Thermal insulation properties of foam

It’s essential to comprehend foam’s thermal insulation qualities if one wants to maintain efficient and comfortable housing. Because foam insulation can effectively control indoor temperature regardless of outside weather, it has become more and more popular. Because of its distinct composition and structure, foam offers distinct advantages over traditional insulation materials like cellulose or fiberglass.

The high thermal resistance of foam insulation—also known as its R-value—is one of its primary characteristics. This number represents the material’s heat-transfer resistance. When compared to other insulation types of comparable thickness, foam usually has a higher R-value, which indicates that it offers more insulation per inch. This feature is especially helpful in areas with harsh weather, where it can be difficult to maintain constant indoor temperatures.

The ability of foam insulation to form a seamless barrier against heat gain or loss is another benefit. In contrast to materials that may eventually settle or leave gaps, foam is applied as a liquid and expands to completely fill all voids and cracks, guaranteeing a tight seal. This feature not only improves thermal efficiency but also aids in lowering heating and cooling energy consumption, which may result in long-term cost savings.

In addition to its thermal qualities, foam insulation has other advantages like moisture resistance and soundproofing. These characteristics increase comfort and sustainability and make it a flexible option for both residential and commercial buildings. Foam insulation materials’ efficiency and environmental friendliness are further improved by technological advancements, making them a preferred choice for contemporary building and renovation projects.

Material Type Foam
Insulation Effectiveness Provides excellent thermal insulation by trapping air within its structure, reducing heat transfer

Properties of polystyrene

Polistyle foam, also known as foam, is a white isolation material made up of billions of tiny, thin-walled cells made of foamed polystyrene, with 98% of its content being air. Polistyle foam does not come into contact with microbes and is resistant to aging and moisture. For thirty years, foam (polystyrene foam) insulating materials have been utilized for thermal insulation of floors, walls, ceilings, and roofs in residential and commercial buildings because they are the most effective. Unquestionably, polystyrene foam (foam) has many benefits, including ease of processing with a hand saw or knife, low volumetric weight, the ability to glue with a variety of building materials, and simplicity in mechanical fastening. Food packaging uses biologically safe polystyrene foam, or foam.

Polystyrene foam is nearly impervious to moisture. Over the course of a year, water makes up between 1.5 and 3.5% of the weight of the polystyrene foam volume. Conversely, polystyrene foam has a much higher breathability than water permeability. The wall thus "breathes." The temperature of the surrounding environment has no detrimental effects on the chemical and physical characteristics of polystyrene foam. Even over extended periods of time, the properties of polystyrene foam remain unchanged at temperatures as high as ninety degrees Celsius. The outside walls of polystyrene blocks are essentially impervious to atmospheric influence.

The insulation objects made of polystyrene foam

  • reduction in costs for installation and construction work;
  • saving thermal energy for heating;
  • reduction in the cost of heating equipment (by reducing its number);
  • an increase in the beneficial area of ​​the building by reducing the structural thickness of the walls;
  • increased temperature comfort of the room;
  • Improving the environmental safety of the construction structure.

Polistyle foam, or foam, outperforms well-known conventional building materials in terms of heat insulation and can guarantee a building’s long lifespan in any climate.

The benefits and necessity of using polystyrene (foam) in building

There is a belief that the best material for construction is polystyrene. Two categories of characteristics can be identified based on the physical and chemical properties of foam, specifically the polystyrene foam, which are safety characteristics and operational and technical characteristics. Think about foam’s functional and technical characteristics:

  • One of the main properties of foam is a fairly low thermal conductivity coefficient, which allows it to be widely used in various construction work. Due to evenly distributed air inside the polymer, and, as you know, the air does not conduct heat poorly, slabs made of polystyrene foam are well suited for the main and additional protection of structures and premises from freezing walls under any weather conditions.
  • The foam also has soundproofing and protective properties from the wind, this allows you to use it if necessary.
  • The next property is durability. Observing all the main conditions of installation and operation, polystyrene foam will not change the initial properties and last more than a dozen years. Foam is a chemically neutral building material.
  • The absolute moisture resistance of polystyrene stoves allows you to lay them in places where the most likely accumulation or fluid flow. In this case, the foam does not change its original form, there is no displacement and swelling of the material.
  • Simplicity in installation, fasteners and cutting of polystyrene sheets and blocks significantly saves the means and time of developers. It should also be taken into account the fact that, working with this building material, there is no need to use special protective clothing, equipment and devices for workers.
  • Foam is resistant to various types of destructive actions of water, alcohol, weak acids and alkalis, thereby extending the service life of plates and sheets from polystyrene foam.

