Managing Price Increases in Today’s Marketplace

By: Joe Kurz, Packaging Specialist

Procurement Plans

It is no secret that we are seeing increases in costs coming from every sector of the economy. All petroleum based products, including a gallon of gasoline, have risen several times in the past quarter. We are seeing increases in transportation, labor, utilities and so forth. Even paper products are on the rise.

For purchasing departments, the challenges to control costs are many. The veteran design team at ACH Foam Technologies has been busy working with prospects to come up with lower cost solutions to the higher end packaging foams they are currently using. By exploring the advantages of DuraTherm foam packaging solutions, companies have been able to minimize the impact that price increases are having on their bottom line.

Please consider allowing us to suggest ways that DuraTherm foam packaging solutions can help to maximize your profits as well! Complete our simple and easy to use info request page at and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.

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Why use Foam-Control PLUS+® for your roof insulation?

By: John Myers – Sales Representative, Architectural Products

Today’s low slope roof systems are costing building owners considerably more money than they should. The consideration comes down to the actual “cost per R” of the insulation used in the system. While membrane manufacturers lead their customers to believe there is only one choice for insulation, nothing could be further than the truth!

Foam-Control PLUS+® and Foam-Control® roof insulation offers the lowest cost per R-Value of any roof insulation on the market. In fact, in the case of tapered insulation systems it can be 30% or more! So why might you ask are designers and contractors not offering it as insulation in their proposed systems?

The answer is quite simple, the membrane manufacturers are not as concerned with the cost of the system as they are in supplying the insulation they manufacture or label. Most every membrane manufacturer produces or licenses Polyiso insulation and naturally include it as part of their specifications. Makes sense for them; however it drives the cost of the roof system up considerably without offering any additional benefit!

In comparing Foam-Control PLUS+® and Foam-Control® roof Insulation to Polyiso there are some very important considerations.


Long term R-Value loss. It is a fact that the R-Value of Polyiso insulation decreases over time, in fact in as little as 5 years.

    • Thickness limitations of the Polyiso product requires more installation labor to reach required R-Values or taper height for drainage.
    • The best roof systems use a coverboard over the insulation and under the membrane. Using Foam-Control PLUS+® and Foam-Control® insulation with a cover board is no more expensive than Polyiso without coverboard.
    • Foam-Control PLUS+® and Foam-Control® can be applied direct to metal decks. Please refer to UL Evaluation Report ER11812-01 and UL Roof Deck Construction No. 458.
    • Foam-Control PLUS+® and Foam-Control® roof Insulation is recyclable and environmentally friendly. It contains no CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs or formaldehyde, and it comes with a 50-year thermal warranty.
    • Full warranties are available with most all membrane manufacturers, contact us for details.

This is a short list of benefits. The biggest benefit to building owners and contractors wishing to offer the best value at the best price to their customers is the significant cost savings that Foam-Control PLUS+® and Foam-Control® roof insulation offers.

Contact us today to find out how we can save you dollars on your next roof project!

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Foam-Control PLUS+® Outperforms XPS When Exposed to Moisture

By: Jim Nugent – Regional Sales Manager

As the word spreads throughout the construction industry about the advantages of expanded polystyrene, specifically Foam-Control PLUS+® architectural insulation, and the advantages over extruded polystyrene, we realize there is still a lot of growth opportunity and there are many architects and contractors who still have not heard our message. With that in mind I want to review some long term independently published comparisons with Foam-Control PLUS+® and XPS as well as some new very exciting information.

Long term R Value:
There are new independently tested R-values of XPS showing the R-values of samples obtained from the market place after 3 years are under the published R5 per inch. This really should not be a surprise, yet it can catch people off guard. When you consider XPS is polystyrene plastic with blowing agents that defuse from the cell structure of XPS the R-value will be very similar to Foam-Control PLUS+®.

FC PLUS Tech Bulletin 101Water Absorption:
There is very exciting new news in this area. Newly published water absorption data on Foam-Control PLUS+ is .3% by volume, the same published data for XPS. Here is a link to our new tech bulletin. The fact that Foam-Control PLUS+® outperforms XPS when exposed to moisture, should not be a surprise, yet there are still those who have not heard the news.

In 2008 a 15 year in-ground side by side test showed expanded polystyrene significantly outperformed XPS is water absorption and R-value retention. Several other independent tests show the same results.

