An In-Depth Guide to PIR Panels: Understanding Their Use, Benefits, and Installation Procedures

An In-Depth Guide to PIR Panels: Understanding Their Use, Benefits, and Installation Procedures


July 24, 2023


The modern construction industry is witnessing an increased demand for sustainable and energy-efficient building materials. One such innovative construction material is polyisocyanurate or PIR panels which offer clear benefits over other traditional materials such as polyurethane (PUR). Undoubtedly, any building, whether commercial or residential, requires excellent insulation to save on energy bills and improve the comfort of the people, especially during cold seasons. This is where PIR panels have proven their worth. 

In this article, we will discuss more about PIR panels, their benefits, uses, and much more. 

What Are PIR Panels?

PIR is a thermoset polymeric material that combines isocyanates and polyols. PIR panels are rigid insulation boards that are made of polyisocyanurate foam. The panels comprise PIR foam that is sandwiched between two surfaces, preferably metals. The manufacturing process of the PIR foam results in a highly cross-linked, closed-cell structure/ This ensures very low thermal conductivity and, thus, exceptional thermal insulation and performance. 

Additionally, being a thermoset plastic, PIR is a rigid, robust material and does not melt when heated. On the other hand, thermoplastic materials such as polyethylene or polystyrene soften to turn into a liquid when heated. 

These PIR panels can also come faced with aluminium foil to create a barrier against moisture and improve performance against flames. Thus, depending on the manufacturer, PIR panels can also be fire-resistant. 

What Are the Benefits of Using PIR Panels

PIR panels are the most widely used cladding system for roofs and walls as well as internally for walls, ceilings, linings, and partitions. Let’s discuss some of the unique benefits and properties of PIR panels that make them a preferred choice in the construction industry. 

Exceptional thermal performance

PIR panels have excellent thermal insulation properties, minimizing heat transfer and thus maintaining the desired temperature. This means a reduced need for heating and cooling systems as well as energy savings. 

Lightweight and Easy installation 

PIR panels are relatively lightweight and, therefore, easy to transport and install. Their lightweight also makes them a preferred construction material when it comes to reducing the structural load on the building. 

Also, they are easy to disassemble and hence offer the 

Barrier against moisture 

 PIR insulation boards are also moisture-resistant because of their closed-cell structure. This prevents moisture absorption, ensuring effective insulation even during damp conditions. 

Better fire properties 

PIR foam, due to the presence of isocyanurate rings, shows comparatively better fire properties than PUR. Experts have also stated that usually, PIR panels do not increase the risk of the spread of fire or influence the fire severity. However, the fire rating depends on the manufacturer. 

Strength and durability 

PIR panels have a high compressive strength that improves their durability and service life (longevity). Be it high footfall or harsh weather conditions such as temperature fluctuations, rain, and wind, PIR panels are designed to withstand unsuitable environmental conditions. 

Design flexibility 

Many manufacturers offer various customisation options to suit your needs. PIR panels can be customised based on the thickness, dimensions, or aesthetic appeal. 

What Are Different Applications of PIR Panels? 

PIR panels find extensive applications in both internal uses as well as both external walls and roofs of the building. 

  • Clean rooms
  • Cold rooms, storage, and warehouses 
  • Air handling units (AHU)
  • Roof panels 
  • Wall panels 
  • Lining panels within existing buildings 
  • Separation walls (usually fire-resistant) between the sections of a building 
  • Panels in modular/prefabricated buildings 
  • Factories and industrial premises 
  • Hospitals and their extensions, and clinics
  • Schools and universities 
  • Leisure such as cinema halls and others 

Points to Consider During Installation 

There have been misconceptions about how the performance of insulation products is affected by their design and installation, especially when they are part of ground-floor build-ups. 

Here are a few points. For instance, 

A PIR insulation board should be placed above the DPM (damp-proof membrane) for protection against moisture. 

  • It should also be placed below the AVCL (air and vapor control layer to reduce any potential risk of condensation from the floor and also to protect the foil facing from alkalis in screed over it. 

Without correct installation, there is always an associated risk. The performance of PIR insulated panels can be compromised due to moisture or damage to the foil facing. 

Reputed manufacturers have their own team of engineers to help you install sandwich panels at the construction site, taking care of the transportation, quality check, proper assembly, and installation. 

PIR Panels from Rinac 

PIR sandwich panels from Rinac have been widely used across various industries. These state-of-the-art panels are equipped with unique properties to support different needs.

  • Certified by ISO, OHSAS, EMS [IMS-ISO 18001 and 14001 of 2015 and OHSAS 18001/2007]
  • B2 grade fire-rated material
  • Certified as a class O building material in accordance with BS 476 part 6 and 7 standard
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Self-mating interlocking
  • Exceptional insulation (R/U values significantly reduce radiant heat transfer and condensation)
  • Customisation for windows and light fixtures 

Rinac’s InstaCeil, PIR-insulated ceiling panels offer a superior alternative for conventional insulated and false ceilings with exceptional thermal and fire-resistant properties.  

Additionally, Rianc’s clean modular construction (CMC) solutions offer improved strength and excellent thermal properties when combined with flat, leveled, corrugated surfaces inside out.

Final Words 

PIR panels have become a popular choice in the construction industry. With the speed of construction, easy installation, competitive pricing, exceptional thermal property, recyclability, and much more, the PIR panels also offer customization and flexibility. 

To know more about why you should choose PIR panels from Rinac for your modular construction needs, get in touch with us today. 


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