The safety features of Polistyre:

  • The main indicator of the safety of polystyrene foam is its fire resistance. With the interaction of foam with fire, the melted layers do not give the possibility of re -fire and material of the material, which is characteristic of the usual wood.
  • Environmental friendliness of the material. The initial product for the manufacture of foam is a styrene consisting of hydrogen and carbon. Therefore, during the fire of polystyrene foam, the same substances are distinguished as when burning wood or coal. To date, polystyrene is the most proven and clean material, it is used in the manufacture of children"s toys, for storing and transporting food products.
  • Temperature endurance. At the moment, the minimum temperature threshold is not established, in which the use of polystyrene foam is contraindicated. The maximum temperature is approximately limited by a value of +100 ° C. But it must be taken into account that such temperature values ​​in construction are not found, and therefore this value can be neglected.
  • Resistance to microbiological factors. Foam plates do not contain nutrients for the life of microorganisms, so the development of various fungi and bacteria does not arise. This property guarantees cleanliness in the work and operation of polystyrene foam.

The construction industry must adopt new problem-solving techniques in light of the implementation of new building standards for Russia’s thermal protection of buildings. Simultaneously, designers and architects are increasingly looking to novel materials and constructions that can successfully fulfill certain requirements. Foam made of polystyrene is one such material. The following table displays the thermal insulation properties of polystyrene foam, or foam, in comparison to other materials. The results speak for themselves. Current Russian building regulations state that the walls’ thickness, which also keeps the building’s heat from escaping, should be roughly:

  • Reinforced concrete – 4.20 m
  • Brick – 2.10 m
  • Expanded concrete – 0.90 m
  • Wood – 0.45 m
  • Mineral wool – 0.18 m
  • Polystyrene foam – 0.12 m

Foam thermal insulation calculation

The purpose of the building and its operating climate will determine the necessary thickness of thermal insulation. Additionally, energy-saving measures and precautions against moisture condensation should be considered.

The material is created, employed, and used without endangering human health or the environment. Polistyle foam is the purest and safest heat-insulating material, and it is used 100% of the time. It is also utilized in toys, food packaging, and other products. P.

Strong resistance to heat

The remaining 98% of polistyle foam is made up of still air inside its closed cellular structure. You already know that the best natural heat insulator is static air. Only 2% of the material is made of polystyrene plastic; this combination gives the PSB-S slabs exceptional heat-insulating qualities. Furthermore, polystyrene foam maintains its ability to retain heat in both damp and cold environments.

Windproof and soundproof operation

Extra wind protection is not required when using PSB-S polystyrene plates for warming. Additionally, buildings’ ability to block out sound gets better.

The PSB-S thermal insulation slabs do not retain moisture. Compared to mineral wool, polystyrene foam absorbs moisture much less readily. You can use PSB-S thermal insulation plates to warm foundations by letting the insulation come into direct contact with the soil because even after prolonged submersion in water, they only absorb a small percentage of the water based on their volumetric weight.

Strong resistance to loads

One of the most crucial characteristics of polystyrene foam is its resistance to loads, both short- and long-term. Plus, it’s a whole lot higher than mineral wool.

Maintaining steady-state dimensions

Throughout the construction process and the duration of the structure, PSB-S insulation maintains its stability by not shrinking, sitting down, or moving within the structure.

The PSB-S insulation’s quality properties hold up well over the course of the building’s life. The material’s minimal absorption of moisture guarantees the preservation of its load resistance and its capacity to withstand heat in damp environments. Polistyle foam is not chemically persistent, does not rot, does not mold, and does not create a nutrient medium for the growth of microorganisms on its surface.

Because of its light weight, PSB-S PSB-S Polistyle slabs are practical and simple to work with; standard tools can be used to easily cut them into the appropriate size pieces. It is crucial for builders to know that polystyrene foam does not require the use of protective gear because it is non-toxic, odorless, does not release dust when processed, and does not irritate skin.

All thermal insulation materials PSB-S are made of raw materials containing fire-resistant material- antipyren, and meet the requirements of GOST 15588-86. Polystyrene foam operates within a temperature range of -200 °C to +85 °C.

"Homeowners and builders looking to improve energy efficiency and comfort in buildings must comprehend the thermal insulation properties of foam. Because of its light weight and adaptability, foam insulation effectively reduces heat transfer by enclosing air pockets within its structure. This feature lowers the demand on heating and cooling systems, which lowers energy costs and contributes to the year-round maintenance of consistent indoor temperatures. Investigating the various kinds and uses of foam insulation can help make better decisions when it comes to enhancing the thermal efficiency of the home’s roof and other components."

