Are fire retardants added to polyiso, and if so do they off-gas? But I like that you thought of that, thanks! Ill be doing my best to keep a vapour barrier intact. I think you need to do some more reading. Polyurethanes are produced by an exothermic chemical reaction between liquid polyol and polymeric isocyanate. And all plastics will burn, though some more readily than others. In terms of installation, spray foam is applied wet and expands into thick foam. It is then covered with 6 mil plastic and 1/2" cdx plywood and all joints taped and sealed and interior painted with  alminum roof coating. Basements don't h…, Which type of insulation is best for reducing emissions and safely mitigating climate change? An error occurred. When laminated into a 1″ thick panel with standard 1/8″ substrates and aluminum skins, the polystyrene panel yields a total R-value of approximately 4.7 while the Polyisocyanurate panel will achieve an R-value of 6.4. Like any particulate, it is best not to inhale the fibers while installing rock wool insulation board, so like any batt insulation we recommend using eye protection and a mask, not to mention gloves to prevent skin irritation. I will have hydronic heat embedded into the slab so I need good insulation value. In such a case, it can turn into a toxic stew of formaldehyde and tons of other chemicals from sealants and adhesives, paints, floors finishes, cabinetry, countertops, and yes, sometimes insulation. Mineral wood would have none, and it also may be better suited to the application of a roof deck. So, as you state, polyiso will be reduced by 25% to R-4.9/inch (still better than mineral wool, cellulose or fiberglass). Be sure to read the EcoHome Guide to High Performance wall construction here, And watch the Video Guide to high performance wall construction and insulation here. Some manufacturers speak of a transition to more eco-friendly foam insulation blowing agents; that will be great news when it happens across the board! Polyisocyanurate’s typical R-value for the same 1″ of material is approximately 6.0. Hey Mike thanks for putting this article together, Great info. Since this material would be installed outside on the steel deck, separated only by a vapour barrier I was really questioning its efficiency for the Montreal Climate??? To put that statement into perspective, a wall or roof assembly in Chicago was tested for the whole of December then averaged out. ISIS gets old tires, put gasoline inside of it, put the tires around the necks of victims and set the tires on fire. It can be a great choice when kept above freezing and away from moisture - so above grade for sure, and it makes a great interior thermal break when it's kept a bit warmer by batt insulation in stud cavities. Expanded polystyrene or EPS is a thermoplastic foam material that we produce from solid beads of polystyrene. After the gasoline burns away, the tires themselves burn extremely hot, and they poor victims become charcoal. Called 2 roofing supply stores and both seem to say it is the main roofing insulation for this type of roof. If you look through the graphics in that article you posted, it shows the fire started on the fourth floor but didn't really start blazing badly until it was up several storeys. And some has fiberglass felt on both sides instead of foil. @Watt - That's an over simplistic statement about the fire performance of PIR, EPS and XPS. My project is a small scale dehydration lumber kiln, max operating temp 160 deg. September 13, 2018; rhodenroofing; Uncategorized; 0 Comments; Opens in a new window ; Opens in a new window; Opens in a new window; The two most common types of insulation for commercial roof systems are Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). I have also seen on TV that the substance used was PIR, though with so much information around it's a a job to remember where we heard what. 3.4 Thickness and Density Range Polyisocyanurate boards … Would it crush the gases out prematurely? Polystyrene insulation has an R value around 4.3 with an equivalent 3.1-inch-thickness sheet, ... Polyisocyanurate has a higher concentration of MDI in the end product than polyurethane, however. foil is on EACH side Thanks, Yep, I meant to say EACH side! which gives the panel excellent rigidity as well as increased impact resistance. Polystyrene insulation is manufactured in a variety of board sizes – usually a minimum of 1-inch thick. Next we installed XPS on the interior walls. Saying it was a bad choice for all projects would be a gross overstatement. For example, when both products are used as wall sheathings, the ASHRAE Design R-value for 1” foil faced polyiso is 6.0 per actual inch versus 5.0 for polystyrene, when tested at 75°F mean temperature. And, another option you may want to consider would be spray foam. It is manufactured by liquefying polystyrene pellets then injecting a blowing agent under pressure. That cladding seemed to be burning very well indeed, unfortunately. Very good article, well put together and many interesting points! Note: 1 perm and 60 ng are U.S. and Canadian equivalent rates of permeability, below that rate of permeability classifies a material as a type II vapour retarder, suitable for residential construction. And since mineral wool is a stone dust (and fireproof), high temperatures aren't a problem. We always choose (and recommend) EPS over XPS due to the fact that XPS has much higher greenhouse gas emissions than EPS. Are either xps or eps irritant free? My husband also sends his appreciation especially since now he doesn’t have to remove the insulation! FOAMULAR® EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE (XPS) vs. POLYISOCYANURATE (POLYISO) FAQs. A study carried out by University of