- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 02 Oct 2020
Phenolic foam insulation
- 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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Aerogel insulation for buildings.
- Cavity wall insulation.
- Fire retardant.
- 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
Predictions about adequate post-pandemic IAQ in non-domestic buildings.
Government publishes plans to 'build back greener'.
The contentious nature of claims associated with cladding, fire safety and EWS1 forms.
ECA comments on low-carbon heating systems initiative and Heat and Buildings Strategy.
Cinders and other forms of domestic rubbish created filth but also generated great wealth.
CIC 2050 Group requests input to find out priorities for future industry leaders.
IHBC publishes response to consultation.
Institute applauds funding initiatives but presses for additional retrofit and tax measures.
The switch from analogue to digital has begun.