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INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
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AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BASEMENT CEILING VAPOR BARRIER
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BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION?
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CATHEDRAL CEILING VENTILATION
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT
DUCT INSULATION, ASBESTOS PAPER
FIBERGLASS PARTICLE CONTAMINATION
Fiberboard Insulation Sheathing Mold
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIREPROOFING ASBESTOS SPRAY-ON
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEAT LOSS PREVENTION PRIORITIES
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
INSULATION AIR & HEAT LEAKS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSULATION CHOICES & PROPERTIES
INSULATION FACT SHEET- DOE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION R-Values & Properties
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOG HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY
MOLD in FOAM INSULATION, RESISTANCE
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
RIGID FOAM USE INDOORS
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SLAB INSULATION, PASSIVE SOLAR
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING Indicates Heat Loss
TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WIND WASHING INSULATION At EAVES
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Phenolic foam insulation properties: this article discusses the question: is phenolic foam insulation suitable for solar energy installations?
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Sketch at page top and accompanying text are reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
The question-and-answer article about the indoor use of phenolic insulating foam found just below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Are Phenolic Foam Insulation Board Products Suitable for Solar Energy Products or Designs?
We wish to obtain information about manufacturing sources for phenolic insulation materials. As this material is rated as high as 500 degF. in temperature range, it may well suit a specific solar application that we have. -- J.I. Osias, Solar Builders, Cheshire CT.
Phenolic foams, like polyurethanes and isocyanurates, are closed-cell insulations with entrapped Freon gas [or by current standards, non-freon gases]. A chief attraction of phenolics is that they can withstand high temperatures and will not support flames (though they can be consumed) in a fire.
Typically, phenolic foams can tolerate continuous temperatures in the 300 degF to 350 degF range, with intermittent use up to 400 degF. Above that temperature, oxidation is likely to occur and render the phenolic foam insulating boards brittle. Outgassing of Freon or its replacement gases at high temperatures should be less of a problem than with other refrigerant-gas blown foams. In general, the phenolics are very stable chemically and dimensionally.
The main problems with phenolic foams reported in the 1980's were their relatively low compressive and flexural strength and their friability or tendency to crumble. Continual improvements in the formulations of phenolic foam board insulation products may overcome these drawbacks.
Facings on the foam insulating board can also help, but at the time of the original Solar Age article (August 1984) no one had successfully foamed phenolics between foil facings. At that time Koppers Co. was about to release a foil-faced phenolic foam insulation called Exeltherm Xtra residential insulation. At R-8.2 per inch, that foam would have had the highest R-value of any residential insulation. See INSULATION R-Values & Properties for current R-values.
More information about companies producing phenolic foam insulation products is provided at Technical References & Reviewers below.
Here we include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about phenolic foam sulation
Reader Comment: warnings about using phenolic insluation in low slope roofing systems
7/10/2014 Kim Lawson said:
The presence of phenolic insulation should be carefully considered. Currently, July 2014, membrane roofing manufacturers will not issue a warranty on new roofing on buildings which had phenolic insulation. The reason is that phenolic dust, once introduced to moisture, can become very acidic and damage surrounding materials. I would suggest this topic be investigated and appropriately discussed on this website.
Reply: research citations on phenolic roof insulation properties, wear, suitability, damage & wear
Thanks Kim for the interesting and important comment.
Here are some research citations, discussing the observation that phenolic insulation can cause damage
Questions & answers or comments about using phenolic foam insulation products in buildings or in the construction of solar energy system components.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
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Technical Reviewers & References