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A decade of innovation at Imperial Thermal Engineering

Ten years ago, Imperial Thermal Engineering started developing electric equipment for the roofing industry which is safer, cleaner and above all flame-free. The catalyst for this idea was a frightening experience with a gas boiler which made the Managing Director, Jonathan Forbes Brown vow to end the industry’s historic reliance on LPG gas as the main method for installing bitumen-based flat roofing products.


Today, the award-winning design of Etorch3, the lightweight, all electric drying and activating torch, is a key piece of kit for forward thinking roofing contractors and replaces the need for LPG.

Alongside the Etorch, the Epot evolution continues with the development of its innovative heating methods and clever in-built safety features. Construction still has some of the worst statistics for accidents at work, and removing flames from site is a big bonus all round.


Focusing on safety and the environment in tandem has paved the way for success, as there is now legislation in both areas for construction companies to clean up their act. The new H&S directive has meant naked flames are simply not allowed on many sites, so anyone using gas equipment for the installation of roofs must look for an alternative. Alongside that, construction companies must adhere to strict CO2 emissions across site, and any savings on emissions that can be made using new technology, means they’re more likely to win the job.


Mainstream attitudes from construction companies are catching up with Jonathan’s forward thinking, and there’s a tidal wave of change across the industry.


Jonathan hasn’t just sat on his laurels. Over the last 10 years he has continued to add new products whilst continuing to evolve and improve the original ones. Imperial Thermal Engineering can now proudly add the patented Etorch3 to its list of award-winning developments through its success in 2023 at the CN Awards for the Best Product Innovation


The one thing that hasn’t changed is Jonathan’s passion for creating safer, all-electric and more environmentally friendly products for the roofing industry. With new projects already in the pipeline, 2024 will see even more innovations coming from Imperial Thermal Engineering. Watch this space…

Highlights 2013- 2023


2013 – First Epot prototype of an all-electric hot melt machine

2014 – Mace Safety First Second Nature Award – Innovation & Design Award

2016 - Development of the Etorch starts

2017 - The first prototype Etorch is tested and trialled on construction sites.

2018 – Etorch is a finalist in Building Innovation Awards category ‘Product and Technical Innovation of the year’

2020 – Etorch MKll is launched

2021 – Develops Optical Pitch Melter for a company in Aerospace using Epot technology

2022 – Etorch patent granted

2023 – Etorch3 Winner of Best Product Innovation at the Construction News Awards 2023

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