The K-12 Project

Focusing on developing a new insulating technology to offer 20% energy improvement for domestic appliance insulation.

Dow Italia (The Dow Chemical Company group), Whirlpool and Afros-Cannon are partners in the K-12 Project funded by LIFE, the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects.

Project Background

The domestic household sector is one of the largest consumers of electrical energy in the EU, consuming around 30% of the total electrical energy supply. The total energy consumption of EU households in 2010 was about 840 TWh/yr, with a per capita consumption of 6.2 MWh/yr, distributed over 140 million households. In the past few years, the development of new green technologies has helped to reduce the energy consumption of individual electrical devices.

However, at the same time, the number of such devices has increased dramatically, as has the amount of time they are typically in use. Thus, overall energy consumption has still increased. Cold appliances - refrigerators and freezers - accounted for 14.5% of household energy consumption in 2010. Currently, most households still use old, energy-inefficient cold appliances.

Project Objectives

The domestic household sector is one of the largest consumers of electrical energy in the EU, consuming around 30% of the total electrical energy supply. The total energy consumption of EU households in 2010 was about 840 TWh/yr, with a per capita consumption of 6.2 MWh/yr, distributed over 140 million households.

In the past few years, the development of new green technologies has helped to reduce the energy consumption of individual electrical devices. However, at the same time, the number of such devices has increased dramatically, as has the amount of time they are typically in use. Thus, overall energy consumption has still increased.

Cold appliances - refrigerators and freezers - accounted for 14.5% of household energy consumption in 2010. Currently, most households still use old, energy-inefficient cold appliances. 

Expected Results

K-12: Project Partner Companies

Dow Italia S.r.l.

Dow Italia S.r.l. is owned by The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC), global leading chemical company. TDCC has one of the largest R&D investment programs in the industry with combined spending of $1.7 billion for 2010. Dow Italia S.r.l. R&D centre located in Correggio is the global centre of excellence of Dow for the development of PU foams. The centre has been leading the innovation in PU insulation foams, by developing and offering PU system solutions suitable for the Construction, Cold Chain and Water Heaters industries.

The research activity has led to the publication of numerous patents in the field of thermal resistance, fire properties and thermal insulation, followed by the commercialization of the related technology. DOW combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress.

The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the sustainability (www.dow.com/sustainability) to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and increasing agricultural productivity. DOW's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agro-sciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products (www.dow.com/products) and solutions (www.dow.com/solutionism) to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as building and construction, electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture.

In 2011, DOW had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. DOW operates in Italy as of 1960. The several legal of TDCC in Italy, with about 760 employees, and an annual turnover of 1.084 million euro in 2011, have production sites located throughout the Country. Italian Head Offices of DOW are based in Milan. http://www.dow.com

AFROS Spa

AFROS is part of (owned by 92%) the CANNON Spa holding (www.cannon.com), an international, independent group providing a range of industries world-wide with dedicated to engineering solutions. The group’s main fields of activity are plastics processing technologies (for polyurethane, thermoplastics, composites and thermoforming), equipment for energy efficiency and ecology, aluminum die-casting machines and electronic control systems for industrial processes. With more than 900 people employed in 12 Manufacturing facilities and over 40 branches, the AFROS Group supports over 15.000 customers worldwide.

Since 1962 AFROS has gained a worldwide experience in the engineering and design of dosing, mixing and foaming machines and systems for polyurethanes and installed more than 11.000 metering units all over the World. AFROS metering machines are specifically designed for the PU Industry and can be tailored to suit various production configurations. Moreover, throughout the years, AFROS have developed in-house cutting-edge technologies and related processes for the production of high quality composites (mainly PU and Carbon Fibre). The main specific competences which will be implied in the present project by AFROS are:

- Epoxy High Pressure mixing and impregnation Injection (ESTRIM);
- New skills in precision airless spraying;
- Vacuum assisted injection system;
- High efficiency, self- cleaning solvent-less Mixing heads;

AFROS through its R&D team and facilities carries out an intense research program for continuously improving its products and technologies, resulting in the development of more than 100 international patents for the PU industry. AFROS has its production facilities and R&D center in: Via Galileo Ferraris, 65. - 21042 Caronno Pertusella (VA), Italy Web site: www.afros.it, www.cannon.com

Whirlpool EMEA S.p.A

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) is the number one major appliance manufacturer in the world, with approximately $21 billion in annual sales, 93,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers in 2016. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit, Hotpoint and other major brand names in nearly every country throughout the world. In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) it has approximately 24,000 employees, a sales presence in more than 30 countries and manufacturing sites in eight countries. Whirlpool EMEA is an operating segment of Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool Corp.'s EMEA Headquarters are located in Pero (MI), Italy. Additional information about the company can be found at WhirlpoolCorp.com or find us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Whirlpool R&D S.r.l.

Whirlpool R&D S.r.l. (WHRD) is a newly established Italian subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation and has its Headquarter in the European Centre of Excellence for Research in Cassinetta of Biandronno (Va). WHRD is also an affiliated company of Whirlpool Europe S.r.l., both having the same parent company; Whirlpool is present in Europe with 14.000 employees, a sales presence in more than 30 countries, manufacturing facilities in 7 countries and a high conception of the power of innovation. Whirlpool’s culture embracing values like sustainability, diversity and innovation is continuously seeking for better solutions for enhancing the resource efficiency of its products and innovative more sustainable technologies. WHRD is the heart of research and development in Europe for Whirlpool Corporation and it aims to increase the level of innovation and competitiveness of Whirlpool through activities of technological transfer and collaborative research initiatives at national and international level. WHRD aims to strengthen and extend this wealth of know-how with the new areas of advanced development for all product groups (Refrigeration, Cooking and Washing Machines).WHRD is made up of about 50 specialized researchers engaged in research on materials, product engineering, technologies of storage and preparation of food and advanced electronic, with also a specific team responsible for management of funded research projects.

A central role in WHRD is played by the research center on global food technologies, that is the strategic heart in terms of specialized resources, facilities and laboratories. In Cassinetta, WHRD develops and experiments with new technologies of food preservation and processing, and generally for all the products that Whirlpool sells worldwide (EMEA,NAR, ASIA, LAR regions). http://www.whirlpool.it/

To help us answer your question, it's important that we have as much information about your application need as possible.

LIFE+ K12 Project Manager:
Vanni Parenti
Tel: +39 0522 645829
Fax: + 39 0522 645726

Dow Italia
Toll free: +800 3 694 6367
Telephone: +39 02 48221