Foam Insulation Panels – Types and Uses

It’s difficult to remember a time when the world wasn’t concerned with energy efficiency, yet it wasn’t so long ago. Nowadays, energy efficient appliances, HVAC systems, and even automobiles are at the front of their industries.

Often it’s a matter of dollars and cents – after all, it’s unlikely that energy costs will be falling significantly any time soon. So adding elements to the home that increase efficiency is a priority. This is where foam insulation panels, provided by Engineered Materials, Inc., come in handy.

An Improvement Over Fiberglass

For many years, fiberglass was the standard when it came to keeping a home insulated. In fact if you think of insulation, we’re willing to bet the image that immediately comes to mind is pink fiberglass. While fiberglass is still widely used, foam insulation panels are becoming more popular thanks to the fact that they can stop air movement – a big plus. They come in varying sizes and thicknesses, are also easy to cut and can be wedged – or friction-fit – into place and then glued or otherwise fastened into place if necessary. This means that unlike blown or batt insulation, there’s little chance of foam panels shifting out of place after installation.

Types of Foam Insulation Panels

There are three types of foam panels that are currently used for insulation:

  • Polyisocyanurate, or polyiso, has the highest R-value per inch and comes with a reflective foil facing on both sides
  • Extruded polystyrene has a smooth plastic surface. It doesn’t absorb water like polyiso and is more durable than expanded polystyrene, making it a very versatile choice
  • Expanded polystyrene is the least-expensive of the three and has the lowest R-value

Where is They Best Used?

Foam insulation panels provide a high level of insulation for relatively little thickness, making them perfect for use in some areas. Unvented low-slope roofs, floors, ceilings and unfinished walls can be fitted with these panels. The area in which the panel is to be placed informs the type of panel chosen.

Other Uses for Foam Insulation

Another popular use for foam panels is in the insulation of appliances. The foam’s ability to reduce overall energy consumption thanks to its thermal insulating properties makes it a natural fit for energy efficient appliances. Refrigerators, freezers, and water heaters all make use of these insulating panels to keep their efficiency level high.

No matter what your panels are being used for, Engineered Materials, Inc. has the perfect foam insulation panels for you. We specialize in providing the perfect, most cost-effective solutions to our client’s unique challenges.

The Science Behind Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

The average person probably wouldn’t get too excited over the idea of pressure sensitive adhesives – just the name alone sounds rather unexciting. But what if we told you that you use these tools all the time without giving them a second thought? After all, how often do you use labels, clear tape and post-it notes?

Granted, we don’t manufacture those specific products – but we do specialize in pressure sensitive adhesives, or PSAs for short, which are used in a variety of applications. But just how do these PSAs work – and what else are they used for?

How are PSAs Manufactured?

Put simply, PSAs are created by applying an adhesive material to paper, tape or another such support. Then the solvent or liquid carrier the adhesive was mixed with is evaporated, leaving just the sticky material behind.

How Do They Work?

Without getting too technical, the entire purpose of a PSA is to create a bond without needing a change in temperature or chemical reaction. All that’s needed is light pressure to create a bond – and you know that if you’ve ever used tape or a post-it note, right? Of course there are levels of adhesiveness, which you know if you’ve ever tried to remove cleanly a label from an envelope once you’ve smoothed it down. A post-it, however, can be easily removed. So the intended application informs the amount and strength of the adhesive used.

What are They Used for?

We’ve already illustrated a few common uses for PSAs, but what we specialize in generally takes a more industrial turn. VHB, or very high bond, the tape is used to attach metal, glass and plastic pieces without the use of screws or rivets. You may have seen foil tape used in HVAC duct work. Sealing tape, electrically conductive tape, foam tape … we cover all the bases for our customers.

Are There any Drawbacks to Using PSAs?

One thing to consider is that the strength of a PSA is affected in very low and very high temperatures, so keeping the temperature in mind is key. However, there are special products such as our high-temperature tape that take this into consideration.

As you can see, pressure sensitive adhesives play a big role in everyday life, which is why Engineered Materials, Inc. is so proud to provide the highest quality to our customers, based on their unique needs.

Appliance Insulation Saves Energy and Money

Insulation is used in all appliances. Refrigerators, ovens, microwaves and water heaters all require insulation that absorbs sound and resists the transfer of heat. Good quality insulation saves energy by reducing the operating cost of the appliance. It can also improve the appliance’s efficiency and in some cases, extend its life.

The majority of appliances and equipment used in homes and businesses for the purpose of heating and cooling, cooking, refrigeration, washing and drying, are required by law to meet certain energy standards.

Providing Solutions for Every Application
In order to help meet industry standards and requirements, many appliance manufacturers rely on industrial fabrication and supply companies to supply them with quality appliance insulation materials. At Engineered Materials Inc. we provide insulation solutions for each unique application.

