A solution to sustainability laws floating your way

Posted on November 26, 2015

A mariner’s life at sea largely centers on how the weather will cooperate. Wind is good, storms are bad—and a day with no wind and the hot sun beating down can be a slow-moving nightmare.


What if we told you that the boats you manufacture were making that sun feel even hotter and the air more humid and stale?


Marine floatation systems—i.e. the foams in most boats—containing hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) 134a have a global warming potential (GWP) that is 1400 times higher than regular CO2 emissions, with a lifetime of up to 260 years in the atmosphere. GWP is a measurement of how much heat greenhouse gases trap in the atmosphere.


This is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is phasing out hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) foam blowing agents by 2020.


HFC use is increasing by 10 to 15 percent globally, meaning that by 2020 they would have been emitting 42 million metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP), created under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), is a way to control these increases and look for foam innovations.


Without everyone working together on these changes, HFC emissions will almost double by 2020, and triple by 2030.


Despite environmental protection changes, it’s still important to make sure that your boat stays afloat. This is where BASF Autofroth® Marine polyurethane systems come in.


The new sustainable systems are compliant with the US EPA HFC foam blowing agent phase out, and have also passed Coast Guard tests—managing to exceed the regulations (keeping a vessel of under 20 feet in length afloat for at least 18 hours after submersion).


These are superior performance, frothy foams—they have less leakage, no shrinkage (1 per cent volume change at 100 degrees Fahrenheit an 100 per cent humidity) and 15 per cent quicker cycle times (100 seconds foam to gel time). They also have low free rise density of 2lbs/cf—meaning less foam and more efficient material usage.


The sustainable solution has a low GWP of 1, with no HFCs or ozone depletion potential. This means the boats you make won’t be to blame on those swelteringly hot days at sea, and you can help contribute to the elimination of greenhouse gases for a more sustainable future.

>> Learn more about Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP)

>> Learn more about BASF Autofroth® Marine 

>> Learn more about the superior performance of Autofroth® Marine 

Categories: Blog