Central Lancashire found that PIR was the most toxic form of insulation. Highlights the differences between polyiso and extruded polystyrene insulation products, including key material characteristics like fire resistance and thermal performance. Thermal performance is rated at R6-6.5 per inch, but don't count on that if your winters are cold for the reasons we're about to explain. That foil is the reason it can be problematic on the exterior, as you would be adding an exterior vapour barrier where you likely don't want one. Expanded Polystyrene Insulation, more commonly referred to as EPS, is a closed cell insulation that has been around since the 1950’s. Expanded Polystyrene insulation is manufactured using beads of foam within a mould, heat or steam is then applied directly to the beads which causes them to expand and fuse together. We weren't warned about that by the industry "experts" either, were we? Both are available in a variety of thicknesses and can be used in multiple … is not a problem I'm thinking the ESP should work just fine. A common question we hear all the time is, “What’s the difference between Expanded Polystyrene Foam and Styrofoam Brand Foam?” Some times, people are looking for expanded polystyrene foam products, but mistakenly refer to them as Styrofoam Brand Foam, even though the materials are completely different. Polystyrene, Phenolic Foam & Polyisocyanurate Foam Revision 2.0, August 2014 4.0 Vapour Barriers 4.1 Vapour Barriers Used With Polystyrene and Phenolic Foam A vapour barrier must be used over the insulation on all plant operating at temperatures below the ambient air. Both core materials share several features which make them very effective insulating cores. Foam isn’t the only way to build a super-insulated home. Polyisocyanurate foam (polyiso) is modified polyurethane foam but offers greater dimensional stability over a wider service temperature range. Some of them may have died from cyanide poisoning from the gases given off by Polyisocyanurate as it burned. There are other factors but even so I'm probably still going to stick with the 2" of Polyiso over the XPS because of the other benefits polyiso has. Hey Mike, I just read thru that article and it says the insulation in the cladding panels was poly-ethylene, not poly-isocyanurate. Also, rather regrettably for traditionally produced XPS, the hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) most commonly used as blowing agents are far more damaging to the climate than those used with other rigid foam insulation boards. In every recommended application, polyiso insulation delivers more R-value per inch of thickness than extruded polystyrene products. Rockwool insulation is one of our preferred methods for adding insulation to the outside of a house because it is very resistant to moisture damage, and moisture moves through it easily. Fortunately, we are not living in the space but I am concerned about our furniture absorbing the off gassed chemicals. EPS foam is versatile, great for below-grade applications and in the middle ground for performance, financial and ecological cost, and whilst XPS foam is a top performer on paper it comes with some unfortunate environmental baggage for which we'd probably rate it in last place. Related Topics . Are foam…, Basement mold and mildew can easily be avoided with better designed walls. It is a lightweight, rigid and closed cell insulation. That company makes their walk-in coolers with a certain type of insulation and so they clearly want to promote their own products. Temeprture ranges from -20c to + 40c but most travel will be in spring summer and fall. The NRCA ( National Roofing Contractor’s Association) recommends calculating the R value of polyisocyanurate insulation at R-5.6 per inch when designing for warm climates and R-5.0 per inch when designing for cold climates. See for yourself the performance advantages of Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) vs. The big advantage of PIR is that it doesn't burn. This article says polyisocyanurate loses 75% of its r value in 5 years,  and nearly that loss in about two years according to the graph they included. Being petroleum based should not result in foam being condemned by green builders on principle alone; it should be looked at in perspective. Rigid foam, on the other hand, is available as a pre-made foam panel that can be cut to fit particular spaces. What should I do? Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is one of the most economic and cost-effective options for insulating your home. Polyisocyanurate/ Polyurethane foam (PIR/PUR) Polyurethane (PUR and PU) is a polymer composed of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. When insulating the exterior of a house whether that’s a new home or adding insulation to an existing exterior wall, it is important not to trap moisture. Thoughts? When laminated into a 1″ thick panel with standard 1/8″ substrates and aluminum skins, the polystyrene panel yields a total R-value of approximately 4.7 while the Polyisocyanurate panel will achieve an R-value of 6.4. