Report by Liz white, editor
Building codes in the US are becoming increasingly stringent, particularly in terms of energy conservation, and this is a major factor driving up demand for all types of insulation, including rigid polyurethane foam.
Spray PU foam (SPF) technology, which has been around for perhaps 20 years, is now achieving widespread use, said Monica Karamagi, insulation marketing manager for Huntsman in the Americas.
She believes this uptake results from a combination of factors.
One is the change in building codes: “these are a strong driver,” and are “going to become even more stringent in 2012,” Karamagi said.
As Frost & Sullivan analyst Ashwini Ravishankar puts it, enforcement of energy efficiency codes in residential and commercial construction is playing “a key role in the adoption of higher R-value insulation materials.” (R-value is a unit of thermal resistance measured in the US in ft2.F.h/Btu)).
Overall, increased enforcement of more stringent building codes is likely: “as a result of rigid polyoiso (isocyanaurate, PIR) and SPF are expected to post high growth rates in the future,” Ravishankar added.
A simple advantage for polyurethane is that it offers more R-value compared to other insulation products. As R-value requirements increase, insulation needs to be thicker to meet the demands, and space becomes a concern. “With PU you get the most insulation in the narrowest distance,”…