SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Overview of Physical Properties of Cellular Thermal Insulations


A comprehensive overview of the physical properties of cellular thermal insulations commonly used in the insulation industry has been developed. The insulations addressed are molded, expanded polystyrene (MEPS) and extruded, expanded polystyrene (XEPS) foams, polyurethane (PUR) and polyisocyanurate (PIR) foams, urea-formaldehyde (U-F) foams, phenolic foams, and cellular glass. Information was compiled primarily from manufacturers' literature, published documents, and private communications.

In addition to a general listing of typical physical properties, three areas are given special emphasis. The effects of aging and mean temperature on thermal transmission properties are discussed. Moisture absorption values measured using several different methods are presented, and a tabulation of typical mechanical strength properties is included.

The information presented is intended to serve as a general guide for comparing the physical properties of the various cellular insulations commonly used. The values are intended to be conservative; however, this may not be true for some commercially available products. Therefore it is recommended that the insulation manufacturer be contacted to obtain values for use in design.

Author Information

Strzepek, WR
Dow Chemical U.S.A., Granville, OH
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 121–140
DOI: 10.1520/STP23302S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5109-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1278-0