PIR Sandwich Panel: Complete Guide

What Is A PIR Sandwich Panel?

PIR Sandwich Panel is a structural insulated panel made of three layers: a low-density core of Polyisocyanurate (PIR, polyiso, or ISO), and a rigid thin skin layer bonded to each side.

PIR sandwich panel has an R-value between 7.2-8 per inch, therefore, the highest insulation performance can be achieved with the PIR sandwich panel building envelope, the thermal resistance is mainly due to the Polyisocyanurate (PIR) core insulating properties, metal steel sheets and airtight design which forms an effective thermal barrier against extreme temperatures, while it eliminates air infiltration and thermal bridging. Besides, Polyisocyanurate (PIR, polyiso, or ISO) is typically produced as foam and used as rigid thermal insulation, given its strong chemical bonds and molecular structure, Polyisocyanurate (PIR) has greater stiffness and strength than other insulation materials like Polyurethanes (PU), these characteristics make them thermally resistant and chemically stable.

PIR wall sandwich panel

 

What Is The Purpose Of PIR Sandwich Panels?

PIR sandwich panels are widely used for building applications where a combination of high structural rigidity and weight-saving are essential, these lightweight PIR prefabricated structural components are also ideal for space optimization and where minimum thickness and high thermal resistance are required. These characteristics make them preferred for various applications including:

 

Residential Building

Private dwellings, prefab houses, villas, modular residential buildings, apartment buildings, hotels, dormitories, etc.

 

Commercial Building

Commercial complexes, shopping malls, hypermarkets, convenience stores, and office buildings.

 

Industrial Buildings

Industrial steel buildings, prefab manufacturing plants, large-span prefabricated factory buildings, production buildings, logistic centres, warehouses & enclosed buildings, food industry facilities, etc.

 

Agricultural Buildings

Agricultural structures, farm sheds, stables, livestock barns and shelters (poultry, pigs, cattle, goats …), dairy & milking facilities, food processing buildings, machinery and equipment storage, etc.

 

Temperature Controlled Buildings

Clean rooms, storage cold rooms, walk-in freezer rooms, freezer compartments, walk-in chiller rooms, and negative temperature cold rooms.

 

Sport Buildings

Stadiums, sports arenas, multi-purpose courts, gymnasiums, and sports halls.

 

Community Buildings

Hospitals, clinics, classrooms, schools, universities, and other public buildings

 

Other Applications

Aircraft structural components, aeronautical applications, airport buildings, and more.

 

 

What Are The Applications Of PIR Sandwich Panels?

Sustainable construction is fueling the demand for PIR sandwich panels, given their thermal insulation, and cost-efficiency; they have become the top choice for various applications including:

PIR roof sandwich panel

Walls (internal and external walls) and partitions

Compartmentalization of interior spaces

Roofs, facades, architectural cladding

Building envelopes and external enclosure

 

What Comprises A PIR Sandwich Panel?

PIR sandwich panel is a three-layer structure consisting of an inner Polyisocyanurate (PIR) core sandwiched between two sturdy outer layers:

 

PIR Insulation Core

A PIR insulation core is a low-density structural foam made of a thermoset plastic, it is typically used as rigid thermal insulation and carries transverse shear loads. Polyisocyanurate foam (PIR) density ranges between 30 kg/m³ and 45 kg/m³ and has a thermal conductivity value of 0.023 W/(m·K). Polyisocyanurate is also referred to as (PIR, polyiso, or ISO).

 

Skin layers

PIR sandwich panels consist of two thin skin layers (facings) which are glued to the internal and external sides, these two facings are designed to resist the in-plane forces and out-of-plane compressive load. PIR sandwich panel layers are essentially made of high-strength galvanized steel sheets, stainless steel plates, aluminum sheets, etc.

What Are The Types Of PIR Sandwich Panels?

