Six myths about the foam
Myths about polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) is not just untrue - they are false. Improper handling of the gas sometimes leads to explosions, but can we blame it on gas? Negligence - the cause of thousands of deaths on the roads, but not to stop, to use this vehicle?
The first myth: polystyrene is well-lit
Indeed, the expanded polystyrene, as well as any materials, polymer additives, is a combustible material. However, proper use in compliance with all existing rules of installation and operation, fire safety requirements allow to use it successfully in construction.
Combustible building materials are divided into four groups: G1 (combustible), G2 (umerennaya), G3 (normalnaia), G4 (zelenogorye). "Analyzing the results of experiments we can say that with a certain chemical treatment of polystyrene the degree of combustibility can reach the indicators G1, G2, G3", - said Boris Serkov, Deputy head of the authority's fire certification Academy of State fire service. For comparison, mineral wool, not less popular heat insulating material, if it is tested by the test procedure polystyrene plates, belongs to the group of combustibility G4.
Auto-ignition temperature of Styrofoam +491 ºC. This is 2.1 times higher than the ignition temperature of paper (+ 230 ° C), and 1.8 times higher than that of wood (+260 ºC). Thermal energy, when burning, Styrofoam highlights from 1000 to 3000 MJ/kg For comparison, when burning dry wood is allocated 70008000 MJ/m3. Thus, the polystyrene gives a slight increase in temperature unlike other involved in a fire materials (furniture, linoleum, etc.). Fire resistance (Flammability) of polystyrene plates is not only determined by their physico-chemical properties, but also "neighbors". We are talking about combinations with other construction materials, as well as the presence of protective layers. Subject to the rules of fire safety foam brand PSB-s less dangerous than other common building materials.
The second myth: the fragility of the foam
Question about the durability of the expanded polystyrene is also concerned about the builders. Manufacture of polystyrene began only 50 years, so to say that its durability is time-tested, of course, still early. But the opinion of scientists testing laboratory NIISF in our time suggests that "polystyrene plates have successfully passed the cyclic test of temperature and moisture exposure in the amount of 80 years of conventional operation in multilayer enclosing structures with the influences of amplitude of ± 40° C".
Chemistry - plastic, being inert in relation to biological material, is in second place at the time of decomposition after glass. The time of the destruction of foam, as the product depends on the quality of its workmanship.
The only enemies of polystyrene foam is UV radiation and mechanical impact. That is why the foam should surround materials that will prevent these impacts.
Third myth: health risks and the environment
Styrofoam is not toxic, it can be used without any concerns. This is confirmed by the fact that for many years it is used for the manufacture of food packaging where there is direct contact with food. Expanded polystyrene does not contain and has never contained chloropheniramine hydrocarbons or incompletely halogenated hydrocarbons chloropheniramine.
Also in construction, Styrofoam - safe insulator, which can be used without risk and to take additional security measures. Composed of Styrofoam no hazardous, poisonous, toxic substances, for all time of its use did not require any additional protection (e.g., respiratory masks or gloves). There was not a single case of professional disease associated with Styrofoam.
Polystyrene foam effectively resists settling (compaction) and ensures durability of the insulation properties. After many years of use, the foam finds application in the fields of biology and Microbiology, once again proving that he poses no risk to human health.
This situation is due to the nature of polystyrene: with an inert structure, polystyrene is biologically neutral and resistant for many years. In our environment, Monomeric styrene can be found in resins of plants, and also in foods like strawberries, beans, nuts, beer, wine, etc. do Not contain any other gas besides air, polystyrene foam guarantees no occurrence of allergies or latent disease.
The fourth myth: foam eat rodents
The easiest way to clarify this question for yourself is to give some kind of rodent balls of expanded polystyrene or the part of the plate. We assure You to eat this "delicacy" there is no rodent will not.
The question is that rodents, especially house mice, have become constant companions of life. For them already there are no obstacles on the way to the dwelling of man. Whether Your house is insulated with polystyrene foam or consist of brick for them there is no difference.
Hope and expect that rodents will go away on its own? They need to fight, reducing their numbers. Rodents, including rats and mice, are sources and carriers of many infectious and parasitic diseases, dangerous to humans. So do not be afraid that the mice will eat the foam, you need to fight with the mice - carriers of terrible diseases.
