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+®.
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.
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 www.achfoam.com. 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.