XPS Insulation Board – Extruded Polystyrene Insulation

Before the XPS insulation board I want to talk about the importance of energy efficiency. The energy performance efficiency of our buildings has a critical importance in terms of both our budget and the carbon dioxide emission caused by the spent heating energy. In recent years, the concepts of zero energy and sustainable architecture have become quite popular. The biggest reasons for this are the increase in energy consumption expenditures and the signals of insufficiency of energy resources against the increasing world population. In addition, it is necessary to look at energy consumption and production not only from an individual perspective but also from a social perspective. Because almost most of the wars in the last century broke out over oil, geopolitical strategies and various energy sources.

As a result of a research conducted by the International Energy Agency, our buildings consume half of the electricity and 1/3 of the natural gas. In addition, the built environment is the one of the biggest (about 1/3) source of the greenhouse gas emission (2009). For all these reasons, we should approach zero energy as much as possible in the design of our buildings. One of the most important design decisions to reduce the heating costs of the building is to use the right thermal insulation material. Let’s get to know the XPS insulation board.

What is XPS Insulation Board?

XPS means Extruded Polystyrene Foam. It is one of the most used materials in the field of thermal insulation. Combining its polystyrene content with its homogeneously distributed solid cell structure, XPS insulation board becomes one of the most effective thermal insulation boards in the building sector. However, the use of XPS in the building sector was realized as a result of a coincidental discovery. Because extruded polystyrene insulation was produced for use in floating rafts for the American Navy in the 1940s. For this reason, its first aim in the production is to provide waterproofing of these rafts. It has been discovered that XPS used in waterproofing of rafts also provides thermal insulation properties. Thus, the idea of using this material for thermal insulation in the building sector was born. Then, it has became one of the important insulation materials used in our buildings.

XPS insulation foam board
XPS insulation application example (via Dow Chemical)

Features of Extruded Polystyrene Foam Thermal Insulation Board

  • Thanks to its closed cell structure that connects with each other from all directions, it does not absorb water. The fact that the purpose of XPS was to provide waterproofing shows that this feature is not accidental.
  • It does not crumble or split into grains during cutting. This provides ease of use compared to foam materials such as EPS foam.
  • The performance of XPS insulation material does not change much during the use of the building. The thermal insulation property of a material is caused by the water it absorbs and the freeze-thaw that occurs due to seasonal changes. Since Extruded Polystyrene Foam does not absorb water, its insulation performance is continuous and uninterrupted.
  • XPS insulation board cells have a homogeneous and durable armor thanks to their hexagonal honeycomb structure.
  • Thanks to its durable structure, it does not crush too much under compression. The change in thickness of thermal insulation materials under the influence of pressure significantly affects their thermal resistance.
  • XPS foam can be used on walls, foundations and roofs. But it is mostly preferred for walls.
  • Usage temperature is between -50 degrees and +75 degrees.
  • Since it is sensitive to sunlight (UV), it should be protected so that the sun rays do not in contact with the surface.
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