Myth five: the walls are insulated with polystyrene foam does not "breathe"
The natural process of circulation and evaporation of moisture goes in any room. The walls of the house like a multi-layered cake, and if the outer finish layer of the wall has greater permeability than the inner, then there is no obstruction of vapor and repels it on the more dense part of the wall.
The term "breathing walls" is not a technical term. He appears only in his numerous statements building professionals, the number of which we as great as the number of doctors. They say that some kind of wall "breathes" or "breathing", and this term is explained by them as the primary term that needs no definition.
The flux of water vapor passing through the outer walls of a full brick dwellings, is from 0.5 to almost 3 % of the total flow of water vapor that are fixed of housing - this is a minor difference depends on the serviceability of ventilation (mainly) and humidity, and to a lesser extent from thermal insulation of walls, and also from the water vapour in the external air.
Typical exterior walls are not able, even partially, to replace the ventilation in the role of eliminating water vapor from the premises, as the amount of water vapor is many times higher from the amount which can actually penetrate the outer walls of the home, even if you opt out of insulation foam.
Finds also support special operations and employees to ensure external walls greater vapor permeability. The blame for excessive moisture in areas on the exterior wall as "not breathing", are thrown on the heater - foam. In particular, the results of the calculations give the right to formulate specific recommendations for the design houses - to ensure maximum insulation.
Myth six: the foam is a good sound conductor (poor sound insulation material)
With a number of the same properties, sound-absorbing and soundproof materials are different, as the acoustic properties and purpose. Sound absorbing materials and constructions of them are designed to absorb the incident sound, and sound insulation for the attenuation of sound waves transmitted through the building structure from one room to another.
Insulating materials are used as resilient cushioning in the intercommunication ceilings and wall panels for isolation of separate premises arising from the structural and, in particular, percussive sound. Structurally sound caused by steps, bumps or movement of furniture or vibrations of any mechanism that spreads easily in not having a sound-proof linings ceilings, walls and partitions with very great attenuation."
Styrofoam is really a poor sound absorber, but the sound insulating material of it is great.
Soundproofing partitions (gypsum Board - Polystyrene 50 mm - GCR), Rw=41Дб (the tests were carried out according to GOST 27296-87 noise Protection in construction. Soundproofing of enclosing structures)
The index improved insulation structure-borne noise in the floor construction =23Дб (the tests were carried out according to GOST 16297-80. Sound-proof materials and sound-absorbing. Test methods).
With approach of colds the question of thermal insulation in residential and industrial buildings is becoming not just relevant, but urgent. Manufacturers of insulation materials have long been trying to prove that the right attitude to the insulation of structures and buildings can dramatically reduce heating costs, provide proper comfort in living spaces that will positively affect human health, will improve working conditions in the workplace.
One of the main objectives of thermal insulation, reduction of heating costs of the building and increase in service life operation. According to the Department of building materials], - for heating buildings annually consumes 240 million tons of standard coal, accounting for about 20% of the total energy consumption in Ukraine. In many countries of Europe, where the rate of energy loss of 1.5-2 times less than in Ukraine, has long come to understand the necessity of saving energy. It is estimated that 1 cu. m. insulation saves approximately 45 kg of conventional fuel per year. In addition, the decline in the demand for heating leads to a decrease in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reduces the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere, which significantly reduces the amount of acid precipitation.
A special place among the materials contributing to increase the thermal insulation characteristics, is polystyrene. This material is characterized by low water absorption (0,05 - 0,2 %), its water absorption is not more than 0,5 - 1,0 % by volume. It can be used in structures operating at temperatures from -80 to +80° C. the Uniqueness of this construction material is that it harmoniously combines the high insulating properties with low weight. On ability to heat retention plate of polystyrene foam thickness of 50 mm is equivalent to a brick wall thickness of the meter or the wall with wooden beams of size 150 mm.
In summary, I would like to highlight the following :
The combination of these properties allow the use of Styrofoam in various fields of construction.
Polystyrene is ideal for insulation of wall panels, ceilings, basements, roofing and road construction, production of cold storage, tanks, industrial sheds, etc.