For many years the galvanized sheets of iron had been used as insulation materials for HVAC systems. However foams such as the phenolic foam are more effective. This foam has two application types the foam-in-application and the panel or board form. In choosing this type of foam for use in HVAC system for a home or office building, it can be beneficial to know its different advantages over regular or traditional insulation materials.
Both types of this foam have many advantages over the regular insulation products. The following are just some of the renowned advantages of using traditional insulation materials.
1. The structural strength. The strength to density ratio of this foam is very high as well as its compressive strength. Panels of this type of foam having density of about 80 kilogram per cubic meter (kg/m3) can be used for structural support for up to 64 tons per m2.
2. Thermal conductivity. The low thermal conductivity of this foam is attributed also to its close cell structure as well as the presence of gases. Its thermal performance also allows utilization of thinner panels without sacrificing the low conductivity.
3. Moisture penetration. The moisture resistance of this foam is also high and can be attributed to three things:
a. Water absorption is very low, it appears only on the part wherein the insulation is defaced.
b. Water vapor permanence is low making water intrusion nearly impossible
c. And, it is non-wicking. In case of water intrusion, the water is easily confined to the entry point and does not compromise the entire system.
4. Chemical Resistant. Phenolic foam has also inert and stable nature. Phenolic foams had been widely used in food preparation installation since it contains no fibers. High concentration solutions of both acid and alkali can cause discoloration and swelling in the insulation’s surface.
5. Fire resistant. They have low spread quality when caught by fire. The aluminum facing usually adds to its fire resistance. It has also low smoke emission, low to no amount of toxic gas emission and no dripping of insulation during the pyrolysis.
6. High Range of temperature. This works in a large range of temperature from – 1800C to +1200C.
7. Environment friendly. Phenolic foams are CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) and HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) free. These substances may react with the oxygen in the air and form gaseous by-products that depletes the ozone layer in the atmosphere increasing the effect of greenhouse gases.
The phenolic foam foamed-in-insulation has rather high R-value of R-4.8 per inch for a foamed-in insulation, and only utilizes air as its foaming agent. However, it possesses a major drawback that it is often not entertained during planning of insulation. Its shrinkage after curing can go up to 2%.
It is always important to note that may some advantages can be a disadvantage if not properly applied. These various advantages of using the phenolic foam, however still lie on various details such as layout of the building, climate of home’s location and budget of course. It is needless to point out that in order to maximize this advantages, it is wise to ask help in professionals in planning the home’s insulation systems.