PIR Insulation Board

With energy prices constantly on the climb, energy-saving materials like PIR have become quite the hot topic in the construction industry. 
With a low thermal conductivity of just 0.022 W/mK, PIR boards offer high thermal performance, making them ideal for people who want to improve the thermal envelope of their homes and commercial spaces. We stock PIR insulation boards from industry-leading brands like Celotex, EcoTherm, and Recticel in thicknesses ranging from 20mm to 150mm. 

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What Are PIR Insulation Boards?

PIR insulation gives contractors and homeowners the best combination of affordability, availability and thermal performance in one robust material. PIR (a widely-used shorthand term for 'polyisocyanurate') is equipped with a few simple properties that make it an excellent choice for a range of insulation needs; it has a closed-cell structure (and is water-resistant thanks to this), is extremely lightweight, and is also rigid.

In short, PIR insulation board is a tough, durable, lightweight insulating board made of two high-performance aluminium facings sandwiched between a rigid PIR insulation core. Polyisocyanurate is a thermoset plastic typically produced as a foam and used as rigid thermal insulation. The wet foam is placed against a facing and expands to meet another layer of facing. This foam then becomes tacky as it dries and adheres itself between two aluminium foil facings. Manufacturers can stop this process at any time and cook the board under heat and pressure to achieve the thickness they need. When wet PIR hardens and dries, the board is then cut into different sizes. Manufacturers cure each board in a temperature-controlled space for one day per each 25mm of thickness.

The result is a lightweight, durable insulation board that is easy to manipulate and fit. The board is manufactured with agents that have zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and zero global warming potential (GWP) meaning it is as gentle on the environment as it is tough on cold spots.


What Can I Use PIR Insulation Boards For?

Polyisocyanurate PIR insulation is highly versatile and offers excellent thermal performance. PIR foam board insulation is perfect for trapping air and reducing the thermal conductivity of a space. We recommend using PIR boards in wall cavities, pitched roofs (between the timber frame), and floors (between the timber frame) in a new build and a refurbishment.

PIR insulation is a popular choice for people who need loft insulation between the timber frame because it does not lose its rigidity over time. PIR boards do not sag or become flimsy thanks to the rigidity of the PIR insulation core. They even hold their shape against pressure, which is why many people use them to insulate pitched roofs. What's more, the boards are also unaffected by air infiltration and resistant to the passage of water vapour.

Frequently Asked PIR Insulation Questions

What Are the Benefits of PIR Insulation Products?

Polyisocyanurate, or simply PIR, is a modified and improved polyurethane foam, which has been changing the thermal insulation game since 1968. The biggest benefit of choosing a PIR insulation board over other insulation materials is that they are energy efficient and have low thermal conductivity which helps eliminate thermal bridges. Each insulation board has a thermal conductivity rating of just 0.022 W/mK, making them one of the most effective insulation materials on the market, second only to Kingspan’s Kooltherm insulation range, which is made from phenolic foam.

In fact, PIR board has such a high thermal performance, that it requires only half the thickness of other mineral-based insulation products to meet the same high standards of thermal protection. You can even use more boards and double the U-Value of the build-up of your products.

PIR thermal insulation boards are relatively lightweight. They weigh 32 kg/m³, whereas mineral or rock wool weights more than 120 kg/m³ on average. PIR boards are far easier to move, manipulate, and fit compared to other insulation products because of this.

Thanks to their multi-purpose nature, the boards can also be used in a range of applications, such as solid masonry walls as internal wall insulation, or partial fill cavity wall insulation.

At Materials Market, we stock PIR insulation boards from industry-leading brands like EcoTherm, Celotex and Recticel in different types of thicknesses that range from 20mm to 150mm. We also have a range of PIR insulated plasterboard, which is PIR insulation bonded to plasterboard and can speed up installation.

Is a PIR Insulation Board Flammable?

‘Is a PIR insulation board flammable’ is one of the most popular questions about this type of insulation board. To understand insulation fire ratings, you have to understand the Euroclass system. All PIR boards materials in Europe are subject to the Euroclass rating. The Euroclass rating was created in response to a need for consistent fire class regulations across Europe. Materials range from A1 (non-combustible) to F (combustible). There are also separate scales for smoke production (which range from s1 to s3) and flaming droplets (which range from d0 to d2).

PIR insulation board is rated F (combustible) on the Euroclass scale. We recommend using a build-up of materials that are fire-resistant alongside your PIR insulation board.

Are PIR Insulation Boards Water Resistant?

PIR insulation board is moisture-resistant. The closed-cell structure repels moisture. Homeowners and commercial site managers can ensure the integrity of their spaces for years to come by investing in PIR insulation core boards. They are ideal for people who live in high rainfall areas and those who want to reduce the heat loss in their lofts and pitched roofs.

How to Cut a PIR Insulation Board?

You can cut a PIR insulation board in lots of different ways. The method you choose depends on your preferences and the thickness of your board. In most cases, we recommend using a hand saw in a dedicated workshop. You should always mark your measurements on the board before cutting to ensure a concise finish.

Always take proper safety precautions when cutting PIR. We recommend wearing goggles and even thick gloves to protect yourself against accidents.

What Applications can PIR be used in?

PIR boards are an effective thermal insulation solution fit for use in defined roof, wall and floor applications such as: