functional materials. Therefore, this situation represents a threat to polyurethane industry. In this regard, SAFE-PUR project has developed the most efficient insulating polyurethane foams for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings while reducing the extremely toxic fumes in case of fire (first cause of death), as well as reducing the fire propagation (main cause of fire damages) without the use of chemical additives.

IMPORTANCE FOR SOCIETY
SAFE-PUR will provide safer buildings and houses contributing to reduce the CO2 emissions (buildings represent 28% of the total) while implementing more sustainable products through the use of biobased raw materials in order to decrease the C-Footprint of insulation foams.

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
1) Perform a feasibility study including a broad characterization of SAFE-PUR foams, as well as a complete smoke toxicity and safety assessment, and perform field tests for homologation in different real environments.
2) Elaborate of a detailed business plan with a suitable technical roadmap and a financial & market strategy in order to attract venture capital to accelerate our market arrival by implementing industrial & commercial activities.
3) Explore a partnering agreement with third party manufacturer to ensure raw materials supply for a large-scale production, increase our brand awareness and perform the full market deployment supported by their distribution and customer.
During the 6 months of the Feasibility Study, at INDRESMAT we have worked intensively to determine with confident accuracy the business potential of our project SAFE-PUR based on the 3 main activities:
1) The technical feasibility has been demonstrated by the development of spray/injection foaming and sheet-panel applications with SAFE-PUR foams. Moreover, the confirmation of a highly safe fire behavior of all tested isocyanates has enabled new knowledge, which has been transferred to our recent European Patent.
2) A commercial plan was established to perform a successful market entry of our products within the highly competitive insulating material market, enabling a commercial strategy for the market deployment based on a complete market study analyzing competitors and targeting the most appropriate segments, regions & potential sources of end-users. Apart from construction market, we confirmed SAFE-PUR has potential markets (furniture and transport) where it can be introduced with further developments of flexible SAFE-PUR formulations, not aborded within this feasibility study.
3) A financial plan was elaborated to ensure a successful development of SAFE-PUR foams, covering all the needs to perform from the development, certification and validation. This financial plan also contains a realistic sales forecast and the estimated Profit & Loss account that demonstrates the viability of our company for the next 6 years and the high market potential of our project.
During the feasibility study, we have developed, and protected through a patent, several different types of biobased SAFE-PUR formulations for spray/injection foaming as well as for sheet-panel insulation, showing a highly improved fire behaviour without the use of fire retardants or fume suppressors. Compared to standard insulating materials, SAFE-PUR integrates all the advantages of Polyurethanes (such as optimal insulating capacity, easy to install, high durability, impermeability to water and radon, etc) with improved passive fire safety and higher sustainability compared to conventional polyurethanes. Therefore, SAFE-PUR are game-changer materials enhancing the safety of buildings while preserving lives in case of fire, thus giving a second chance to Polyurethane industry in the insulation market.
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