Foam as a heater – its advantage and scope of use

The most common material that builders choose from their arsenal of thermal insulation materials is foam. Polystyrene foam has long been used as a heater in both individual and large-scale construction projects to provide thermal insulation.

This is one of the best materials, in the opinion of many, for thermal insulation in homes and other buildings. After weighing the advantages and disadvantages of nearly every material, we can determine if foam insulation is actually the best choice for the building.

Foam characteristics as insulation

Masses that have foamed up. Because the majority of the material inside foam plates is air, they are lightweight. Even more dense than the source material are the raw materials used to make the foam. Air that is not moving makes up the majority of the foam’s volume and acts as a good heat insulator.

The benefits of using polystyrene for insulation

1. The foam is an environmentally friendly material based on the hygienic conclusions of the manufacturers and in compliance with the state standard. Since it doesn’t release any harmful materials into the atmosphere, he is safe for humans to handle.

2. Furthermore, since this material doesn’t break down or come into contact with microorganisms, it essentially has no expiration date. Its high vapor barrier qualities are accompanied by low thermal conductivity.

3. Foam is flammable and fireproof. Its chemical and physical characteristics are unaffected by changes in the building’s temperature. Premium foam doesn’t support combustion because it contains antipyren, a substance with self-substitution qualities.

4. Another benefit of this material is its extremely low weight, which keeps the foundation from shrinking and does not add weight to the structure.

5. It should be mentioned that this is a very sturdy, reasonably priced material that is simple to install in the structure.

In addition to its many advantages, foam also has a number of drawbacks.

1. Because of the low mechanical strength of the foam, extra protection must be provided.

2. Paint and varnishes with such a composition, or nitro paints, can also cause it to collapse.

3. One of foam’s drawbacks is that air cannot pass through it.

4. You should apply a thick layer of plaster to protect it from rodent attacks.

Wall insulation with foam

Foam works well as wall insulation. Foam is used on the inside and outside of the walls for insulation. However, they are typically sealed off from the outside. It is possible to shift the largest freezing point to the outside of the wall when it is warming outside, which will keep the cold out of the room.

It is incorrect to insulate exterior walls from the inside. The truth is that internal heating should cause the wall to warm up as it exits. By applying foam to the wall’s interior surface, the wall will become thermally insulated from the inside as well as the outside, preventing the room from overheating.

The "dew point"—which is located between the wall and the foam layer—will therefore shift inside the wall as a result. Moisture will build up in these areas and permeate the wall. Moreover, this moisture may freeze during frosts, which will prevent heat transfer and cause the wall to gradually deteriorate.

Thus, insulating the exterior walls will be the best option; however, a layer of sturdy plaster will need to be applied to the foam’s top. Since foam does not have a higher mechanical strength, wall strengthening is a requirement for the structure’s longevity.

Square of the floor with foam

Foam plates are also used to insulate the floor from heat. One very useful way to keep floors warm and minimize noise when moving furniture or walking on the floor is to insulate your floors with polystyrene foam. In this instance, they are employed to provide up to 50 mm of thermal insulation for the foam plate floor. They are placed atop an insulating layer of material. Everything is poured with a screed only after the seams are tightly processed.

Thermal insulation of the roof

There are two approaches to thermal insulation of roofs in houses and buildings for different purposes: ventilated (cold) roofs and non-preferential (warm) roofs. In the first scenario, bitumen is poured on top of the entire roof, which is covered in foam plate measuring 70 mm in thickness, to create an unentilled (warm) roof. In order to stop water vapor from forming, the second method involves installing the foam plate on the back of the roof while keeping the ventilated surface exposed. It is critical that the attic’s roofs be properly insulated against heat.

Thermal insulation of the foundation

Increased protection is needed for the foam insulation in the foundation because, in addition to soil pressure, soil tuning during freezing also increases the load on the foam in the winter. In order to achieve a strong reinforcement, concrete or brickwork must be completed.

Thermal insulation of engineering systems

Foam steel is frequently utilized in engineering systems to provide thermal insulation. For instance, foam is a must for the thermal insulation of sewer and tap pipes during the winter freezing, as it helps prevent the disastrous event of a pipe breaking during the cold. Thermal insulation of cold water supply water supply systems is another application for foam. Telephone lines, buried channels, ventilation ducts, and polystyrene were used as thermal insulation.

How long-term use of a heater is conducted. As with all insulation, foam has benefits and drawbacks as well as a specific range of use, all of which will be covered in this article.

