The different types of industrial foam insulation
Foam board or block insulation – these are two distinct products but they provide the same benefits. Insulation board is made from the core of polyurethane foam that can be faced with different materials like paper, aluminum, Kraft, fiberglass, gypsum, perlite and fiberboard. Insulation block is polyurethane foam that has been cut and shaped according to the dimensions required by the application. Both foam board and block can be used as industrial foam insulation for any part of the building from the roof down. Not only do these types of insulation provide high thermal resistance, they reduce heat conduction through structural elements like wood and steel studs.
Insulated metal panels – these type of insulation is a factory-engineered exterior panel that consists of metal skins containing polyurethane foam. It is ideal industrial foam insulation for roofing and wall cladding.
Insulating concrete forms – or ICF consists of interconnected foam boards or interlocking hollow-core foam insulation blocks. The foam boards are fastened using plastic ties with steel rods added for reinforcement before concrete is poured. When using the foam blocks, the reinforcement steel rods are used inside the hollow cores to strengthen the walls. However, foam webbing around the concrete-filled cores are vulnerable to insects and groundwater so that manufacturers treat the foam blocks with insecticide with different methods used for waterproofing.
Loose-fill and blown-in foam insulation – this type of industrial foam insulation consists of fiber, foam and other materials that can conform to any space without disturbing the structure or finishes. The ability of this type of insulation is suitable for retrofits and areas where it would be difficult to install other types of insulation. Loose-fill insulation can be used in enclosed cavities like walls or unenclosed spaces like attics.
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and one-component foam (OCF) – SPF can be manufactured onsite by mixing and spraying the reacting urethane chemicals into the substrate. Spray foam will expand to seal all cracks and crevices in order to achieve a seamless air barrier. OCF on the other hand is applied using small volume pressurized containers to seal doors and windows during construction.
Liquid foam insulation – can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected or poured to fill even the smallest cavities and provide an effective air barrier. Liquid foam insulations are generally more expensive than other types of foam insulations but they have higher R-value and eliminate some of the costs required for winterizing a home such as caulking, vapor barriers and taping joints. When building a new home or building, the best option is the liquid foam insulation because it can reduce the time spent for construction and the need for specialized contractors. The advantages provided by liquid foam insulation can easily offset its price.