Cold rooms have become a staple in warehouses housing material with limited shelf lives such as fresh produce, meat, beverages, and medicine. These storage facilities run on the basic principle of maintaining an optimal temperature to help ensure the longevity of the material they are storing. Although there are many different kinds of cold rooms varying in dimensions and the material they store, they all have some form of insulation installed to help maintain an optimal temperature within the cold room envelope. While the refrigeration system within a cold room is responsible for achieving the pre-set desired temperature, insulation features of a cold room help maintain it for longer periods.
Depending on the type of cold room and refrigeration system installed, users can modify their insulation features to achieve optimal results. One of the most common types of insulation used in cold rooms today is known as a cold room or insulation panel.
What Is a Cold Room Panel?
In essence, cold room panels are insulated panels made from two main components: a core and two structural boards. This shielding layer of the inflexible core is often made from either PIR or PU. On the other hand, the two structural boards responsible for housing the core are often made from either Pre painted galvanized steel (PPGI) or Stainless Steel . These insulated panels are one of the core building materials used for making cold rooms. These panels help hold the internal temperature of the cold room constant. They are also used in combination with foam insulation to help prevent any cold air leakage and ensure the structural integrity of the cold room envelope.
Application-wise, they can be installed on floors, walls, and even the roof. However, they require reinforcing and supporting building material to ensure their viability. Without cold room or insulation panelling, upholding a constant desired temperature within the cold room can be difficult. Due to the increased advantages of using these insulated panels, many businesses tend to use them in a general capacity for thermal insulation as well.
Features of a Cold Room or Insulated Panel
Most commonly, cold room panels are manufactured in small sections. This allows for easy transportation as well as at the time of application. The thickness of these insulated panels can vary between four to nine inches and solely depends on the larger characteristics of the cold room design.
Experts recommend employing its use at the time of the initial construction. This not only cuts back on cost and effort but will help ensure the overall design and structural integrity of the cold room. Additionally, if installed after the completion of the cold room, many times insulation panels are not able to work at optimal capacity and may cause cold air leakages.
Different Types of Cold Room Panels
There are different kinds of cold room panels available for users to choose from. However, these not only vary in application but also the type of cold room being designed and installed. The best way to ensure whether you have chosen the right kind or not is to consult with your local team of experts. In most cases, mechanical engineers are the point people in determining the kind of panelling best suited for the intended cold room and the temperature that it will be housing.
Here are some of the common types of cold room or insulated panels available:
Expanded Polystyrene Insulated Panels
Expanded Polystyrene Insulated Panels utilize a high-grade, lightweight foam called Expanded Polystyrene. Made from closed-cell insulation technology, this form of foam is rigid and available in various different levels of strengths to match the intended load and back-fill force of the cold room. The best feature of closed-cell insulation technology is its ability to withstand maximum water absorption and ensure a strong barrier against vapor permanence.
Neopor Insulated Panels
Neopor Insulated Panels utilize a very specialized form of rigid foam known as Neopor Graphite Polystyrene (GPS). this highly efficient foam is known to be approximately 20% more energy-efficient in comparison to the conventional expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. These panels can be installed behind new siding or below the freezer slabs. Additionally, they are most effective when installed during initial construction or intensive remodeling projects.
Polyurethane Insulated Panels
Polyurethane (PU) Insulated Panels are one of the most commonly used insulation solutions in cold rooms, chillers, and freezers. Their high thermal resistance makes them a great preliminary insulation solution especially for cold room projects that need to be assembled quickly. These panels are installed using the tongue-and-groove system as it is simple and most effective for this type of panelling.
Compressed Straw Core Insulated Panels
If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly insulation system, then the Compressed Straw Core Insulated Panels are a great investment to consider. This form of panelling is made from renewable, sustainable, and recyclable material such as agricultural straw thus making it cost-effective as well. Despite being environmentally friendly and cost-effective, these panels have less insulation to offer because of their considerably thick and heavier nature compared to other panels available.
PolyIsocyanurate Insulated Panels
Polyisocyanurate (PIR) Insulated panels are highly effective, have extremely low thermal conductivity, light weight and have high strength to weight ratio. Therefore, it is the natural choice of product usage for insulation application for construction projects. Similarly, Polyisocyanurate (PIR) have exceptional fire performance as compared to other materials above. When incorporated into building products, it can be stipulated as being able to meet some of the most demanding fire performance requirements in the industry.
How To Install a Cold Room or Insulated Panel
Installing cold room panelling primarily depends on the size and type of cold room that is being designed and set up. Depending on the type of panelling that you may opt for, there are user-friendly kits available with clear instructions regarding installation. However, this is only possible for small-scale cold rooms, as industrial-grade ones will require an expert team for installation. Despite this, there are certain prerequisites necessary for installation:
Cold room panels have many advantages and having them installed will help upgrade the thermal insulation of your cold room. Other than helping reduce energy costs and ensuring adequate long-life functioning of the different components of the refrigeration system, add structural stability and integrity to cold rooms.