Foam – characteristics and properties of insulation

Foam is a contemporary building material used to insulate buildings and other structures from heat. Suitable for both internal and external tasks. There are several clear benefits to the foam of the qualities that we shall discuss in this article. Developers and construction companies have an incredibly high demand for this material.

Foam structure and composition

With a stiff foamed structure and a 98% air content, foam is a white substance with 2% polystyrene.

In order to make it, a method for foaming polystyrene granules has been developed; hot steam is then applied to these tiny particles. The process is carried out multiple times, leading to a notable decrease in the material’s weight and density.

To get rid of any remaining moisture, the prepared mass is dried. Special drying containers are used for the process, which is done outside. At this point in the process, the foam’s structure takes on its final shape. Granule sizes range from five to fifteen millimeters.

Granules of dried foam give the form of plates the proper shape. Pressing is done using specialized equipment or setups that "pack" the foam into a compact shape.

Following the pressing process, the foam undergoes an additional treatment with hot steam, leading to the formation of white blocks with predetermined width dimensions. Blocks are sliced to size using specialized equipment according to customer specifications. Standard and non-standard sizes are both possible for foam sheets. The foam has a thickness that ranges from 20 to 1000 mm, and the plate sizes are as follows:

Technical characteristics of foam

The undeniable benefit of polystyrene is its exceptional capacity for thermal insulation. This is because the foam cells, which are polyhedraries with sizes between 0.3 and 0.5 mm, are fully closed. The air cells’ closed cycle minimizes heat transfer and keeps the cold from getting inside.

Soundproofing and windproof qualities

Polystyrene-insulated walls don’t require extra wind protection. Furthermore, there is a notable increase in the sound insulation of buildings and structures. High soundproofing qualities are also a result of foam’s cellular structure. It is sufficient to install a layer of material two to three centimeters thick to provide excellent noise insulation for rooms. Better noise insulation in the space can be obtained by using a layer of foam that is thicker.

Low hygroscopicity is a feature of the foam in contrast to other materials. It absorbs the least amount of moisture even when exposed directly to water. This is because water only seeps through individual channels through the interconnected cells, not through the walls of the foam cells.

Robustness, longevity, and foam

Foam slabs do not undergo long-term physical property changes. They do not break down or distort even under extreme pressure. One glaring example is the building of a runway with landing strips, where foam has been widely used. The thickness and proper placement of the polystyrene foam plate determine the degree of strength.

Resistance to chemical and biological influences

Aggressive media, such as solutions of salts, alkalis, and acids, seawater, lime, gypsum, cement, bitumen, silicone, and water-soluble colors, are not able to affect Polystyrene foam slabs. Long-term exposure to substances containing vegetable and animal oils, as well as gasoline and diesel fuel, can have certain effects.

As a building material, foam should not come into contact with any harsh chemical compositions, such as:

  • organic solvents (solvents of paints, turpentine, acetic-ethyl ether, acetone);
  • saturated hydrocarbons (alcohols) and oil refining (kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil).

When the listed compounds come into contact with the foam’s cellular structure, it becomes disrupted and has the potential to dissolve entirely within them.

The environment in foam is not conducive to microorganisms. On the other hand, dangerous microbes may develop and proliferate on its surface in the event of severe pollution.

Installation simplicity and usability

The distinct feature of foam plates is their remarkably low weight, which makes them easy to handle and install. Using common tools, they are sliced into the required sizes.

Polistyle foam is an environmentally friendly material that is not capable of identifying dangerous materials. As a result, individual protective gear is not required for builders who collaborate with him. The material has no smell, is not a porch, does not collect dust, and does not irritate skin.

Premium building supplies need to be fire resistant and adhere to all fire safety regulations. Foam ignites at twice the temperature of a comparable wood indicator and does not aid in the combustion process. In addition, eight times less energy is released during the burning of the foam of energy as opposed to wood. This indicates that burning foam results in a much lower fire temperature.

Polistyle foam can only catch fire when it comes into direct contact with flames. The foam becomes selfless in four seconds after the effect ends. These signs suggest that it’s a reasonably fireproof building material. Despite the fact that his sellers and manufacturers insist he is completely fireproof.

Foam brand depending on the density and their use

The density of the foam is indicated by the numbers in the marking; the larger the digit, the higher the density.

Foam of the PPT-10 brand is used for:

  • insulation of building households, wagons and containers;
  • thermal insulation of water pipes (protecting them from freezing and increasing life life).

Foam of the PPT-15 brand is used for:

  • sound and thermal insulation of internal walls;
  • insulation of balconies and loggias;
  • insulation of houses, apartments and other premises;
  • soundproofing and insulation of structures that do not experience significant mechanical loads;
  • thermal insulation of water pipes (protecting them from freezing and increasing life life).