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) vs. Styrofoam Brand Foam. We look forward to seeing documentation to back up this myriad of claims (independent third party documentation, not from a company you may work for), as well as an honest answer as to any affiliation you may have with the industry that would help us understand why your nose is so far out of joint. This is the PIR cladding burning at Grenfell Tower. Actually, British code creates a 2-hour fire wall on all six sides of each unit, which completely compartmentalizes individual units from its neighbor. Simple changes in wall design will result in mould-free durable basements. Also, something to consider in that Grenfell fire is the product's use in a high-rise. EPS is also used in the construction industr… Polyiso (Polyisocyanurate). The permeability of EPS can be handy at times if you want to add insulation to an existing wall assembly but are worried about trapping moisture, like retrofitting the exterior of buildings with additional insulation. This code consideration eliminates the requirement or inclusion of sprinkler systems. People believed them - but it was a lie - it DOES burn. Hi Belinda, you have nothing at all to worry about. Given your fierce defense of polyiso and your ability to rhyme off numbers, we are wondering, and please be forthcoming - do you profit in anyway from the sale of polyisocyanurate insulation? As an insulation it is non-toxic, and unlike foam products there are no blowing agents that will off-gas into your home. Molded or expanded polystyrene is commonly called beadboard and has a lower R-value than extruded polystyrene. Compressive Strength. There is some evidence of panels shrinking, so to be safe I would go for a higher quality tape than the standard rolls of red tape you will find in building stores. One element of exterior foam insulations (both above and below grade) that I am really struggling to evaluate is insect damage. As gas escapes, however, the R-value of polyiso can drop over time, but foil and plastic facings can help stabilize that number. Polystyrene has a typical R-value of approximately 4.4 per 1″ thickness of material. That way you could do Rockwool and have the vapor barrier like with the foil. If you've got a crawls space with damp, mold, odor & cold issues, here's how to insula…, Why are basements moldy? By: admin | April 1, 2011. Rigid foam insulation can be made of polystyrene, while spray foam is often made of polyurethane or polyisocyanurate. Here is the fun part - Since there is foil on either side of the panel, you end up with a harmless second vapour barrier, which is usually heresy in building design. Sorry for the inconvenience. The primary difference between the 2 core materials is the insulating value (or R-Value). Whether the material used was PIR or PE, it was totally inappropriate & caused a small fire to engulf the block. Service Temperature. I wouldn't go with the polyiso since it doesn't work as well when its cold. Every attempt is made to keep water infiltration out or to a minimum however in a kiln moisture will eventually get into the walls. Rated at R4 per inch; EPS foam insulation boards are more permeable to air and moisture than XPS, but it doesn't retain moisture to the same extent because of it's more closed cell structure and it's breathability which lets it dry out. This … It looks like the flammable cladding at Grenfell was the main reason that the fire spread so quickly & engulfed the building. Before researching the differences I purchased The EPS and am now having second thoughts. It is a recycled product made with the stone dust from industrial blast furnaces. Thanks again. What is Expanded Polystyrene? But one fact is indisputable - it burned ferociously. Elastomeric vs. Polyisocyanurate Insulation In Industrial Refrigeration Applications PURPOSE Elastomeric and polyisocyanurate insulation are commonly used in refrigeration, HVAC, and chilled water as well as process applications across many industries … The key difference between expanded and extruded polystyrene is that we produce expanded polystyrene (or EPS) from solid beads of polystyrene while we produce extruded polystyrene (or XPS) from solid polystyrene crystals.. It won't offer nearly the thermal protection you think it will in the dead of winter, and it may cause moisture damage due to its lack of permeability. Expanded polystyrene is a type of foam made from polystyrene. And it apparently passed all the "tests" that were required. One thing I didn't see addressed in your article is the effect of age on R-value. But overall we do like it, since it has a higher R value per inch that EPS, yet it uses blowing agents with the same GWP (Global warming potential). For a Silicone Silicate render system with EPS of 100mm thickness the cost per pack of 6 sheets (Size: 1000mm x 500mm) is £8.33 while for mineral wool of 100mm the cost per pack of 2 sheets (Size: 1200mm x 600mm) is £14.58. The information provided regarding r-value loss is incredibly incorrect and misleading. Polyurethane with HCFC 22 vs. Polyisocyanurate with HCFC 141b “R-Value Makes the Difference” What is the difference between polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam panels and how are they manufactured? I have a seasonal home in VT. The basic types of foam board insulation include: polystyrene, polyurethane or polyisocyanurate. Can you say the same? Extruded polystyrene (XPS) •Easily recognized by its blue, green, or pink color •Falls in the middle of the three types of rigid-foam insulation in both cost and R-value •Used most in walls or below grade applications •Recyclable, and at about R-5 per inch, costs around 42¢ … They both have a standard density of 2 lbs/sq.ft. The first assembly using 2" Polyisocyanurate foam panels was compared to the same assembly using 2" of EPS foam and was found to be losing 30% more heat in this study (see below)! Surely the simple question we need to be asking is this; "Who in their right minds could have ever thought that wrapping concrete blocks in flammable plastic of any kind was a good idea?". Understanding the performance characteristics & limitations of different types of insulation before you make a purchase & start to build or renovate a high per…, Crawlspaces are becoming rare for new home construction in USA & Canada. The product also is designed to perform well