Polyurethane foam – what is it and what can it be used for?
House thermal insulation is not easy. When choosing the material, several different factors should be taken into consideration. The thermal insulation material should of course protect against excessive heat loss as well as possible, and at the same time absorb sound. It also should be easily and quickly installed, and lightweight.
For years, mineral wool ruled in Poland as the most popular building thermal insulation material. Open-cell polyurethane foam has been spreading globally only for 15 years. It appeared on our market only 6 years ago – and it immediately became an attractive alternative for mineral wool.
The expanded polyurethane can be used as foams, panels or lagging for different installations. But the most recognisable polyurethane products are assembly and sealing foams.
Polyurethane foams have various applications. They are used for gluing and insulation of wall panels, corrugated sheet or roof tilting. They can be used to join wooden elements in framework structures. They also allow to sound-insulated and seal partition walls.
The PUR foam is still a poorly recognised thermal insulator in Poland. What a pity. Although polyurethane foam costs more than mineral wool, the investment is more cost-effective in a longer period.
And how is it applied? The foam, sprayed with high-pressure units, expands and hardens immediately, tightly adhering to the surface and filling all gaps. And it doesn't felt.
PUR foam advantages
Foam sprayed from the inside becomes more and more interesting for investors. Below you can find 10 advantages of PUR building thermal insulation.
- 1. Provides perfect heat insulation
PUR foam insulation pays back after approx. 8 years. However, thanks to increased thermal insulation capacity allows to save 30% up to 50% of heat costs. After many years of use of the building, it will be a highly cost-effective investment.
- 2. Health and environmentally safe
Polyurethane foam is completely safe – for health as well as for the environment. Doesn't dust, crumble, oxidise and preserves its properties during the entire period of building use. It is also mould and fungus resistant. Rodents and insects don't like it either.
- 3. Durable
This is a great advantage of this material. Despite the passing of time, the foam's mechanical and insulation parameters do not change. It provides 100-percent sealing and durability guarantee for long years. And it is not biodegradable.
- 4. Impregnating
Protects timber from mould, and metal from corrosion.
- 5. Vapour permeable
Although it is fully tight, the foam is vapour permeable. That's why it will turn your house into a proverbial “flask”.
- 6. It provides higher air quality inside the building
In foam-insulated housed, air quality increases, because there are less dust and allergens inside.
- 7. Fast installation
2 persons are able to cover 250 m2 of area with PUR foam within 8 hours. For comparison: 2 persons are able to install 50–100 m2 of mineral wool insulation within 8 working hours.
- 8. Lightweight
Polyurethane foam is lighter than mineral wool, so it burdens the building structure to a smaller extent.
- 9. Good surface adhesion
Natural physical properties of the foam allow it to perfectly adhere to the surface and fills any gaps. It ideally adhere to wood, vapour-permeable foil, OSB boards, bricks or even concrete.
- 10. Easy to treat and install
Contrary to mineral wool, no additional tools, like nails or strings, are required to install polyurethane foam. The foam adheres to any surface.