Application of PP-20-A brand foam:

  • thermal insulation of buildings facades;
  • manufacturing decorative and finishing materials.

Uses for PP-25 foam include:

  • sound and thermal insulation of internal and external walls;
  • thermal insulation of foundations and floors;
  • thermal insulation of attic ceilings and ceilings;
  • sound and thermal insulation of attic and roofs;
  • insulation of balconies and loggias, facades of houses and apartments;
  • manufacturing structures of multi -layer panels (including reinforced concrete);
  • arrangements of access platforms, heated paths, automobile boxes, car parking;
  • hydraulic and thermal insulation of underground communications;
  • protection of soils from swelling and freezing;
  • thermal insulation of water pipes;
  • thermal insulation of sewage drains;
  • strengthening the slopes of pools, sports grounds, flower lawns.

The foam is PP-35 brand:

  • for internal and external sound and thermal insulation of walls;
  • for sound and thermal insulation of foundations and floors;
  • for sound and thermal insulation of attic and roofs;
  • for insulation of facades of apartments and houses, loggias and balconies;
  • when arranging floors and walls of refrigerators in multi -storey refrigerators;
  • for thermal insulation of heated soils, ventilated underground in car repair shops;
  • when laying or reconstructing roads in conditions of swampy terrain and movable soils;
  • during the installation of refrigeration equipment (refrigerators, freezers) and cold-insulation of storage facilities;
  • to protect the grounds from freezing and increase their strength during the construction of road routes and take -off landing lanes;
  • when laying and repairing railway branches (protection against frost, protection from distortions and subsidence of roads on swampy soils);
  • to cover the soil in the process of strengthening ledges of bridges and slopes of embankments.

Conditional letter designations are used in conjunction with foam marking:

  • A – plate with even edges in the form of a parallelepiped;
  • B-the plate has edges in the form of L-crumbs;
  • P is a slab carved in an external with a hot string;
  • F – a plate made in an external size in a special form;
  • H – foam plate intended for external use.

We provide an illustration of how foam is marked:

Foam disadvantages

1. The primary disadvantage of polystyrene foam is that it burns easily. Foam sheets catch fire easily and release harmful chemicals. Special additives and technologies for the creation of self-adjacent foam were created in order to thwart this.

#2. Solvents and UV light have to be kept away from foam structures to prevent damage. Polystyrene foams must be shielded from sunlight when being used outdoors.

Owing to its properties, polystyrene is widely used in contemporary building. It is among the best, with a few thermal insulation and soundproofing materials that aren’t even replaceable.

Especially for roofing applications, foam insulation has become a key component of building energy efficiency improvements. It is a popular option for both builders and homeowners due to its remarkable insulating qualities and light weight. Regardless of the outside weather, foam insulation efficiently reduces heat transfer to help keep comfortable indoor temperatures all year round.

The ability of foam insulation to form a seamless barrier against heat gain or loss is one of its most notable qualities. In contrast to conventional insulation materials, foam can be applied in a number of ways, such as sprayed, injected, or in the form of rigid boards, making it suitable for a range of roof structures. Because of its versatility, every nook and cranny is adequately insulated, reducing energy waste and possibly lowering building owners’ utility costs.

In addition to its ability to withstand heat, foam insulation also helps to reduce noise, which gives interior spaces an extra degree of comfort. This feature is especially helpful in cities or locations where there are a lot of distracting outside noises. Furthermore, foam materials are strong and moisture-resistant, which reduces the possibility of mold growth and structural damage—an important factor in preserving the lifespan of roofing systems.

Video on the topic

Three gold rules of insulation

They loaded the warehouse with foam for facade thermal panels

Foam (polystyrene foam) is the most effective insulation in terms of price-quality ratio.

Do not let yourself be deceived!!! Part No. 1 Verification of foam and fenoplax (Technonikol Carbon) Thermal imager.

Ch-3, foam 2cm or 4cm. Comparison of thermal conductivity at -12 on the street (34)

Insulation between the walls. The thermal imager will show the better: blowing with foam, filling the balls, baby minvates ?

Warming with polystyrene 50 or 100 mm? Which density is better – 25 or 35 kg/m.cube?

Choose a foam without fools how to choose a foam

What do you think, which element is the most important for a reliable and durable roof?
Share to friends
Gleb Zuev

Exterior designer, author of books about roofing materials. I will help you make your roof not only reliable, but also beautiful.

Rate author
Add a comment