If your business relies on cool rooms and walk-in freezers, you’re interacting with insulated panels every day. Meat processors, fruit and vegetable suppliers and other cold storage facilities all understand the importance of controlling the temperature of their storage units to maintain the quality of their food and to meet certain regulations. In this article, the Cold-Rite team is explaining the science behind cool room panels and what they do.
It’s all about the R-Value
When it comes to insulation, there is a lot of talk about R-value. This is important information to understand, especially when you’re designing a custom-made cool room for your business. So, what is R-value?
R-value is a term used in building and construction to rate a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. Some insulation panels have high initial R-values that dissipate over time as the material breaks down, whereas others have lower R-values that stay the same throughout their lifetime.
The insulation material that works for your needs will come down to application and usage, so speak to the professional in charge of building your cool room to discover what’s right for you.
Common Insulation Materials
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) consist of multiple layers of insulating and structural materials that are bonded together, creating a strong and stable wall that is resistant to heat transferral. Typically, SIPs are made of an insulating material that is sandwiched between two layers of structural material.
Common insulating materials include:
- Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS)
- Extruded polystyrene foam (XPS)
- Polyisocyanurate foam (PIR)
- Polyurethane foam
- Askin XFLAM fire resistant panels
The most common construction method of cool room panels is two sheets of white Colorbond steel with the insulation material of choice sandwiched between. Stainless steel is also available, but less common.
What Does Insulation Do?
Insulation is one of the pillars of the modern world because it is used to make our homes and workplaces more comfortable, keep food fresher for longer, and protect our belongings from heat and moisture damage. To understand how insulation works, we need to understand the flow of heat:
- Conduction is the way heat moves through materials
- Convection is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases – keeping in mind that warm air rises and cool air sinks
- Radiation is how heat travels in a straight line and warms every solid object in its path.
Basically, heat flows into cool spaces until there is no longer a temperature difference between the outside and the inside. Common insulating materials in commercial cool rooms work by slowing the conductive and convective heat flow, protecting cold spaces and allowing them to maintain their temperature.
Effective Insulation makes all the Difference
When it comes to building an insulated cool room or walk-in freezer, the most important factors are energy efficiency, temperature control, and safety. When you choose to work with Cold-Rite, we use versatile, durable and efficient cool room panels to meet your precise needs. Request a quick quote online to speak with our team of designers and builders.