There are a two main types of insulated panel used for Coolroom applications. EPS which is expanded polystyrene or PIR which is polyisocyanurate panel. EPS is the most common form of panel used within today’s industry. Insulation thicknesses that are selected are the first considerations, a minimum thickness of 75mm is used for walls, ceiling, and if required floors, but our company recommends a minimum of 100mm. The reason for this is put simply the extra capital cost that is experienced at construction for thicker panel (100mm) is paid back in a very short time (weeks) due to an increase in thermal efficiencies and shorter running times of refrigeration equipment. The type of insulation is also a consideration, designers & insurance companies are closely applying to specifications due to the increasing focus on fire risks within insulated structures, insulated panels with fire performance characteristics.
To date EPS (expanded polystyrene) has been the insulation of choice, but there has been a noticeable shift over recent years towards the use of PIR (polyisocyanurate panel). EPS in the event of a fire will melt and soften, and will give off a thick black smoke as it is consumed by the fire. In comparison to PIR which if exposed to fire will harden and char and gives off very little smoke. This speaks for its self as to the advantages between the two products. But there are other important features between the two products. With EPS the cell structures are less dense therefore in comparison with PIR it has less thermal performance value’s, together it could absorb moisture into the insulation structure and lessen the insulation performances. With PIR given the cell structures of the insulation are very dense thermal values are much higher than EPS and moisture is not absorbed. The down side is PIR tends to be more expensive than EPS per meter squared.