IFS Chemicals - World Class Polyurethanes
IFS Chemicals - World Class Polyurethanes

20 metre long, high performance building panel

Composite Panels

Composite insulated panels, sometimes called sandwich panels, are made from two rigid metal, plastic or wooden facings with a PU insulating core in between.

  • During the manufacturing process the PU core expands, providing an adhesive bond and laminating completely to the rigid facings, forming a single strong semi-structural unit.
  • These panels are able to provide excellent thermal performance, with guaranteed continuity of insulation and factory engineered airtight joints.
  • Combined with facing sheets of steel, aluminium or plastic, the adhesive properties of PU (polyurethane) foam make it ideal for the production of strong, lightweight and well-insulated composite panels.

These composite panels are widely used in the construction and cold chain industries and include 

  • Cold stores
  • Office buildings
  • Industrial units
  • Modular relocatable buildings
  • Residential doors

Over the past few years the thermal conductivity values of foams in this series have improved significantly as changes in the requirements of the building regulations have changed.

  • The biggest change has resulted from a move from conventional blowing agents to the so-called "fourth generation" materials based on hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs).
  • Our foam systems are used in a wide variety of applications, always exhibiting low foam densities, low thermal conductivity and very high adhesion properties.
  • We also offer a regular testing service, which incorporates full mechanical and thermal testing of the product taken from customer’s production lines.

Structural Insulated Panels, SIPS, are being forcefully developed in the UK as a cost-effective method of building both private houses and commercial buildings.

  • The environmental attributes of insulation foams sold under the Envirofoam banner have been recognized and warmly welcomed by the SIPs industry.
  • The wall and roof structures are constructed by assembling pre-manufactured, highly insulated panels.
  • The factory-produced panels are of a composite structure based on oriented strand board (OSB) with an inner core of Envirofoam insulation, often supplied as a complete building kit.
  • This type of pre-manufactured structural panel speeds construction immensely. Panels are cut to exact dimensions before being delivered to site, so reducing on-site labour and minimising waste.
  • SIPs can be effectively combined with other more traditional materials such as brick facings, steel, glass and wood, allowing the design of the building to be led by aesthetics and function rather than restricted by the construction method.
  • These thermally insulated panels give rise to low energy, air-tight buildings, ideally suited to meet or exceed today’s increasingly stringent Building Regulations.
  • IFS has further increased the environmental attributes of SIP technology by introducing a polyurethane and PIR foam core system with two additional benefits. Firstly, the chemical composition of the foam has been modified to include polyols derived from a renewable source – rapeseed oil. This natural oil is grown in the fields of East Anglia and is converted to an NOP (Natural Oil Polyol) at our facility near King’s Lynn.
  • The blowing agents used in the Envirofoam series of foam products have the lowest global warming values on the market. 
    • Whereas insulation foams based on HFAs have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of between 800 and 3000, the Building Research Establishment require a GWP of “less than 5” in order to meet their Ecohomes requirement. 
    • All Envirofoam grades from IFS meet this requirement, with several grades having a GWP of between 1.0 and 3.0. A typical datasheet can be downloaded below.

IFS has perfected the ultimate insulation for use in the manufacture of discontinuous building panels.

  • Well ahead of the competition, a flame-retardant PIR has been developed with very important environmental and processing benefits compared with the market norm.
  • The environmental benefits arise from the polyol component which utilises two types of raw materials which have a significant edge - recycled plastic bottles and rapeseed oil.
  • The new PIR system has a high aromatic/char characteristic and good flow ability in discontinuous panels. In keeping with the IFS range of rapeseed oil-based PU systems, the adhesion to metal substrates is very good.
  • The foam system also has a very low Global Warming Potential (GWP), namely "less than 5", an attribute which puts it significantly ahead of all other PIR foam systems on the market
  • This is achieved without any sacrifice of properties, particularly the insulation value of the foam. Values of 0.021 W/mK have been achieved in conventional building panels.

IFS has over thirty formulations for the production of composite panels, something suitable for all applications. An example of some of these is shown below:

 

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