Insulation Comes in Many Forms

Insulation materials for appliances come in a wide range of densities, sizes and forms. Each solution is specifically designed to meet the needs of the specific application.

Fibreglass Insulation is often used in residential and commercial applications to provide superior acoustical and thermal performance.

Foam is popular appliance insulation. Polyethylene, extruded polystyrene and other materials are used inside all types of residential, commercial appliances and industrial equipment.
Foam has effective thermal insulating properties due to its closed cell foam structure which is heat transfer resistant. This insulation is renowned for reducing energy consumption which makes it more eco-friendly. Foam improves the efficiency of an appliance and has hygienic advantages as well, which makes it a popular insulation for appliances and refrigerated equipment in the food industry.

Refractory Thermal Insulation

Silicone Gasket Material – Filling a Gap in the Manufacturing Process

Gaskets are seals that prevent leaks between two joined objects or part when the parts are compressed. Some gaskets are made of metal to withstand extreme pressure. Others, such as the common o-ring gasket, are made of silicone or rubber. Gaskets allow for irregularities in machine parts. They are meant to fit tightly into spaces where there are gaps, to seal any openings and prevent any leaks.

Silicone is a Popular Gasket Material
Many industries rely on industrial fabrication and supply companies like Engineered Materials to provide them with high performance gaskets in various shapes, sizes and materials. When manufacturing gaskets, various forms of silicone are used — rubber, sponge, foam and solid silicone sheets. Silicone gasket material, when under compression, can maintain a seal for several years. Silicone remains mechanically stable over a wide range of temperatures and is resistant to water, chemicals, fire, ozone heat and aging. In addition, it has tensile and tear strengths, elongation and compression set. This makes it a popular gasket in many industries.

Silicone Gasket Material Comes in Many Forms
Rubber Silicone: Silicone rubber gaskets are flexible, fire resistant, weather resistant and offer good temperature resistance.

Silicone Sponge: Closed cell silicone sponge is designed for high performance gasketing and is an excellent choice for environmental seals. It is good for heavy water spray sealing and can be die cut or waterjet cut.

Solid Silicone: Silicone sheet gasket material is a very versatile and is ideal for a wide range of applications.

Silicone Foam: These gaskets are similar to silicone sponge gaskets, but are usually made from platinum cure liquid silicone. The finished product has a smooth skin. Silicone foam products can be open cell or mostly closed cell. Open cell silicone products are good for dust seals and gaskets that absorb shock and vibrations. Closed cell silicone foam is ideal for environmental seals.

Injection Molded Silicone: Molded silicone gaskets are designed to meet heavy

Make Sure Your High Temp Tape Can Take the Heat

People sometimes have a tendency to not think about temperature tolerances when using some products, like tape and adhesives, for instance. Not all tapes can handle extreme heat, and even tapes designed to be used in high temperatures have their limits. Choosing the right tape for the right application is absolutely necessary for the success of that application and for safety.

Not All Hi Temp Tapes are Created Equal

For a tape to be considered “High temperature,” it generally has to be able to handle temperatures of at least 100 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature a tape can withstand can vary all the way up to 200 degrees Celsius depending on the type of tape and the application it’s intended to be used for. It’s important to check the specific tolerance of the tape you’re using and compare it to the temperatures extremes you’re expecting for the tape’s application.

Uses for High Temp Tape

There are three basic reasons to use a high temperature tape. You can use them for joining, sealing or providing thermal protection. Perhaps the most common use is for heating ductwork, where it is used to join sections of duct together and seal leaks. Another common use is to wrap wires and other electrical components when they are located in areas of high temperature and need to be protected. Some high temp tape is purposely made with less tack so that it can be used rather like painters tape to protect areas from being scorched when using solder or doing light welding, and then removed when the work is done.

When Tape Fails Due to Temperature

When any tape fails there are consequences. High temperature can cause adhesive to break down, making tape slip, or it can cause the tape itself to melt or catch fire. If a tape is binding two objects together, the failure of that tape will allow the objects to separate, which can cause a variety of problems, depending on what the objects are and why they’re together. If the tape is used to seal something and it slips, there will be a leak, which again could cause a variety of problems. If the tape melts or catches fire, the fire could spread and do considerable damage on top of the problems caused by the failure of the tape itself.

The Many Types and Uses Adhesive Tape Products

Do you ever think about how much you use tape? Around the house, you use it for wrapping, packing, spot repairs, arts and crafts and other things. In a business or manufacturing plant, the uses are much the same, but there’s a lot more depending on the success of the tape. Various different types of tape can be used to mount, attach, pack or finish products. Certain types of adhesive tape products may be used for other purposes such as patching or insulating equipment and work areas.

