Polyisocyanurate (PIR) is a dense thermosetting plastic that exhibits highly desirable thermal properties. Primarily, the rigid material is designed to insulate temperature-sensitive environments, but this feat is accomplished in two very different ways. Let’s look at the applications and purposes of PIR, its uses as a capable heat isolator and an even more capable thermal barrier.
Tough Composite Wall Panels Use Soft-Centred PIR Cores
Insulating wall panels are constructed from several layers of advanced material. The inner and outer layers are mechanically strong and aesthetically attractive, but it’s the core of these composite panels that interests us, for PIR exists here to provide a thermal barricade. Indeed, the rigid foam boosts the R-value of the foil-lined panels, so inner space is promptly isolated when these panels interlock to form an enclosed chamber. In other words, modular coolrooms formed by this jigsaw puzzle of foam-cored square panels eliminates energy leakage.
Used as Fire Resistant Panels
Remember, a basic knowledge of high-school chemical theory states that thermosets don’t melt and won’t flow when subjected to high temperatures. Instead, products made from this polymer harden and char. In effect, PIR addresses critical building regulation requirements by acting as an active flame deterrent. A fire may track its way through a building, growing while doing so, but the exothermic reaction is efficiently blunted when it licks at this surface, for PIR is fire resistant and therefore a likely candidate for a fire-safe building feature.
Finding Employment as Roofing Substrates
In illustrating yet another high-school physics truism, we say that heat escapes upward, straight through the roof and out into the open as wasted energy. Thermally talented Polyiso (Another trade name for polyisocyanurate) solves this issue by blocking upward energy under the roof. The panels are easy to cut and a breeze to install thanks to an adhesive backing, so a utility knife can quickly slice the panels and insulate the entire surface of a ceiling. The dense foam-reinforced membrane is mechanically rigid, water-resistant, and ideally suited for such applications.
We began covering the applications and purposes of PIR fire resistant panels by talking about the material’s thermal insulating characteristics, but those applications quickly gave way to a study on PIR’s fire-resistant features. In conclusion, the stiff but easy-to-work-with foam addresses fiery and freezing applications, plus it varies in thickness to accommodate these diverse thermal applications. It’s available as thin 50mm sheets, but tougher utilization areas thicken the sheets to 150mm and 200mm thick panels.
Plain binary access systems efficiently protect static storage environments. Unfortunately, doors that are forever opening and closing won’t work in a high-traffic coolroom. The door, beautifully sealed as it may be, becomes a workflow bottleneck. Clear plastic swing doors and plastic strip curtains offer a third option, one that happily removes that productivity-crippling bottleneck.
The Third State of Coolroom Entrance
The middle ground we seek uses plastic swing doors and plastic strip curtains. These insulated dividers keep the temperature cool on one side, but the workflow bottlenecks evaporate. The kitchen employee simply swats the door, pushes through the plastic envelope, and effortlessly enters the coolroom. Physically pliable, the plastic still creates a formidable thermal barrier, but it’s one that submits to the passage of an employee. In effect, the swing doors and plastic strips isolate different work zones. These plastic entry systems then function either as temporary threshold points or as supplementary aids, partitions that act as an airlock-like barrier after the primary door has been accessed.
The Advantages of a Clear Plastic Divider
Convection currents are stopped by plastic strips and buffered by flexible plastic swing doors. This feature stabilises climate control while establishing a quick means of passage between two or more work areas. Meanwhile, productivity figures escalate and safe movement between the two work zones is reinforced. This latter feature is made possible because of the clear plastic, a transparency attribute that safely allows forklift trucks and pallet loaders to zip through the divider. In essence, the heavy vehicles can see what’s happening before they power through the see-through plastic doors and strips, so the flexible access system is as safe to use as it is thermally capable.
Uses of Clear Plastic Doors
The plastic dividers, as already mentioned, provide a middle ground. They’re the polymer-insulated assets that end commodity exposure and stop food spoiling. They also take a role as a buffering mechanism behind the main cooler door, so temperatures spikes are minimised. They’re fitted in refrigerated trucks, in catering vehicles, and used as partitions in warehouses and factories. These applications need clear plastic swing doors and plastic strip curtains that can blend access functionality with enhanced temperature isolation.
Above all, the see-through function is necessary because of the accessibility model described in the above paragraphs. It’s a utilitarian requirement that targets visibility. Remember, many of these plastic doors are hung in warehouses and factories, places where forklift trucks cross from one cool zone to the next while coolroom personnel are on the move.
C&M Coolrooms can create a custom solution for your specific needs. Talk to one of team members today.