Below Grade Insulation
“EPS - The Safe Insulation”
For years we have been told that XPS (Extruded Polystyrene) insulation is not as good as the other insulation….
Is this true?
What about the new research?
- Water Absorption
- Building Codes
- Is EPS Green
- XPS vs EPS
- Field studies mirror real world resultsFor years XPS foam was the choice and recommendation for below grade insulation, but after a 15 year study was conducted by an independent Test Lab. (In-Situ) EPS foam significantly outperformed XPS foam not only in its retention of its R-value but also showed superior properties in decreased water absorption.
- Published R-Value reflect perfect laboratory conditions As a starting point, published ASTM results is important for product comparison. Unfortunately, these results are under perfect lab conditions and not real world conditions. Real world variables are numerous, however independent research over long periods in real conditions should be highly favored in design considerations.
- Performance is what you pay for. The dramatic difference in long-term insulation performance is so significant that Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Builders, Building Inspectors and Home Owners should be aware of these test results and true facts when determining which insulation would offer the most long term insulation value and energy savings. EPS continues to be the best insulation value. EPS Cost/R-Value inch vs XPS can be as much as 50% better considering field studies. This only the initial cost of material and not even taking into account long-term operational performance costs.
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Expanded Polystyrene (EPS),
as a building material is
recognized and approved
to be used as an insulation product.
Post Consumer EPS Recycling Rates
Responsible, Low Impact Manufacturing
production process. No material is wasted and clean EPS can be recycled into new product using this method.
emissions are very low during the manufacture of EPS.
Health and Safety
A small amount of pentane is incorporated into the expandable polystyrene granules as a expanding agent. It is a saturated hydrocarbon, not to be confused with HCFCs and CFCs. Pentane is non-toxic and constitutes no threat to the ozone layer.
- EPS insulation facilitates compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2004.
- EPS can be manufactured in a variety of densities and thicknesses to meet environmental design criteria to deliver a range of R-value specifications.
- EPS has always been CFC and HCFC free.
- EPS is the only rigid foam insulation that provides long-term thermal resistance that does not need to be adjusted for age.
- EPS building systems reduce air leakage for increased thermal efficiency.
- Recycled content EPS that meets ASTM C578 minimum performance properties can be specified for rigid foam insulation.
- Recycled content polystyrene can be specified when procuring plastic lumber, interior trim, lightweight concrete, asphalt aggregate and other building products.
- Plymouth Foam EPS is manufactured locally, minimizing its distribution radius. Because it is lightweight EPS reduces transportation costs and energy.
- EPS is not known to adversely affect indoor air quality.
- EPS mold resistance tests favorably in accordance with ASTM C1338.
- EPS building systems can prevent noise transmission, resulting in quieter buildings.
- EPS insulation helps maintain a consistent air temperature.
- EPS insulation reduces impacts on the microclimate.
- EPS geofoam maintains ecological integrity and reduces erosions through soil stabilization.
- EPS frost protected shallow foundations (FPSF’s) minimize excavation below the frost line and are ideal for sites with high groundwater table.
You have seen this concept of Off Gassing before in Helium Balloons. When the party is over, those floating balloons are now down on the ground the next morning. Why? The helium gas has migrated out of the balloon.
Buildings are designed and built to last 50-100 years in most cases. If LTTR only gives use a clear picture of the first 5 years of insulation performance, how does that information effect the economies of the building? Does it cost more to operate than expected? Did we over pay for a insulation that has a shrinking R-value? Are their long-term health impacts from the off gassing?
We believe that higher priced rigid insulation, that losses much of its thermal residence over time, is not a good value or investment. See Chart
“EPS - The Safe Insulation”
“EPS - The Great Investment”
For years we have been told that XPS (Extruded Polystyrene) rigid insulation is better than EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) in many applications. New research has revealed new information about water absorption in both types of polystyrene insulation. Now we know EPS insulation is far superior to XPS insulation.
Why is EPS Insulation Superior
Compressive Resistance at 10%
Exposure of EPS to moisture resulting from such factors as periodic, internal condensation or moist soil conditions in foundation applications do not affect the mechanical strength characteristics of EPS thermal insulation board.
Higher R-Value Rentention
Buildings are designed and built to last 50-100 years in most cases. If LTTR only gives use a clear picture of the first 5 years of insulation performance, how does that information effect the economies of the building? Does it cost more to operate than expected? Did we over pay for a insulation that has a shrinking R-value? Are their long-term health impacts from the off gassing? (News About LTTR)
Harmful Chemical HCFC
Some VOCs are dangerous to human health and breathing in these compounds have not been fully studied or understood as to the effects on human health. (More About VOCs)
Greater R-Value Actuality
100% R-Value Warranty
* Published R-Values come directly from the manufacturer’s publications. XPS R-values were used from Owens Corning and Dow. Guaranteed R-value was from XPS Manufactures publication - See Warranties.
Made in Wisconsin
Some of the XPS is made in China or other parts of the County. But Plymouth Foam is proud to say, our EPS insulation is Made in the USA.
Lower Global Warming Potential
The chemical compound HCFCs contribute XPS having a higher GWP than EPS. Transportation accounts for 26% of gas emissions, so buying EPS locally can help reduce gasses even more. (EPS Reduces Global Warming)
Superior Bonding Capability
Lower Smoke Development
EPS can add lamination to its products, such as reflective facer in fan-fold. Tongue and grove, ship lap, groves, channels, wire case are just a few items that be added to EPS. The possibilities are almost endless with EPS. (See More Customization of EPS)
Many building profession are learning the facts and costs of EPS and are starting to Value engineer projects (Value Engineering EPS) Recently a contractor saved $1000 on a project by just switching from XPS to EPS. (See how he did it) With all these advantages, what is keeping you from using more EPS?
Disclaimer of Liability
Technical information contained herein is furnished without charge or obligation and is given and accepted at recipient’s sole risk. Because conditions of use may vary and are beyond our control, Go Plymouth Foam.com makes no representation about, and is not responsible or liable for the accuracy or reliability of data associated with particular uses of any product described herein.
Go Plymouth Foam.com believes the information and recommendations herein to be accurateand reliable. However, since use conditions are not within its control, Go Plymouth Foam.com does not guarantee results from use of such products or other information herein and disclaims all liability from any resulting damage or loss. No warranty, express or implied, is given as to the merchantability, fitness for particular purpose, or otherwise with respect to the products referred to.