By: Nick Harvill, Sales Representative – Architectural Products
ACH Foam Technologies produces Polar-R®, a 4’ x 8’ laminated sheathing, and Polar Fold®, a 4’ x 50’ sheet that comes folded in a 24” x 48” bundle. The durable facers make these products to be strong and are used to wrap your home in continuous insulation and a weather resistive barrier to reduce air infiltration and energy loss. Why were these products developed?
Up until the 1970’s, contractors frequently used wood fiberboard for wall sheathing. As energy costs rose, the need for thermal insulation grew. Contractors began using sheets of unfaced EPS on the walls to gain insulation value, usually ¾” or 1” thick.
In the early 80’s companies began to laminate a paper layer to the EPS, usually with a foil facing to achieve reflective R-Value when air space was present such as in brick sheathing applications. The facer made the sheet stronger, more durable and flexible. The early versions of laminated EPS sheathing used melted asphalt as the adhesive. This method was followed by latex and hot melt adhesives, which were much safer. The manufacturing process most common today is a plastic film facer that thermally laminates to the EPS. The plastic film is co-extruded with an adhesive layer that, when heated, bonds aggressively to the EPS sheet
Over time contractors had a growing need for larger sheets of insulation that could be easily transported and handled on the jobsite. This need led to both sides of the EPS insulation being laminated. Each side of the laminate and foam was cut every 2 feet to allow the material to fold. ACH Foam Technologies produces its 4’ x 50’ Polar Fold® in thicknesses from 3/8” thick to 4” thick in a variety of densities ranging from Type I to Type IX EPS. Polar Fold® is used as a backing for siding underlayment, protection board for foundation waterproofing, sheathing, and as a recover board for single ply roofing applications.