 

PIR sandwich panels are categorized into different types based on the selected material, thickness, and usage, there exist several types of PIR sandwich panels that suit any building application including interior and exterior walls, roof, ceiling, façade cladding, and building envelope. PIR sandwich panels are multifunctional and come in various types as follows:

pir wall insulation sandwich panel

Wall PIR sandwich panel (interior & exterior wall, solid masonry walls, timber frame walls, or between timber frame studs)

Roof PIR sandwich panel (Pitched roofs)

Floor PIR sandwich panel – screed, concrete slab, and timber joist floors

Façade PIR sandwich panel

Building envelope PIR sandwich panel

PIR corner sandwich panel (edges of the building cladding)

Cold store PIR sandwich panel

Refrigerated PIR sandwich panel

PIR sandwich panel for timber frames or steel framed systems

PIR sandwich panel with standard fastening system

PIR sandwich panel with hidden fastening system

 

What is The R-value of the PIR Sandwich Panel?

The R-value of PIR sandwich panels measures the material’s thermal resistance to heat flow and ranges between 7 and 7.2 per inch, however, the R-value of the PIR sandwich panel depends mainly on the thickness of the PIR core, the higher the R-value, the greater the thermal resistance of PIR sandwich panels.

 

 

What Are The Benefits of PIR Sandwich Panels?

PIR sandwich panels have become the first choice for real estate developers, architects, and general contractors from all over the world, thanks to the attractive and durable material which offers various benefits including:

 

Thermal Resistance

PIR sandwich panels are excellent thermal envelopes for residential, commercial, industrial, and cold storage buildings and structures, thanks to the closed-cell structure, rigid PIR insulation core, and robust metal facings which offer very low thermal conductivity and high thermal performance, and help improve the energy efficiency of different structures, reduce heating and cooling costs, these thermal resistance characteristics make it a better insulation for the construction and building industry.

 

Energy-efficiency

PIR sandwich panels offer a high thermal performance that maximizes energy efficiency and reduces energy consumption for heating during winter and cooling in summer, which saves energy and minimizes significant costs for the long term, besides this, PIR sandwich panels from a strong thermal barrier against environmental factors such as extreme temperature, rain, wind, and moisture, thanks to the superior thermal properties, weather-sealed composites and tight joints which ensure superior insulation even in extreme weather conditions.

PIR panel

Rigidity and Lightweight

PIR sandwich panels combine strength and weight balance, due to the two thin, stiff skins which are strongly bonded to a lightweight thick core, PIR sandwich composites can offer great rigidity and low weight, at the meantime, it reduces the cost of transport, handling, and installation and also makes the assembly easy and fast. However, the PIR core density and thickness of the skin layers determine the weight of PIR sandwich panels, while its structural integrity and strength depend on its resistance to bending. The rigidity and lightweight characteristics of PIR sandwich panels determine the capacity of building envelopes and roofs to withstand large amounts of snow, heavy rain and other harsh environmental factors.

 

Environmentally-friendly

PIR sandwich panels can meet the highest green building standards, a vital component in green buildings, because of their thermo-insulating material, and air tightness, these PIR insulated sandwich panels (ISPs) can maximize the energy efficiency of a wide range of buildings while making the construction process more sustainable, they are unlike other conventional material which requires more water, energy, and machinery. Moreover, PIR sandwich panels can be reused or recycled after usage, the metal sheet can be melted, while the Polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation is normally recycled using different types of techniques such as mechanical recycling, chemical, thermo-chemical degradation, and incineration with energy recovery.

 

Hygienic

PIR sandwich panels are mainly used to build healthcare buildings and structures, due to their antibacterial properties, food-safe coating, and water tightness, PIR sandwich panels can effectively reduce airborne micro particles, environmental pollutants, and bacteria, hence, PIR sandwich panels can guarantee a hygiene-safe environment for a wide a range of applications where hygienic and sanitary standards is an essential requirement for sectors such as food processing plants, temperature-controlled environments, deep freeze, clean rooms, ambient or elevated temperature storage rooms, bio-containment modules, medical & pharmaceutical facilities, laboratories, etc. Also, the PIR sandwich panel surface can be easily cleaned and kept in hygienic conditions.

