- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 22 Apr 2018
Phenolic foam insulation
This article needs more work. To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
- It has over 90% closed cell formation, giving it good stability.
- Phenolic foams come in varying densities in the range of 35 kg/m³ to 200 kg/m³. High density varieties such as insulation boards have good strength and are suitable for floor insulation.
- It has low thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of phenolic closed cell insulation material is generally between 0.018 W/m.K and 0.023 W/m.K.
- It has fire retardant properties and a low smoke level (even under pyrolysis).
- It is water resistant.
- It is lightweight and so is easy to transport and install.
- Closed cell phenolic insulation foam can resist almost all inorganic acidic erosion, organic solvents and acids. However, it under-performs in alkaline environments.
- When exposed to sunlight for long periods it does not show any noticeable ageing.
- Insulation boards show good sound absorption properties.
The most common blowing agent used in phenolic foam insulation is ‘Pentane’. This is used to comply with EC regulation, because it is CFC and HCFC free, has no ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential. Pentane is a hydrocarbon. In order to prevent the blowing agent escaping and being replaced by air, the insulation boards are covered with gas tight aluminium foil or glass tissue.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Aerogel insulation for buildings.
- Cavity wall insulation.
- Heat transfer.
- Interstitial condensation.
- Phase change materials.
- Polyurethane spray foam in structurally insulated panels and composite structures.
- Solid wall insulation.
- Sound insulation.
- Thermal bridge.
- Thermal comfort.
- Transparent insulation.
Featured articles and news
The world heritage list has evolved to embrace built, cultural and natural heritage.
The Ocean Cleanup project
The various types of bond and when they are used.
It's vital the industry responds to proposals for reform of the safety regulatory system.
RSHP's Merano wins RIBA accolade.
How to differentiate between partial possession and early use.
Ofwat proposes £12 billion additional investment and £50 bill reductions.
Avoiding 'winner's curse' and other useful info.
Developing test methods for video flame/smoke detectors
Waiting for a new deal ...but will funding materialise?