- 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
Driven piles are used to support buildings, walls and bridges, and can be the most cost-effective deep foundation solution.
Australian landmark celebrates achievement of carbon neutral status five years ahead of schedule.
Non-material amendments can sometimes be necessary after planning permission has been granted. Find out more here.
Six things civil engineers could do to ensure the success of projects.
Dublin housing crisis restricts employers' ability to recruit, according to new U+I research.
Intricate inlays and beautiful patterns can be created with waterjet cutting.
Two historic quarries in environmentally sensitive areas were reopened to repair Exeter Cathedral.
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.