The introduction of a thermal cover for a system filter is part of a broader initiative within the UK home building industry as developers recognise the importance of maintaining energy efficiency and reducing fuel wastage in domestic heating systems. Consumers are increasingly ranking the energy rating of a house as an important factor in the decision-making process when buying a home.
EPP is widely used in the HVAC industry as it is known to offer:
- A strong and durable enclosure
- Reduced heat loss
- Greater heating system efficiency
- Protection from internal components and hot surfaces
Fernox, a global manufacturer of chemical water treatment and engineered filtration products, approached DS Smith Plastics, Foam Products to discuss an opportunity to design and manufacture thermal covers for two of its inline system filters:
- The nickel plated, brass TF1 Omega Filter
- The composite plastic TF1 Total Filter
Fernox requirements included strength, durability, protection and improvements in the performance of current systems.
DS Smith Plastics, Foam Products developed a solution for each filter, both designs consisted of two parts (a male and female) that would push together to fully encapsulate the premium system filters. Various locator points were included on the moulded parts to ensure the correct alignment when fitted around the system filters.
The locator points on the original design were modified to provide a resistance fit to hold the two parts firmly together without the need for additional fixtures or fittings. The use of medium density Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) offered the water filters excellent protection and thermal insulation to reduce heat transfer.
The presentation to Fernox included a series of 3D CAD drawings and once approved, the drawings were sent to one of the in-house Computer Numeric Control (CNC) milling machines where EPP prototypes were produced. The EPP samples were then tested for fit and function prior to final tooling.
The customised EPP thermal covers supplied to Fernox are designed to last the life of the filters. They will insulate and protect the system filter year–after-year without losing their integrity or performance.
Additionally, after the approval of the new EPP parts, Fernox approached Foam Products to help source an outer corrugated printed carton packaging for both models of the filter covers. Foam Products worked with colleagues at DS Smith Packaging in Wellingborough, UK to produce the corrugated carton packaging. The overall packaging solution demonstrated the strength of our brand and presented a One DS Smith offering.
As an added advantage, both the EPP covers and the corrugated outer carton supplied by DS Smith are fully recyclable at the end of their useful life.