Brand-new Polyisocyanurate Plant
Yesterday, a new foam insulation plant (polyisocyanurate for roofing) was inaugurated in Drummondville, QC. I had the occasion to visit this brand-new rail-served plant which was quite interesting. The director – a chemist in his mid-thirties – was kind enough to explain several processes and logistics regarding the plant. Later, I had the occasion to discuss rail operation with him and found out it could be extremely interesting to model for fans of tank cars.

Polyisocyanurate is a two components foam. The first component is called MDI and the second is called polyol. When you had a blowing agent, namely pentane, you get a yellowish foam in a matter of a few seconds. Up to 7-8 other additives are added in very little quantities to control several characteristics.
From a rail operation perspective, the plant is served by a brand new spur on CN Drummond subdivision. When I visited the plant, the rail were newly manufactured and barely rusted. You could still see the bluish hues marred by tiny spots of fresh rust. I’ve never seen that modelled but it could be very interesting for a modern switching layout.
Track layout at the plant is simple: one turnout and two sidings. One siding is used to sort the cars while the other one, is equipped with 3 attractive color-coded overhead transfer terminals that can unload 3 different car loads at once. It means the plant get three tank cars at once, each with a different commodity (MDI, polyol and pentane). Storage tanks are located within the plant building to have a better control over temperature.

According to the director, the plant receives new tank cars thrice per week. All manufactured goods are trucked locally. Other intrants such as fiberglass and paper liners, packaging and additives are trucked in.

The building itself is brand new and quite attractive by modern industrial standards. One could get away with a regular warehouse building, but a modeller could try to replicate this modern plant to reflect a new customer on the line. A part of the plant is covered in full glass curtain walls which could be interesting to model.

Unfortunately, the plant is so brand new it isn’t visible on Google Earth or Bing Maps right now. I wish I had taken pictures but I didn't have the occasion as the sun set early in winter and we arrived in late afternoon.

The fact each type of load has its own terminal makes it an interesting industry and the amount of car handled means it doesn’t take that much real estate.

Proudly modelling Quebec Railway Light & Power Company since 1997.

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Interesting Matt,I'm curious to see this plant myself.If you ever come across this plant,please post some pics,in the meantime I'll do a little investigating of my own.I'm always looking for another industry to model. Smile
Don Shriner

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