with mechanical fasteners, possibly under Green Roof membranes. There may be a case to be made for EPS rigid insulation. Polyiso was originally developed in the 1930s and was once used as insulation for beer barrels. which way do you install the foil? Other forms tested included the following materials: polystyrene, phenolic, polyurethane to Polyisocyanurate foam (most toxic). One such property is the service temperature. With increasing requirements in continuous insulation (c.i. The two options I'm looking at are the Foil faced EPS or the Polyiso. I'd use EPS, or even XPS. Just in case I'll post it here again. Example – Polyisocyanurate Foam Insulation. In terms of installation, spray foam is applied wet and expands into thick foam. However other reports say that it was Reynobond PE, but even if that is true, it's surely obvious to anyone that it wasn't a safe material with which to wrap a tower block? Hi Sarah, You are correct, it is worth a mention. Hey Mike Great article I learned a lot but still not sure which product to use. Molded or expanded polystyrene is commonly called beadboard and has a lower R-value than extruded polystyrene. If PIR r value drops 30% in cold temperatures, doesn't it still match or outperform it's competition in r value? Generally the thicker stuff … Rigid polyurethane foam has closed cell structure and has better insulation properties than many other insulation materials. I'm thinking of using it on a roof deck where there is venting at a headwall with windows above. While most insulation materials actually perform a little better the colder it gets, polyiso is the opposite and its R value tends to drop when it is exposed to cold temperatures, which is not a characteristic that is what you would call ‘appealing’ about insulation, that it fails you when you need it most! Expanded polystyrene insulation and polyisocyanurate foam polyiso are the two main insulation types used in EIFS in North America. It needs to be as fire resistant as asbestos or concrete, otherwise it simply makes the building a much greater fire risk than it was before, albeit a little prettier - till it catches fire. The lower stated R value of EPS compared to XPS is in a way compensated for by having a higher R value per dollar, as it is somewhat cheaper. As mentioned above, the performance of polyiso drops when it's cold, for that reason we would recommend it being just a component of a wall assembly, one where it could be kept warm, as in having more insulation on the exterior of it. I have the same question, but why not using rock wool instead? The GWP of expanded polystyrene blowing agents is about 7 times worse than carbon, but that's a lot less than being 1430 times worse like standard XPS is. As for how much to install, we have come to realize that for the most part, regional building codes are about half what we ourselves would do. I think that’s a fine plan. At 2 inches thick, EPS is about 1 US perm which is the the defining point of being a suitable ‘vapor barrier’ in  residential constrution. Any recommendations  for this application? If you really want to go into depth about the tested performance values of Polyiso Foam panels in hot and cold clinates compared to EPS and XPS foam Insulation panels - see the article from Building Science Corporation here. Both of these foam plastic insulations are governed by Chapter 26 of the International Building Code (IBC), yet they are very different in their physical and thermal properties. This article is based on findings from the building science community and we have no motivation to provide anything but accurate information. Do you have any suggestions? Hope that helps! ), Architects, Designers and Specifiers are faced with making a choice: Polyisocyanurate (polyiso) or Extruded Polystyrene (XPS). With that being said, Extruded Polystyrene (or XPS or “Styrofoam”) can only be used in applications up to 165°F, whereas Polyisocyanurate (or PIR or “Polyiso”) can be used in applications up to 300°F. One potential negative characteristic to the use of polyisocyanurate is that, as it ages, it undergoes a process known as thermal drift. And it isn't a great surprise that an installer hadn't heard that the performance falls off in colder weather since manufacturers present their 'best' results from testing, and in warm conditions it does offer R6-R6.5, so that is laregely the 'accepted' R value of polyiso in the industry. The foil would for sure be a perfect vapor barrier, but polyiso isn't the best for handling moisture. I could use this on another project if I had to but because of the price would really like to use it on the Kiln. Here you go - this might help to explain what happened. An Irish manufacturer offers a fourth and more recently developed type, phenolic foam. Never mind whether or not this "good idea" was a good use of millions of pounds of public money! And yes, you could attach it with an adhesive, just make sure to choose one that suitable for the application, not all of them are, so read the tube or ask for advice when you're in a building supply store. On top of that, the ACM cladding was created to emulate columns with large voids, and created a chimney effect. Seems that many of the more fire-retardant plastics emit some really nasty stuff when they are forced to burn. This article says that PIR was used. Either way, polyiso has been tested in over 100 different configurations for NFPA 285 compliance and can be used with a fire rated core ACM panel. It can be a great product to use as long as you keep it warm, which is a really odd thing to say about an insulation product. Side by Side Comparison – Expanded vs Extruded Polystyrene in Tabular Form 5. 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