What is Inside a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)?

What is Inside a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)?

Structural insulated panels (SIP) are a high-performance and versatile building system with superior thermal insulation for residential, industrial and light commercial construction.

In this blog, we explore what is inside a structural insulated panel, and how to make the right choice of insulated panels for your building project.

Structural insulated panels consist of a rigid insulating core glued between two structural facings (or typical rigid boards – see Isostick) by means of a 2-part polyurethane adhesive system.

The different insulating core classifications relate directly to physical characteristics of each type of core materials, namely the density, compressive resistance, and R-value.

The choice of core is critical as it allows for specific uses on different parts of a building and can affect the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of the construction.

The core materials can usually be one of the following:

Specifiers who include Isowall in their design brief can be confident that they have chosen the most extensively tested and proven panel system in the marketplace. All enquiries will be dealt with by our experienced and friendly staff who will give you prompt and courteous service.

  • Isolite Expanded Polystyrene(EPS) is the most commonly used insulation core due to its great insulation properties. EPS is lightweight, economical, versatile, energy-efficient, long-term thermal resistant, fire retardant and water repellent. It is also a sustainable choice, from the manufacturing process down to recycling.
  • Polyurethane foam(PUR) is one of the most efficient, high-performance insulation materials, with low thermal conductivity due to the balanced molecular structure and the low density of the thermoset plastic. PUR foams prevent energy loss and minimise CO2 emissions applications that require thermic insulation.
  • Polyisocyanurate foam (PIR) offers superior firmness, strength, thermal resistance and dimensional stability. Developed from PUR, it has excellent thermal conductivity and can be used effectively in thinner panels where building space is a major constraint.

At Isowall we use PUR as floor insulation and PIR as a sandwich panel core material.

Read more about the difference between PUR and PIR as foam insulators.

  • Phenolic foam is a rigid insulation form comprising of a mix of EPS and phenolic resin to produce a fire resistant material. It offers excellent thermal performance due to its high R-value insulation and resists almost all inorganic acidic erosions, organic solvents and acids.

Isowall produces phenolic foam core panels for various applications.

Read more about phenolic foam insulated panels.

  • Rockwool is a non-combustible material used where a fire rating of up to 60 minutes is required. If exposed to fire, Rockwool will not release dense smoke and will withstand temperatures in excess of 10000 C.

Read more about Rockwool insulated panels.


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