Berardi_Umberto.pdf (5.06 MB)
Download file

Microstructural and Chemical Analysis of Polyurethane and Polyisocyanurate Foam Insulations

Download (5.06 MB)
posted on 23.05.2021, 10:04 authored by Umberto Berardi
For some closed cell foam insulation products, the thermal conductivity increases at low temperatures, contrary to single thermal resistance values provided by manufacturers. This phenomenon has been demonstrated in various polyurethane and polyisocyanurate insulations. The reduction in thermal performance has been attributed to the diffusion of air and blowing agent through the foam and to the condensation of blowing agent. Aging processes such as freeze-thaw cycling, moisture accumulation, and polymer degradation further increase thermal conductivity. The initial cell structure plays a role in dictating the thermal performance. To further understand the loss of thermal performance in closed cell foams, microstructure and chemical characterization was performed in this study. The aging behavior of foam insulations was analyzed by imaging foams with SEM and by measuring foam. Changes in the polymer physical attributes were identified and compared to increases in thermal conductivity. This project also used gas chromatography and quantified changes in pentane concentration in polyisocyanurate foams that have undergone aging





Master of Building Science


Building Science

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type