10/29/2013

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LCA shows benefits of using PU sealant to seal gaps in a residential home

With a minimal investment, less than USD 100 to purchase 14 tubes of a polyurethane sealant used to seal gaps in the home's envelope, such as those around doors and windows, the study's results were astounding: A 25 % reduction in airflow based on blower door testing performed before and after the sealant was appliedEstimated 20 year energy savings equivalent to a 60 watt bulb operating for 12.7 years continuouslyEstimated greenhouse gas avoidance during a 20 year period that is equivalent to 32 acres of US forestApproximately ten times the amount of energy savings per year compared with the amount of energy embodied in the sealantA short payback period - as little as four months in one estimate - that quickly offsets the initial investment in a polyurethane sealant. Dr. Jay Johnston, senior scientist, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, has recently shared these and other benefits of polyurethane sealants during his presentation "Sealants for sustainability: Life cycle assessment of a polyurethane sealant on a residential structure,” during the Adhesive and Sealant Council's Fall Convention and Expo, held from 21 - 23 October 2013 in Minneapolis. A life cycle assessment according to ISO 14040/44 is a holistic evaluation of the environmental impacts from all stages of a product's life from raw material acquisition to final disposal. In this case, the product evaluated is a moisture-cure polyurethane sealant applied to a 2,000 sq. ft, two-story, brick façade home. In addition to Dr. Johnston, the study was authored by George Pavlovich, product sustainability and life cycle assessment manager, and Shen Tian, environmental engineer, all of Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "With just a small investment in a polyurethane sealant and a little elbow grease, do-it-yourself homeowners can reduce energy usage, in turn lowering energy costs and contributing to the decrease of greenhouse gases,” Dr. Johnston said. "This life cycle assessment demonstrates the positive environmental impact when polyurethane sealants are applied in a residential setting.”

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