Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry

Thermal management & protection

Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry (LSIWC) is a State Research Institute providing research and testing in the field of wood and wood component chemistry and technology, polymer chemistry and biotechnology; applied studies for obtaining innovative products and materials from renewable raw material resources – wood and plant biomass. The mission of LSIWC is the development of knowledge-based, environment friendly low-waste technologies for obtaining competitive materials and products from wood and other plant biomass for sustainable utilisation of natural resources for economic, social and ecological benefits. 

Polymer laboratory at LSIWC is the leading Institute in Baltic countries in the field of PU. Polymer laboratory of LSIWC started the first activities in PU chemistry in 1964 and has been active in PU chemistry and technology for more than 50 years. Laboratory has two main research directions – renewable PU materials from different feedstock, mainly oriented on North Europe renewable raw materials such as rapeseed oil and TO, and development of PU/PIR foam materials as cryogenic insulation. This position has been achieved by a number of international – EU FP7 projects FORBIOPLAST, BIOCORE, BIOPURFIL and EVolution; EraNet Matera project BBPM, M-era.Net project Bio4Cryo and several projects funded by European Regional Development Fund in regards to PU/PIR development and raw material synthesis from renewable materials. In all projects, innovative polyol synthesis and development has been a part of project. In addition, Polymer laboratory at LSIWC has extensive experience in projects about cryogenic insulation – projects with Ariane Group, with European Space Agency, CRYOFOAMS and CRYOFOAMS-LW. 


The cryogenic insulation is very important for the space launchers with liquefied hydrogen (LH2) and liquefied oxygen (LOX) as the propellants. The basic requirements for the insulation materials are good thermal-insulating performance, especially at low temperatures, light weight and at the same time it must be non-flammable material, since during scent phase significant thermal loads are acting on the surface of the launcher. Although some of these characteristics are quite contradictory. For external thermal insulation (ETI) material additional important characteristics are UV-stability and the material's ability to resist cryo-pumping effects, and minimal outgassing at vacuum conditions. The properties of PUR foams and their adhesion to substrate materials depend not only on the chemical structure and macromolecule architecture of the polymeric matrix, but also on the technological factors of PUR foam production.

We offer PUR compositions as cryogenic insulation material, developed with our original approuch.


  • Rigid polyurethane foams as cryogenic insulation
  • Cryogenic insulation from renewable raw materials
  • Physical mechanical tests at LN2 temperatures
  • Thermal conductivity tests at LHe temperatures


  • FTIR; GC-MS; UHPLC; TGA; DSC; DMA; TMA; thermal conductivity; phys-mech (Zwick Roell); Cone calorimetry;


  • Bilateral projects with ArianeGroup: cryogenic insulation for Ariane-6 upper stage
  • CRYOFOAMS (PECS project): development of cryogenic insulation
  • CRYOFOMS-LW (PECS project): cryogenic insulation with 4rd generation blowing agents
  • Bio$Cryo (M-Era_Net project): cryogenic insulation from renewable resources filled with nanocellulose


  • ArianeGroup GmbH (DE): cryogenic insulation for the next generation space launchers
  • Toseda (CZ): development of non-isocyanate polyurethanes for space applications
Total employees110
Employees in space12
Turnover3 mio EUR EUR
Dzerbenes 27
Contact persons: Uģis Cābulis