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!

About Pat Austin

BSIE from Marquette University in 1986, MSMSE from UW Madison in 1989. General contractor for 13 years before joining the ACH Foam team in 2007. Married to Kelly, with four sons.
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