Common Tape

When most people think of tape, they might picture cellophane tape, electrical tape, duct tape or packing tape. These tapes all have their uses in both home and industry, but they are more common or general use tapes that might be used for anything. There are other types of tapes that are more specialized.

Foam Tape

Foam Tape is considerably thicker than most other types of tape, which can be both a limiting factor and a benefit. It means that the tape is much more visible and hard to fit into applications where space is limited, but it has a few uses that go beyond simply attaching one item to another.

Foam tape is great for use as weather-stripping, and for helping to make a tight seal when fitting two objects together. It can also be cut to make a gasket for a piece of machinery that needs a quick gasket replacement.

High Temperature Tape

Not every tape application will be in a location that sits at a comfortable 72 degrees, so there are some adhesive tape products that are made to withstand high temperatures. These are perfect for connecting HVAC ductwork, sealing leaks in hot-running equipment, or taping objects that will be sitting out in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Many high temperature tapes are metallic, and some of those can even conduct electricity.

Double Sided Tape

Double sided tape is an excellent tool for when you don’t want the tape to be visible in a particular application. This sort of tape is commonly used for mounting, splicing, framing and laminating. Double sided tape is particularly useful in making signs and other graphic design products, but it can be used for heavier applications as well. Double sided tape can be made from paper, rubber, foam, plastic or a number of other materials, depending on the intended use.

Industrial Double Sided Tape Solves the Problems of Industry

If you look in the toolbox of any handyman or experienced homeowner, you’ll find a roll of duct tape. If you check the supply cabinet of a warehouse, factory or shipping center, you’ll find a roll (or several rolls) of double sided tape. The reason is the same: Tape solves problems. Different types of industrial double sided tape, also known as double coated tape, can solve a host of different problems.

Double Sided Film Tapes

These relatively thin tapes allow you to mount objects securely without seeing a really obvious tape layer between. It is an excellent tape for splicing and laminating. It can be a huge problem solver when you need a quick fix and can’t wait for a normal adhesive to dry.

Double Sided Transfer Tapes

These tapes are often used for framing, photo mounting or scrapbooking in home use. In industry, they are often employed in graphic design, being used to make models, signs and other displays. They can also be used to make seamless repairs in fabric, plastic and rubber.

Double Sided Foam Tapes

When looking at versatility, double sided foam tape probably takes the prize. Yes, it can be used like any other industrial double sided tape to hold two objects together, but that’s only the beginning. Say you needed to securely mount something into a space for which it was just a bit too small? The foam tape could fill the gap to make a tighter seal, and the double adhesive would secure it in place.

Have you ever had a foam gasket wear out on a vital machine and know that it could be days or even weeks before the right part could be obtained to replace it? You could cut double-sided foam tape to the exact size and shape you need to make a temporary gasket and keep your machine running.

Double Sided Rubber Tapes

Like foam tapes, rubber tapes can be used not only to mount or bind two objects, but also for insulation purposes. Double sided rubber tape has the added benefit of being stretchable, so it can be used to attach two stretchable materials.

Sticking to the Facts About Industrial Double Sided Tape

Double-sided tape is a versatile and useful product with many varying applications. It is used in a wide variety of industrial environments ranging from manufacturing and automotive to construction and aerospace.

Industrial double sided tape is generally available in either a thick or thin bonding system. Thick bonding systems usually comprise a layer of foam sandwiched in between two layers of adhesive, which can either be rubber or acrylic. Both adhesive types have their advantages, depending on the intended use:

Benefits of Acrylic Adhesives:

  • High bond strength over time makes acrylic adhesives a good choice for demanding applications where a permanent bond is required.
  • They age better and are stable under exposure to UV light.
  • They have good resistance to chemicals.

Benefits of Rubber Adhesives:

  • Usually less expensive than acrylic, making them preferable for less demanding applications.
  • High initial tack for applications requiring good quick stick.

When deciding what double sided tape you need for your particular application, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the type of bond you need to achieve, and the environment in which the adhered surfaces are situated.

Double sided tapes for bonding applications include thin films such as ½ mil polyester, light density foams like polyethylene, and high density foams such as acrylic foam.

Some thick bonded industrial double sided tape is classified as VHB or Very High Bond, or Ultra High Bond (UHB) meaning it can be used in extremely demanding, heavy duty external applications. It has a 100% pure acrylic core, which gives it exceptionally high adhesive strength. It is used where a permanent bond is required, and can replace more traditional methods of joining surfaces together, such as screws, rivets, welding and glues or epoxies, which can take a long time to cure.

VHB and similar high bond tapes can withstand temperature variations, wind, vibration, UV light and moisture, and can adhere to many different surfaces, including wood, plastic, metal, concrete, foam and glass.