Maintaining Temperature in Industrial and Agricultural Buildings
One of the crucial factors determining whether a building is suitable for industrial or agricultural use is its capacity to maintain proper temperature so that it is protected against frost in the winter and against excessive heat in the summer.
Livestock buildings intended for keeping breeding animals, i.e. piggeries, cowsheds, or poultry houses, must meet certain temperature standards for animals to live there. When it comes to a piggery, the whole-year temperature for pigs ranges from 18°C to 21°C. Completely different temperatures should be maintained in a cowshed — for dairy cattle, the optimum temperature ranges from 8°C to 15°C.
Keeping appropriate temperature regardless of weather conditions is also recommended for agricultural buildings intended for storing food, e.g. cold stores or fruit and vegetable storage. Low temperature allows keeping food products fresh for longer, which directly translates into profitability of growing crops.
Using polyurethane insulation, you can achieve optimum conditions in agricultural buildings, including frame structure buildings. With its numerous advantages, such as fast erection and low weight, sheet metal structure covered with sheet metal panels has drawbacks as well, e.g. low thermal insulating power or water vapour condensation on the walls.
Thermal conductivity of polyurethane foam is just 0.020 – 0.023 W/(m2K). Depending on the intended use, spraying a 3–7 cm layer of foam can significantly improve the conditions in the building. Such insulation allows reducing heat loss to the minimum and lower the maintenance costs of the building. On the other hand, such low thermal permeability is a way to prevent warm air from entering an industrial building where you want to maintain low temperature. Another issue is considerable humidity in livestock buildings — high quality thermal insulation reduces water vapour condensation on the walls.
Appropriate Microclimate and Sufficient Ventilation
Industrial buildings should often ensure appropriate indoor microclimate.
For livestock buildings, maintaining proper sanitary conditions is extremely important. Closed-cell polyurethane foam sprayed onto a roof or a roof and walls does not soak up water, and no fungi or mould develop there. You can use water jet to clean surfaces covered with this material.
Polyurethane foam does not soak up water. Humidity produced by animals (exhaled water vapour, droppings, drinking trough) has no negative impact on the condition of polyurethane foam as such. The impact of as high humidity as 85% (a value reached in cowsheds) does not reduce the thermal insulating power of polyurethane foam.
PUR insulating foam is also safe for animal well-being from the point of view of toxicology — it does not produce harmful substances or gases.
Agricultural Cold Stores and Warehouses
Dry air and good protection against moisture play a key role when it comes to warehouses and buildings for storing food, especially cereals. Properly fitted insulation of the roof, wall, and foundations reduces the likelihood of fungus or mould growth.
Polyurethane foam insulation is also resistant to pests and rodents, which cause extreme losses, especially in agriculture. This insulating material is also of no interest to birds.
The major requirement for warehouses of agricultural equipment is appropriate insulation against water and moisture. There should be no water vapour condensation on a partition. Therefore, it is worth covering warehouse walls with a thin layer of polyurethane foam.
Supporting Role of Polyurethane Foam Insulation
In Poland, newly built industrial and agricultural buildings are mainly frame structures covered with sheet metal or sandwich panels. Their key advantage is fast erection and low cost. Such buildings, however, do not provide a similar rigidity as it is ensured by solid, brickwork buildings. Strong wind gusts are noticeable in the inside of such a building and may damage its structure. Spraying closed-cell polyurethane foam may stiffen and insulate the building and make wind gusts or rain less audible and noticeable indoors.
Not only does insulating a frame structure building with polyurethane foam provide additional support, but it also poses no risk of excessive load on the structure — polyurethane foam is relatively light, significantly lighter than structural insulating materials. What is more, thanks to its high thermal insulation parameters, as little as a few centimetres of spray foam is enough to provide proper protection. Other advantages of the material are that it does not enter into chemical reactions with other substances or gases, it does not soak up water, and it does not change its chemical composition and physical characteristics. With its low water absorption, it does not soak up water and, as a result, does not increase its weight in moist conditions. Therefore, you do not have to worry that you will go to your warehouse only to find that its roof has collapsed after a heavy rain due to water absorption.
What is more, closed-cell polyurethane foam allows you to keep the technical condition of the sheet and metal elements unchanged — it tightly adheres to the surface and does not let moisture penetrate to the inside, thus protecting the structure against corrosion and deterioration of the building’s technical condition caused by moisture.
Polyurethane foam is a fast and relatively cheap method of insulating industrial and agricultural facilities. It features high adhesive properties, which allows you to apply it directly to almost every type of ceiling structure or walls. It fits into every surface shapes, tightly filling every recess of even complex building structures.