The key physical property of Foam-Control PLUS+® is its higher perm rating. This “breathability” helps Foam-Control PLUS+® shed moisture in drying conditions which helps retain R-value. This perm rating can also be an advantage in “open-vapor” wall assemblies that help avoid trapped moisture.

Elastic Modulus:
There is also some new exciting news regarding the elastic modulus of our Foam-Control PLUS+® offering. What is elastic modulus? In laymen’s terms it is a way of explaining to architects and engineers the strength and stiffness of rigid insulation. Elastic modulus is an important design consideration when designing freezer floods, plaza decks, split slabs and other high loading applications. Foam-Control PLUS+® 600 has the same elastic modulus as the 60 psi XPS product and our Foam-Control PLUS+® 400 has a higher elastic modulus than 40 psi XPS. The labor saving of larger pieces and the over lower material cost have Foam-Control PLUS+® 400 and 600 growing significantly across the US.

All of this information and more can be found on our website I hope this summary of some exciting new information and a review of some long standing independent testing will help to reinforce the significant advantages you have when using Foam-Control Plus+ on your next project. It is truly an architectural insulation like no other.

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Think Small – Unique Size And Strength

DuraTherm® Expanded Polystyrene Pre-Puff

The emerging market of medical applications and it’s requirement for small size but stable materials.  ACH Foam Technologies DuraTherm® EPS Pre-puff offers a variety of densities and has you covered.   Below are a few examples of common uses for DuraTherm Pre-Puff inside Medical Positioning Pillows & also Bead sizing images.   DuraTherm Density ranging from .75 lb to 4.5 lb per cubic foot using B, C &  T bead type resin.   Typical bead size diameters range from .40 mm to 1.5 mm.

1.5 pcf pre-puff T size bead

1.5 pcf pre-puff T size bead

4.25 pcf B szie

4.25 pcf B size

Medical Positioning Pillow

Medical Positioning Pillow

Please reach out to one of our 9 plant locations to learn more.


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Burning Characteristics of Common Insulation Materials

By: Tamara Middleton, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

ASTM E84 Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Material compares the burning behavior of a material with that of a select grade red oak.  This test involves a sample of material in a tunnel with a flame held at one end and a draft applied.  The flame is held for 10 minutes, smoke and flame spread are measured.  This is basically stage two of the three stages of fire growth. A fire starts with the non-flaming stage then progresses to well-ventilated flaming and finally to under-ventilated flaming.

ASTM E84 tests the characteristics of insulation under the well-ventilated flaming stage, and well-ventilated fires are generally small and extinguishable, however fires in enclosed buildings can rapidly grow into under-ventilated fires.  At this point the fire is large and becoming quite toxic.

Using the steady state tube furnace, toxic yields were determined for several types of building insulation, three of them were Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Polyisocyanurate (PIR), and Polyurethane (PUR).  The insulations were tested under smoldering conditions and flaming conditions.  It was found that the levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the smoldering EPS were below the limits of detection, and 0.003mg/g Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN).  The PUR yielded 19.324 mg/g of CO2, 1.6mg/g of CO and .056mg/g of HCN, while the PIR yielded 25.39 mg/g of CO2, 2.171mg/g of CO and .083mg/g of HCN.  Under flaming conditions the EPS with its high content of carbon produces more CO2 than the other two insulations, however the CO2 yield in all three decreases at the fire progresses from well-ventilated to under-ventilated as the oxygen level decreases.  The CO levels increase in all three insulations at the fire progresses.  The HCN yield for both PUR and PIR increases significantly as the fire progresses, while the HCN yield for EPS remains nearly undetectable.

In short all of the above insulations yield high levels of CO2 when burning in stage two, however once in stage three or under-ventilated burning, only the Polyisocyanurate and Polyurethane yield high levels of Hydrogen Cyanide.

Assessment of Fire Toxicity of Building Insulation Materials, Anna A Stec and T Richard Hull
Center for fire and Hazard Science
University of Central Lancashire
Preson, PR1 2HE, UK
The Ins and Outs of ASTM E84 Fire Testing
Atlas Roofing Corporation
September 23rd, 2014
Posted in Below-Grade Insulation, Sheathing & Wall Applications, Perimeter & Below-Grade Insulation, Roof Insulation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment