The Rest of the [EPS] Story

By:  Pat Austin, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey

At the risk of dating myself, I have to admit that one of my favorite personalities in the entertainment industry was the late Paul Harvey, who made famous by a short program he broadcast over the radio titled ‘The Rest of the Story’.   Mr. Harvey would tell a story about someone of something that he thought you knew, revealing fascinating and previously-unknown details or aspects of his subject matter. And at the end of his program, Mr. Harvey would always conclude by saying, “And now you know…the rest of the story”.

When I consider our Foam-Control Plus+ product line, I often think that, like Mr. Harvey, our task is to let people know “…the rest of the story”.  This is because much of the construction industry thinks they know everything there is to know about rigid foam insulation, but there are surprising details that the majority of the industry is largely unaware of:

One of those details is water absorption. The popular belief is that in applications where insulation comes into contact with water, extruded polystyrene (XPS) is the product to use. I think this belief stems from the results reported by test ASTM C272, which is a 24-hour laboratory submersion test to measure water absorption. XPS reports 0.1% absorption by volume, compared with 2.0% for Foam-Control Plus+ expanded polystyrene (EPS). What people in the industry are largely unaware of, is that real-world performance does not mirror these results. Five separate independent studies have proven that XPS absorbs more water, is unable to dry out, and does not perform as anticipated in real-world applications.

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In contrast, Foam-Control Plus+ EPS has proven itself a superior insulator in situations where it’s exposed to bulk moisture. Its combination of water resistance and permeability is a winning formula which allows it to maintain a high R-value in these applications. Multiple independent studies have verified these real-world in-situ results, and science doesn’t lie.

Here are the links to the studies referenced:
Moisture 101
Moisture 102
Moisture 103 
Moisture 104 
Moisture 105 

And now you know…the rest of the story. Good day!

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Curious Findings About Polyisocyanurate

By: Doug Wehrwein, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

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It’s interesting and confusing at times, to analyze all the new test results and information about various roof insulation products.  Over the years polyisocyanurate has been the predominate insulation material used in commercial roofing.  I find it curious that polyiso remains the leader in spite of the fact their published R-values have been declining over the decades.  Back in 1975 they boosted R-8.0 per inch, and in 1985 the R-value became 7.2 per inch.  Then after a few more decades of decline the polyiso R-value recommendation according to Mark Graham, the NRCA’s associate executive director of technical services,  it is suggested R-5.0 per inch be used for polyiso when used in climates zones where heating conditions are prominent.  During these 4 decades of polyiso’s declining R-values their costs have continued to escalate.  You’re paying more for a lesser R-value.

Now there is a new NRCA report indicating that the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) polyiso LTTR values may not even be reached.   According to additional R-value testing done by the NRCA in late 2014 an average R-value of 5.555 was recorded at 75 F, only close to the R-5.7 as recommended by the Polyisocyanurate Manufacturers Association.   Additionally, testing revealed that the R-values of polyiso were diminished by as much as 27% at temperatures both higher and lower than 75 F, when thermal insulation is most necessary.

Over these same 4 decades expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid insulation has maintained constant R-values. For example, the R-value for Type II EPS is and always has been 4.6 per inch, and has continued to remain the lowest cost rigid foam insulation.  In addition to EPS’s impressive R-value retention,  EPS can minimize the number of pieces handled because it can come in pieces as thick as 36” and in tapers from ½” to 36”.  Compressive strengths are available from 10 to 25 psi.

ACH Foam roof insulation has many UL Listed assemblies to meet all your roof insulation needs.  Hybrid roof insulation assemblies incorporating EPS will also allow for Full System Warranties.

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Assembled in the USA

By:  Joe Kurz, Sales Representative – Industrial Products

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There is an opportunity/challenge being afforded to companies supplying products to the big box stores across our country. They are asking for these suppliers to bring them products that are made, or at minimum, assembled in the USA. This has driven several large companies to seek out methods of bringing back manufacturing to our shores, or bringing in their products unassembled and unpackaged and doing that work here.

Research into one such project showed a manufacturer bringing in 1420 sea containers per year of assembled and packaged product was able to reduce that figure to 224 containers of unassembled parts. The savings in freight and insurance costs are substantial, and the new business opportunities for ACH Foam Technologies to design and produce quality recyclable interior foam cushioning are exciting. These companies are also sourcing some of the hardware used to build their products from local companies, increasing demand for reusable EPS material handling trays and other packaging products.

ACH Foam Technologies, with our national facilities, has been consistently meeting the packaging challenge and requirements of our customers. So if it’s EPS, make it ACH…

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Foam-Control Plus+ Architectural Grade EPS Conquers Terror

By: John Myers, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

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Terror is part of our daily conversation. The world seems fraught with all sorts of alarm. We are becoming increasingly aware of and are on the watch for threats. In the construction world, there is the threat of the dreaded High-Cost-of-R-Value fear. Wait. What? Yes that’s right! While it isn’t making the headlines and most folks don’t think about it daily, it is a real concern among builders and building owners.

Fortunately, ACH Foam Technologies has developed Foam-Control Plus+ as a surefire combatant to overpriced R-Values. Contractors and Architects alike have discovered the cost-saving advantages of Foam-Control Plus+ Architectural Grade Insulation from ACH Foam Technologies. From perimeter and underslab insulation, to green roofs and plaza deck applications, all are experiencing the freedom from high R-Value costs.

With the increased R-Value and insulation requirements in today’s construction projects, and the demands of building owners to bring projects in at a reasonable cost, Architectural Grade EPS has been taking the place of the higher priced mainstays—XPS and Polyiso insulations. R-Value requirements can be satisfied at a lower cost per R-Value without changes to building design. The higher densities and corresponding higher R-Value per inch of Foam Control Plus+ changes the old myths of increased thickness.

Through the efforts of product specialists to educate the architectural, engineering, and contractor community we have battled past the fears and myths spread about by the higher cost per R-Value competitors.  If you are looking for some peace of mind and the satisfaction that comes from defeating High R-Value costs, let the experts at ACH Foam Technologies show you how to do battle and defeat terror!

Posted in Below-Grade Insulation, Sheathing & Wall Applications, Perimeter & Below-Grade Insulation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out of the Ashes: Geofoam & The Provo City Temple

  By: Terry Meier, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

After 125 years of service to the community the Provo Tabernacle was tragically lost to fire. Church leaders contemplated the future of the building’s empty shell and a decision was reached. “A temple would be built out of the ashes of the tabernacle.”

Unique cutting edge construction technology is taking the burned-out shell of the historic tabernacle and giving it new life. To accomplish this, the brickwork was fortified with 10 inches of concrete and the stone foundation was removed and replaced with a concrete foundation. This required the brickwork to be suspended 40 feet in the air supported by 146 steel piles. In a sense, the contractor (Jacobsen Construction) is building in reverse starting with the outer shell and then building from there.

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The temple will have a 245 car underground parking garage. The underground parking will allow landscapers to turn the grounds surrounding the temple into a place of beauty. Landscaping around the temple will be extensive, bringing lush flower gardens, trees, fountains and a pavilion to downtown Provo.

The area above the parking structure is covered with a 3 to 6 foot layer of EPS Geofoam. The Geofoam is used to make needed elevation changes on the plaza deck above the underground structure. Approximately 490,000 cubic feet of Geofoam was used for that purpose. The Geofoam is covered with either soil or a concrete topping slab depending on where it is used.

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The reason Geofoam was used is because of how lightweight and structural it is. Replacing soil (125 pounds per cubic foot), and concrete (150 pounds per cubic foot), with EPS Geofoam (less than 3 pounds per cubic foot), the contractor was able to reduce the vertical weight on the underground structure significantly. It is estimated that the use of Geofoam reduced the weight on the underground parking structure by an astounding 64,000,000 pounds!  When the weight is reduced on the underground structure the building materials used to make the structure are also reduced resulting in significant cost savings.

Upon completion of this project this resurrected building will once again provide years of service and beauty to the community. Out of the ashes a beautiful transformation has indeed transpired.

As a supplier of the Geofoam used on this project, ACH Foam Technologies is proud to be a part of that transformation on such a unique building project.

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