“Do you know Polyiso?”

What Is Polyisocyanurate Insulation?

One type of insulation you can choose for your RIDGLOK® tank insulation system is polyisocyanurate insulation.  This type of insulation is ideal for storage tanks in all industries because it does not absorb moisture (<1% Vol.) and can be used for both cold and hot operating temperatures (-40°F to 250°F). It also has a high R-Value of R-6 per inch. If you are not yet familiar with PIR or polyiso insulation, as it’s often called, here are some facts about this material:

How Is It Made?

Polyisocyanurate insulation is created from rigid, closed-cell foam. It has a core of foam in the center that has been placed between facers that provide a vapor barrier. Generally, these facers are made from fiberglass or reinforced aluminum foil.

Polyisocyanurate insulation is found in many different commercial and residential buildings, often used in the walls and roof. However, it’s also an ideal type of insulation to use for storage tank insulation systems, namely the Vertical Standing Seam Panel Insulation System (VSSI).

What Are The Benefits?

The biggest benefit to polyisocyanurate insulation is its R-Value per inch. It has the highest R-Value per inch out of any rigid foam board insulation, which means it’s very efficient and will greatly decrease the amount of heat or cold transfer between the tank contents and the atmospheric environment (<0.3 perms ASTM E96).  Polyiso is unique in that the R-Value increases with the thickness of the foam, so three inches of polyiso has a higher R-Value per inch than two inches, according to www.polyiso.org.  Tanks with RIDGLOK® VSSI systems (See Firgure-1) that use polyisocyanurate insulation will use less energy and keep the internal temperature of the tank very consistent in conjunction with heaters or chillers.

0001 (1)The compressive strength of polyisocyanurate insulation is structurally rigid at 20 psi (ASTM D1621).  It will adhere to metal jacketing well and handle light foot traffic.   The rigidity also helps maintain the structure of the VSSI Panel when installed in the field on storage tanks.

You can use polyisocyanurate insulation in environments that range from -40 degrees F to 250 degrees F. While it isn’t the most versatile insulation in regards to temperature range, it is still a good option for all tanks that must be kept at a consistent temperature under 250°F.  The flame spread performance tested at 75 or less, however is available in a less than 25 option (ASTM E84).

Environmental Benefits

Polyisocyanurate insulation is a great choice for “going green”. It reduces the amount of fossil fuels required to keep the tank at a specific temperature. This will reduce the company’s air pollution by cutting down on the greenhouse gases emitted from their tank equipment. The use of recycled materials in the insulation is another great environmental benefit. In some cases, the facers are made from 100% recycled materials. This insulation is also CFC- and HCFC-free, plus it is manufactured without using any blowing agents that deplete the ozone layer.

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What Being a National Insulation Association Certified Energy Appraiser Means



In every industry, there are certifications and licenses that experts in the field must obtain. Usually, these certifications require passing a specific exam or series of exams, and some have additional requirements such as having a specific number of years in the industry. While some of these certifications are optional, some industries require them. In the insulation industry, the National Insulation Association Certified Energy Appraiser isn’t required, but those who are in the insulation business can certainly benefit from this certification. The professionals at MC&I, Inc. who design & engineer the RIDGLOK® Vertical Standing Seam Panel Insulation hold this certification.

What Is the National Insulation Association?

The National Insulation Association (NIA) is a trade association that is a nonprofit organization. It represents any contractor, fabricator, manufacturer, and distributor who works in the insulation industry. This includes those who manufacture and sell parts and insulation accessories in addition to full insulation systems. The NIA was organized in 1953 and is headquartered in North Virginia. The group works to make certain that those in the insulation business are up-to-date on recent news, trends, and innovations.

What Is a NIA Certified Energy Appraiser?

A certified energy appraiser is trained to determine the optimal thickness of the insulation needed for a project. They are also able to estimate how much energy will be saved and covert that into a dollar amount to give their clients a good idea of what kind of return on investment they will be getting. These insulation professionals provide efficient, safe, and cost-effective assessments that can help clients determine the best insulation options.

Energy appraisers are a great help to those who want to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Many companies that want to go green will have an energy appraiser work with them to determine what impact their company is having on the environment and how that impact can be decreased.

What Does it Take to be a Certified Energy Appraiser?

In order to become certified, a person must go through the Insulation Energy Appraisal Program. This program is taught over the course of two days and teaches participants a number of different skills related to determining the best thickness and calculating energy savings. The program is offered twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Those who successfully complete the program and pass the exam, receive their certification.

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