POLYPHEN® is a phenolic/polystyrene (PPS) composite thermal insulation foam, which combines good mechanical properties with high fire resistance and low cost.
While POLYPHEN® was originally developed with the aim of creating an ideal core material for sandwich panels, especially steel clad panels, POLYPHEN® can be used for most rigid foam applications. These include lagging of pipes, tanks and air conditioning ducts.
It is a user friendly material, being light weight, easy to cut and with a surface that is not fibrous, friable or brittle. POLYPHEN® is also environmentally friendly in that it is produced in a process with zero ozone depletion potential.
Competing products generally offer one or two of these features, but not all three together. Examples of such products are expanded polystyrene (EPS), polyurethane (PU), polyisocyanurate (PIR) and phenolic (PF) foams.
EPS - polystyrene foam, was developed 50 years ago, and is widely used today, on account of its low cost and excellent mechanical properties. However, its fire performance is very poor as it melts and burns readily. Insurance companies world-wide are increasingly expressing concern over the use of polystyrene foam in steel clad factory wall and ceiling panels, as the foam has been found to have contributed significantly to the severity of many fires, often leading to total loss of buildings and equipment.
PU - polyurethane foam has somewhat higher fire resistance than EPS, but still burns and is much more expensive.
PIR - polyisocyanurate and PF - phenolic foams have moderate to good fire resistance but are mechanically poor (brittle), and thus not suitable as cores in steel sandwich panels unless used at very high densities that are too expensive for most applications.
In contrast to all of the above mentioned foams, the newly developed POLYPHEN® (PPS) meets the three most important requirements of an ideal panel core material:
- High fire resistance
- Mechanical resilience
- Low cost
POLYPHEN® has been developed in Melbourne, Australia and has been in production there since early 2005. Steel faced panel production commenced in February 2005 and has been utilized in many projects including buildings for Arnotts, McDonalds, Woolworths & Boeing.
POLYPHEN® Panels have been made in New Zealand since early 2006 and have been used on many projects including buildings for Agrifeeds, Comvita, EastPack, Fonterra, Griffins, Goodman Fielder, Kaimai Cheese, La Bonne Cuisine and Tip Top.