Savannah, GA,
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Don't Pardon the Intrusion

ThermoGuard helps keep reefers cooler by keeping moisture out


Moisture intrusion within refrigerated trailer and truck body PU foam insulation is a fact of reefers, but that’s not to say you have to surrender your trailer’s thermal efficiency and operating capacity.

First, a quick primer on moisture intrusion: The blowing agent within the foam-insulated walls escapes through permeable trailer liners. That gas is replaced with moisture vapor leading to loss of thermal efficiency and, in some cases, a good amount of weight gain.

“We’ve seen as much as 500 pounds gained in trailer weight over a span of five to 10 years,” said Great Dane’s Vice President of Engineering Chris Lee, who explained that the variables for refrigerated trailer weight gain are many, and though the actual weight gained by a reefer over its life may vary, it happens; in some cases, dramatically.

Great Dane’s ThermoGuard liner was developed to mitigate thermal efficiency loss, curb insulation outgassing and provide a greater value over the life of the Everest refrigerated trailer or Alpine truck body. Where many permeable trailer liners allow for the damaging outgassing, ThermoGuard’s multi-layered design includes a foil metal barrier layer within a composite layer that seals the insulation and significantly reduces insulation degradation.

“You lose thermal efficiency across the majority of all refrigerated trailers today unless the trailer inside lining is metal. That’s what ThermoGuard is all about—it has a metal barrier so that the insulation cannot outgas through the lining,” Lee said.

With ThermoGuard, your trailer maintains more consistent thermal efficiency, compared to trailers that don’t sport the revolutionary lining design, which can reduce operational costs by reducing cooling unit run time, impacting required cooling unit maintenance and cooling unit fuel consumption. Great Dane estimates that a ThermoGuard-outfitted refrigerated trailer in a long-haul application operating at -20°F can save up to 2,100 gallons over seven years, and a typical foodservice application could save more than 600 gallons over seven years. Of course, your results may vary depending on application, maintenance practices, etc., but in general, reefer trailer owners can realize savings averaging 200 gallons per year across the life of the trailer.

You don’t have to take Great Dane’s word for it: the trailer manufacturer submitted ThermoGuard samples to an independent third-party laboratory that specializes in permeability testing. In these tests, ThermoGuard was evaluated against several competitive lining materials for permeability of water vapor and foam blowing agent.

The results confirmed that ThermoGuard lining has the lowest permeability, protecting trailer insulation better and helping maintain performance, thus saving fuel over the life of the vehicle.

Along with the efficiency, comes durability—Great Dane’s ThermoGuard touts the same puncture-resistant properties as Great Dane’s PunctureGuard, which was designed to protect the trailer’s interior walls from the daily rigors of the job.

Given the durability and efficiency gained with ThermoGuard, you might be surprised to learn that these heavyweight features weigh in at a featherweight class. ThermoGuard liners are thin and lightweight, saving up to 200 pounds compared with similarly-spec’d trailers. In the event that something does happen to the liner, ThermoGuard’s thermoplastic properties make it quick and easy to repair, reducing maintenance time and costs.