When looking at phenolic foam insulation, thermal performance is probably the most obvious place to begin; why? Because phenolic foam is simply better than every other commonly available product, and by quite a distance. Typically phenolic insulation has a thermal conductivity of around 0.021W/m.K at +10ºC, (This is an initial value, the "aged" value is usually more like 0.025W/m.K for a good quality foam) compared to to around 0.032W/m.K for glass wool at the same temperature. Does this make it a better insulation? Yes and no, thermally speaking it is certainly the superior product, but as we always advocate in this blog; you need to use the right insulation for the right application. Phenolic foam is suitable for a wide range of heating and cooling applications, and it has got one decided advantage over certain other insulation products in that its thermal properties do not deteriorate over time, provided that the material remains undamaged. The other decided advantage over other insulation products is that as it is such an efficient product (due to the very fine cell structure) you can usually use a thinner layer of insulation to achieve the same results. This also means the material has a smaller surface area, so if you are using finishing materials such as PIB sheeting or Aluminium Cladding then you do not need to use as much.
Phenolic Foam has excellent fire performance characteristics. It is difficult to ignite, has either zero or very low flame spread and low smoke emission with a very low level of toxic gas emission. As phenolic foam is a thermoset material it will not run, melt or drip when it comes into contact with a fire source. For this reason it is capable of meeting or exceeding all international building regulation requirements. The toxic gases that are given off by phenolic foam in the event of a fire tend to be limited to either carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide with very low levels of other gases.
Phenolic foam usually achieve a Class 0 Fire Rating to BS476: Parts 6 & 7, and to the new Euroclass Fire Rating should achieve Euroclass B-s1-d0.
The excellent moisture resistance characteristics make phenolic foam particularly suitable for low temperature hot water, chilled and cold applications.
We sell two makes of phenolic pipe insulation: One "Cut from Block" product and the Kingspan Kooltherm product.
The cut from block product is an own brand product that comes at a very competitive price, whilst we also offer the brand leader Kingspan Kooltherm which is very often specified for certain jobs.