 

 

Are PIR Sandwich Panels Corrosion Resistant?

Yes, the PIR sandwich panel is a corrosion-resistant factory-engineered composite, due to the corrosion-resistant material, PIR sandwich panels can withstand corrosion caused mostly by corrosive environments, harsh weather conditions, atmospheric impact, chemicals and mechanical damage. PIR sandwich panels can be manufactured according to the needs of a given environment; it is available in the following anti-corrosion skin layers:

 

Galvanized steel sheet

Polymer-coated galvanized steel

Pre-lacquered smooth sheet

Aluminum sheet

Stainless steel layers

Fiber-glass facings

 

Furthermore, protective coating such as Polyester (PE), Polivinldiftorid (PVDF), Plastisols, PVC, Food safe, and Organic coating can be applied to the panel surface to protect the surface from rusting or corroding. These corrosion-resistant characteristics make PIR sandwich panels preferred for the most aesthetically pleasing building envelopes, external facades, and cladding structures exposed to highly corrosive environments.

 

PIR wall panel

Are PIR Sandwich Panels Fire-resistant?

A PIR sandwich panel is a robust fire protection solution that offers superior fire resistance to various building types including:

Residential, commercial, industrial, and community buildings

Temperature-controlled environments, clean rooms, cold rooms, and cold storage buildings. Medicines, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries manufacturing facilities.

 

Food & beverage processing plants.

Polyisocyanurate foam (PIR) is a fireproof material that contains fire retardants and halogen-free flame retardants, in the event of a fire, the PIR foam reacts safely to fire by forming a carbonized surface layer that protects and prevents the penetration of fire into the inner layers, therefore, PIR sandwich panels are fire safe and doesn’t contribute to the fire, even when the PIR insulation core is directly exposed to a fire source. Also, PIR-cored insulated panel can maintain integrity during a fire for up to EI 60 (according to EN 13501-2), all the material is tested to withstand fire propagation even on fire severity, while it is conformant to the highest standards including:

FM 4471 test standard looks at fire

FM 4880 and 4881 fire performance standards

Reaction to fire B-s1,d0 (according to EN 13501-1)

ASTM E108 fire-test-response standard for residential and commercial roof coverings

 

 

Are PIR Sandwich Panels Compliant with the International Building Code?

PIR sandwich panels are completely compliant with international building codes including mechanical code, electrical codes, plumbing, fire prevention, and energy conservation, given their high strength and load-bearing material, PIR sandwich panels can withstand natural hazard events such as seismic, wind uplift, hail, hurricane, flood, fire, structural failure and other destructive forces without compromising the building structure. Also, the PIR sandwich panel is conformant to the highest international building standards of structural integrity and building envelope performance, safety, and general welfare.

100mm pir sandwich panel

 

Are PIR Sandwich Panels Easy and Fast To Assemble?

PIR sandwich panels are easy and fast to assemble; all the panels are made according to the building layout drawings and detailed specifications and come ready for quick and simple assembly. PIR sandwich panels are designed with tongue and groove joints, visible joint or hidden joints can be used depending on the finish, while it can be assembled using self-drilling screws (visible or concealed screws), and joint sealing, this makes the construction time shorter compared to other conventional building material which take several months for completion.

 

PIR sandwich panels are versatile structural composites and are excellent for external and internal walls, partitions, facades, and building enclosures, they are also ideal for single or multiple-span shell structures. PIR sandwich panels are normally handled and installed using simple lifting equipment like loading and unloading tools, vacuum lifters, scaffolding, etc.

 

What Are The Features Of PIR Sandwich Panels?

Polyisocyanurate (PIR) sandwich panels are available in a wide range of textures, finishes, and colors that can match any type of building including residential buildings, commercial facilities, and industrial structures, these aesthetically appealing architectural panels come with thermally resistant insulating core, and a weather-tight metal skin layers, facing profiles comes with a variety of attractive features including smooth, stamped, micro profile, linear, corrugated, trapezoidal and. Also, PIR sandwich panels can be installed vertically, horizontally, or at a slope.

 

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