What is Polyisocyanurate Insulation and How Does it Work? A blog about polyisocyanurate insulation.

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If you’ve ever wondered what polyisocyanurate insulation is and how it works, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to get into some of the background history and science of this material, but we’ll also explain it as simply as possible so that everyone can understand and learn more about it. So let’s jump right in!

Introduction to Polyisocyanurate Insulation

Polyisocyanurate insulation is a type of rigid foam that has excellent thermal resistance and high sound absorption qualities. It’s an ideal product for use in subfloors, roofs, walls and floors.

Polyiso comes in two different types: polyiso closed-cell (polyiso R) or polyiso open-cell (polyiso F). Polyiso R is used when you want maximum fire resistance while polyiso F provides greater flexibility. Both have similar characteristics with regard to durability, flame spread, smoke development and toxicity.

Polyisocyanurate insulation is manufactured using polyurethane resins which are mixed with special catalysts depending on the application requirements. For example, a catalyst may be added for flame retardancy or another type might be added to create more durable foam that can withstand long periods of exposure to sunlight without breaking down from ultraviolet rays or ozone damage like what happens during summer months when windows are left open during hot weather conditions! This technology allows us at North American Foam Corp., manufacturer of premium quality Polyisocyanurate Insulation products such as Spray Foam Roofing Systems (SPF), Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Kits & Materials – Protective Coatings by EZYPRO®, etc…

History of Polyisocyanurate Insulation

Polyisocyanurate insulation was invented in the 1960s and it has since become a popular choice for many applications. The material is durable, easily installed, and works well for both new construction and retrofit projects.

Polyisocyanurate insulation has gone through several changes since its invention. Today’s polyiso is no longer flammable, so you don’t have to worry about fires breaking out in your walls or attic when you install it. You can use this type of insulation without worrying about toxic chemicals being released into your living space either.

Properties of Polyisocyanurate Insulation

As a closed-cell foam insulation, polyisocyanurate insulation is made from two components: polyisocyanurate and fire retardant. The combination of these two chemicals forms a rigid insulation that has high R-values and is not affected by moisture or water.

Polyisocyanurate insulation works well for areas where there’s little to no moisture; it’s good for roofs because it does not absorb water or allow water to penetrate through its surface. Polyisocyanurate also works well in garages where there may be extreme weather conditions due to the garage door opening and closing frequently throughout the day causing heat loss from air infiltration (cold air coming into the garage).

The most important thing about this type of insulation is that it can be used on all types of construction materials, including wood framing or steel studs with plywood sheathing, as well as standard concrete block walls.

Advantages of Using Polyisocyanurate Insulation

The advantages of using polyisocyanurate insulation include:

  • High R-value. Polyisocyanurate has a higher R-value than other types of foam insulation. It’s also very useful in heating applications, where the polyurethane foam expands and fills up all the gaps between its joints. This helps keep heat in during cold weather and prevents cold air from coming through cracks in walls or windows during warm seasons.
  • Energy efficiency. As mentioned above, polyiso is an excellent insulator because it keeps heat from escaping your home or business—and it does so without adding too much bulk between studs or joists so that installation isn’t complicated. It also provides better soundproofing than fiberglass or cellulose because it doesn’t compress over time like those materials might do if they’re exposed directly to high temperatures often enough over time (like with constant exposure to sunlight).
  • High compressive strength; high resistance against fire; low water absorption rate; low thermal conductivity rate; low permeability rate for gases/vapors/odors etc.; low thermal expansion coefficient value…

Different Types of Polyisocyanurate Insulation

Polyisocyanurate insulation is available in several different types, thicknesses and widths. The most common are R-5, R-13 and R-19. It’s important to know the type of polyisocyanurate you’re using so that you can calculate how much you’ll need for your project.

You should also be aware that there are different lengths of each type of polyisocyanurate insulation—usually from 24” to 48”. For example: if you wanted two inches thick R-13 board, it would be 48” wide by 96” long (or any other combination as long as it totals 96″).

How Does Polyisocyanurate Insulation Work?

Polyisocyanurate insulation is a rigid foam board insulation, which is made of a rigid core of polyisocyanurate foam and a thin, protective layer of foil-faced polyester film. The core is made from recycled materials such as post-consumer waste and pre-consumer waste (such as scrap carpeting) that have been ground up into tiny pieces, mixed with water, and then baked at high temperatures to create the rigid insulating foam.

The core has an R-value rating—the higher the R-value number, the better the insulation performs in keeping heat inside your home during cold weather months and keeping heat outside during warm weather months. Polyisocyanurate board has an R value ranging from 4.5 to 12 per inch depending on thickness; 6-inch thick panels are usually used in residential construction because they provide good performance while maintaining relatively low installation costs compared with other types of rigid insulations like XPS foam or mineral wool insulation boards such as Roxul Safe N Sound or Armor Board Plus.

Conclusion on What is Polyisocyanurate Insulation and How Does it Work?

Polyisocyanurate insulation is a type of insulation that is used in a variety of applications. Isocyanurate foam, or polyiso for short, is made from rigid foam that’s produced in a variety of thicknesses. Polyisocyanurate foam has many benefits and qualities which make it an excellent choice for use as an insulating material.

Be sure to explore all insulation options and find out what type would be best for your building before making a decision.

When you’re thinking about insulating your building, there are a lot of factors to consider. How much money do you have to spend? What kind of environment will the insulation last in? Is it going to be exposed to moisture or extreme heat? The answers to these questions will help you find out which type of insulation is best for your building—and they’ll also help explain why polyisocyanurate may not be the right choice for everyone.

For example, if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing often during winter months and don’t want ice dams forming on top of your roof shingles (which can cause leaks), then spray foam might be a good option because it can expand as much as 50 times its original size when put under pressure from outside temperatures. But if that’s not an issue for you then perhaps another type would be better suited for saving money over time or supporting other goals such as sustainability goals like reducing carbon emissions from buildings.

If all this seems overwhelming at first glance then don’t worry—there are plenty more details coming soon!


So, to conclude our discussion on polyisocyanurate insulation and how it works, we can say that this material has a number of benefits which make it an ideal choice for both commercial and residential buildings. It is a flexible insulation material with high thermal resistance properties that can be used in different construction applications. It also provides fire protection while being low cost compared to other forms of insulation materials available on the market today.

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