What Does Phenolic Insulation Mean In Construction?
What Does Phenolic Insulation Mean In Construction?
Phenolic insulation is a type of rigid foam insulation used in construction. It is manufactured by combining high solids and phenolic resin with a surface-acting agent.
Phenolic insulation has a high closed cell content and fine cell structure, making it lightweight, easy to transport and handle, and resistant to fungus and mould growth. It also has very good thermal insulating properties due to its low thermal conductivity.
Phenolic foam insulation is considered one of the best materials for thermal insulation due to its over 90% closed cell formation, low thermal conductivity, resistance to acidic erosion, organic solvents and acids, and CFC/HCFC-free blowing agent.
It can provide R-values up to R-8+ per inch, helping reduce the build-out depth of residential and commercial wall systems. Acidity concerns and corrosion issues have been resolved with Kooltherm phenolic foam rigid insulation.
Physical Qualities Of Phenolic Insulation
Phenolic insulation is a type of rigid insulation that is characterized by its high closed cell content and fine cell structure. This makes it lightweight and easy to transport, handle, and install.
One particular product, the Kingspan Kooltherm® K5, is a premium performance rigid thermoset fiber-free phenolic insulant that is manufactured using a blowing agent with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).
This insulation is faced on both sides with a glass tissue based facing, adhesively bonded to the insulation core during manufacture.
One of the important physical qualities of phenolic insulation is its compressive strength, with Kingspan Kooltherm® K5 having a typical compressive strength exceeding 100 kPa when tested to BS / I.S. EN 826: 2013. It is also resistant to fungus and mold growth and will not sustain vermin.
In terms of heat resistance, phenolic insulation can withstand continuous temperatures of up to 120 degrees C. Moisture has minimal effect on its thermal performance, thanks to its 95% closed cell content and low water vapor permeance.
Phenolic foam is also non-wicking, which means that even if water enters the insulation system due to the vapor barrier becoming punctured, any moisture ingress is limited and confined to the punctured area, ensuring that moisture does not build up and compromise the whole system.
Phenolic insulation is also dimensionally stable, which means that it can be cut accurately to achieve a snug fit in situations such as between rafters where airtightness will be improved.
While it is non-biodegradable, waste material can be put back into the manufacturing process for reuse, making it a more sustainable option. Overall, phenolic insulation is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-performing, durable, and sustainable insulation solution for their buildings.
Phenolic Insulation Thermal Performance
Phenolic insulation is an excellent choice for thermal performance, offering a very low thermal conductivity compared to rigid polyurethane or extruded polystyrene insulation.
This can make phenolic insulation up to 50% more effective than other common materials, allowing specified thermal performance targets to be achieved with minimized insulation thickness – important when space saving is necessary.
That combined with its wide range of applications make it a great choice for any project requiring superior thermal performance.
What Is The Problem With Phenolic Insulation?
Phenolic insulation is susceptible to decay when exposed to moisture and can also lead to pipework corrosion so steps must be taken to prevent water ingress.
This includes ensuring the pipework is correctly installed that welds are painted with corrosion-resistant paint prior to joint insulation and casing work and that other measures such as waterproof membranes or sealants are used as appropriate.
Ultimately, it is important that the necessary precautions are taken in order to avoid any potential damage that may occur due to using phenolic insulation.
What Is Phenolic Insulation Made From?
Phenolic insulation is made from a combination of phenol-formaldehyde resin and a foaming agent. When the resin and foaming agent are mixed with a hardener, an exothermic reaction is triggered which causes the resin to foam up, creating the phenolic foam insulation material.
This insulation provides superior thermal conductivity compared to other types of foam insulation making it an ideal choice for both commercial and residential applications.
The foam also has excellent sound insulation properties and it resists mould, mildew and fire damage due to its resistance to water absorption and slow burning rate.
Is Phenolic Insulation Fireproof?
Phenolic insulation is a highly reliable product when it comes to fire safety, boasting superior performance compared to other insulating materials. It has low flame spread and smoke emission characteristics, making it the perfect material for applications that require great fire safety protection.
In addition to its excellent thermal properties, phenolic insulation also can be used in areas that need extra fire resistance due to its superior fire performance.
Its remarkable characteristics are certified by independent tests and are endorsed by many major authorities in the building sector who have verified that phenolic insulation is an extremely safe choice in combustible environments.
Where Is Phenolic Insulation Used?
Phenolic insulation is widely used in applications such as roofing, cavity board, external wall board, plasterboard dry lining systems, wall insulation, floor insulation and sarking board.
This type of foam is usually found in a continuously laminated form, which provides increased insulation performance over traditional flat foam. These boards may be installed either directly to the building’s substrate or within a system build using battens and brackets for optimal thermal insulation.
The closed-cell structure of phenolic foam further helps to reduce air leakage through walls and ceilings. Furthermore, its resistance to the deteriorative effects of moisture make it an attractive option for many commercial and residential buildings alike.
Is Phenolic Insulation Non Combustible?
Phenolic insulation is a non-combustible material with excellent fire resistance. It is composed of an intumescent core between two layers of glass fibre reinforcement and has zero flame spread, negligible smoke emission and a very low level of toxic gas emission upon combustion.
These properties make it highly resistant to the spread of flames, allowing it to be used safely in environments where fire safety is a primary concern.
It’s also lightweight and cost-efficient making it an attractive option for many building projects.