- 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
Re-establishing human relationships with the natural world.
Post-occupancy evaluation of completed construction works.
Seven steps to defining a digital twin.
Achieving air tightness in buildings.
What are the benefits of smart homes for Millennial end-users?
How dynamic briefing can result in an efficient project.
Achieving sustainable roads funding in England.
Your chance to comment on the draft BS 851188 - flood resistance products and flood protection products.
Rebuilding could take 20 to 40 years.
RSHP’s high-rise residential towers win a tall buildings award for excellence.
BSRIA study reveals strong growth in 2018.