EPS, XPS or PUR: Which insulating material is suitable for what?

              Monday, November 25, 2019

              An insulation around the house has two advantages: it keeps heating heat better in the house and the sun's heat outside. But the range of insulation materials is large – and everyone has a disadvantage.
              The good news in advance: All insulating materials, which are usually attached to house facades, insulate well. When considering what material homeowners choose best, they should therefore consider the individual pros and cons. A selection of common insulating materials and their possible applications: Mineral wool "It is the most widely used insulating material," says Manfred Gunkel from the Central Association of the German Roofing Trade in Cologne. Mineral wool consists of glass or stone fibers. It is used both under curtain ventilated facades and in thermal insulation composite systems (WVS). Your advantages: "It snuggles close to the base body, so that no air layers form, which would worsen the insulation and mineral wool is not flammable." However, this insulating material is slightly more expensive than the polystyrene also common. "One disadvantage is that mineral wool soaks up in the wet and only dries out slowly, which can lead to mold formation," explains Gunkel.EPS – Expanded polystyrene "EPS is a low-cost and often used insulating material," says Martin Brandis from Energieberatung the consumer centers. Expanded polystyrene, known under the trade name Styrofoam, has good thermal insulation properties, similar to mineral wool. It is pressure-resistant and lighter than mineral wool. EPS sheets can be glued directly to the wall or fastened with dowels. Just like mineral wool, EPS can be used under ventilated curtain walling and in thermal insulation composite systems (WVS). One drawback: protection against vermin makes sense, as insects like to infest insects with insects. Brandis adds: "EPS is listed in building material class B1, so it's considered to be hardly inflammable, but it can certainly burn." Whereby expertly processed and approved thermal insulation composite systems with Expanded Polystyrene are basically considered to be safe in terms of fire safety. And polystyrene is allowed in Germany in house construction for buildings up to 22 meters high.XPS – Extruded PolystyreneXPS, which is known under the brand name Strydur, has a higher compressive strength and is heavier than EPS. "It is rarely used in the wall area, but rather in the base area," explains Manfred Gunkel.PUR – Polyurethane hard foam insulation made of polyurethane has very good insulation properties. "They are suitable for insulating exterior walls, floors, cellars and roofs." PUR is also used in external insulation systems for external insulation, "adds Gunkel. Advantage: PUR boards can also be used in the interior insulation of walls or ceilings. As disadvantages, the non-profit consulting company co2online points out, among other things, that the PUR, when properly processed, is considered to be stable. However, it is not resistant to UV radiation and rodents. Wood fiber boardsWood fiber boards are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to chemical insulation materials. "They still have a very small market share," reports Brandis. Anyone who chooses wood fiber boards must weigh the advantages and disadvantages particularly well. "The positive thing is that they are made from renewable raw materials," explains the energy consultant. "On the other hand, they must be chemically treated to prevent algae growth, mold and rot later on." The potential uses of wood fiber boards are diverse. They can be used as part of a thermal insulation composite system or under curtain walling. They are also suitable for core and interior insulation. But their insulation properties can not match those of polystyrene and mineral fibers, so that the insulation layer must be thicker to achieve the same effect. That's why they can not be used everywhere. And not to be underestimated: wood fiber boards are flammable.VIP – Vacuum.Isolation.PanelsThe effect of this insulation system is about five times higher than that of conventional insulation materials. "This insulation is somewhat sensitive and complex in handling," says Prof. Andreas Holm from the Research Institute for Thermal Insulation Munich. "You have to avoid damage, so that the vacuum remains." Especially in space problems, however, the vacuum insulation panels can play their merits. They are available from one centimeter thick, which is an advantage for the insulation of interiors. "It's a good solution if there is not enough room for conventional insulation," says Holm.

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