Foam-in-place urethane and other cellular plastic materials, in conjunction with appropriate protective coatings and facings, have been used successfully for insulating industrial systems, including tanks and pipelines, and are becoming more widely used for insulating roofs of large buildings. Because of their relatively high strength-to-weight ratio, coupled with potential higher thermal efficiency, they present attractive alternatives to current insulation materials and systems.
A technical assessment of foam-in-place materials and systems for use as thermal insulations in buildings has been undertaken to evaluate their overall potential. The assessment (ORNL/Sub/ 86-56525/1) discusses the following major topics: • Definition of various materials, their compositions and costs, and associated coatings and barriers, including variability between geographical regions. • Production and installation procedures, including variability between production lots and geographical regions. • Application areas in buildings and identification of relevant standards and codes that describe these products and their properties, compositions, configurations, and methods of joining to envelope assemblies. • Existing mechanical, physical, and thermal property data and other relevant properties, including property dependencies due to environmental parameters. • Identification of specific property data not presently available or known to the degree of reliability and/or accuracy required for optimal thermal design and analysis of assemblies. • Identification of recent advances and newer developments now in the research stage that are likely to be used within the next five years and areas requiring research for future use and application.