Division 7 Ebook Page 544 FOAMULARŪ XPS Insulation & Insulfoam R-Tech Comparison

Technical Review FOAMULAR Rigid Insulation and INSULFOAM R-Tech Comparison A Close look at XPS and EPS with a Polymeric Skinned Surface download a complete warranty for FOAMULAR XPS rigid foam insulation products. When EPS like Insulfoam absorbs water it loses R-value, and, it is susceptible to permanent EPS bead damage, or breaking apart, from freezing-thawing cycles. That is cause for concern for EPS products. There is no warranty available to examine on-line for R-Tech, however, there is a warranty available for public inspection on the Insulfoam website that says the following about Insulfoam EPS roof insulation: "this warrantyshall not cover any failure of the insulation to meet the minimum R-value Standard due tomoisture resulting from improper installation, application, or design of the roofing system (or) Moisture resulting from a malfunction or failure of other roof system componentsThe warranty is not enforceable if the EPS insulation is damaged by any natural cause.by any act of negligence, any accidentor any intentional or unintentional misuse" It is clear that Insulfoam has enough concern about the negative effect of water on its EPS core products, that it is necessary to exclude coverage if exposed to water. If the same concerns and exclusions apply to the EPS core of R-Tech, then its use below grade, or in cavity walls, or in any other place where it will encounter water is questionable. If the film laminates are damaged during installation or during installation of brick cladding or during backfill, presumably that might also void any warranty. As a minimum, design professionals should ask, "if water gets into EPS insulation, warranty or not, what happens and why the exclusions for some Insulfoam EPS products?" How effective are insect resistance treated EPS boards? Not very effective. The Insulfoam literature for "insect resistant rigid insulation" says, "Insulfoam insect resistant EPS has been tested against termites and carpenter ants. It should not be considered a barrier system." That really says it all. There are multiple concerns about insect infestation that treated boards cannot address. Polystyrene (EPS and XPS) does not provide a food source. However, it is a tunneling media conducive to creating the shelter that insects need to forage. Although Insulfoam is not specific about the treatment applied to its board, most EPS producers that claim "insect resistant" base their claims on borate coated beads. Borates abrade the body of some insects which leads to death by dehydration. Insects (termites, carpenter ants) are random foragers. If the insect ahead dies, the insect behind unemotionally pushes the body aside and continues on. Eventually the foragers will tunnel through the polystyrene, making their way through the foam to find a food source. Or, they may just as randomly turn away and tunnel another direction. The treatments may slow them down, but it is not a sure stop method. Further, borates are water soluble. After years of in-situ EPS water absorption, the bead coatings may dissolve and lose effectiveness. And, termites/ carpenter ants are just as likely to randomly choose a path behind the board, between the board and the foundation or wall. The concern for the use of any foam NOTE: Water absorption is measured in accordance with ASTM C272. A sample 12" x 12" x 1" thick is weighed dry, then submerged in water for 24 hours, removed, and immediately weighed wet. Weight gain is calculated and divided by the volume of the sample. 3 samples are tested and results averaged. In addition to the 24 hour data required by the test standard, 2 hour, 7 day and 14 day data is also graphed to provide additional insight into the effects of longer term exposure to water. FOAMULAR 250, 1.64 pcf density, ASTM C578 Type IV R-Tech, 0.96 pcf density, ASTM C578 Type I Data source: Owens Corning Science & Technology Laboratories

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