Over the past few decades, global warming has had a very disastrous effect on houses and commercial buildings. Because of this, it has become of crucial importance to reinforce buildings especially with respect to insulation. Unfortunately, this process comes with additional costs for the building owners. However, the additional cost is worthwhile. The insulation of buildings helps to regulate temperatures by ensuring that a house retains warm air during the winter of cold seasons and retains cold air during the summer or during warm months.
Traditionally, sheet metals (such as aluminum and galvanized steel) and fiberglass duct panels have been used to insulate buildings. Unfortunately, the challenges of economic development have led to an unprecedented rise in the price of these insulating materials to a point that they have become no longer cost effective. In addition, the transportation of these materials can be very costly making the use of sheet metals and fiberglass duct panels an inconvenience to the homeowners or contractors.
Because of this, engineers have come up with new cost effective means of insulating buildings in the form of insulating foams. The phenolic air duct panel and polyurethane foam duct panels are some of the foam insulating products currently in the market. The phenolic air duct panels are cheaper when compared to aluminum, steel, or fiberglass thus making them a better alternative to the traditional insulating materials. In addition, they are much lighter when compared to sheet metals making their transportation and installation much easier.
These air duct panels can be used as wall, ceiling, floor, and air duct linings. Depending on the type of the building or the reasons the building will be used for they can be made to be either flexible or rigid. Phenolic foam is a type of plastic composed of phenol and aldehyde. Most phenolic duct panels are coated with a thin layer of aluminum on both sides in order to improve their insulative properties. This coat varies depending on whether the duct panel will be used for interior or exterior insulation. For interior use, the aluminum coat is usually 25 micrometers while for exterior insulation the coat is usually 200 micrometers.
Foam insulating products have some additional benefits when compared to sheet metals. For instance, they are able to resist fires and moisture spread better than sheet metals. Second, in case they are burnt, they produce negligible amounts of non-toxic smoke. This means that they are better alternatives to sheet metals with regard to the protection of human lives and the environment at large.