PIR thermal insulation boards – properties, advantages, applications


Modern thermal insulation that effectively protects your home from energy loss in winter and heat in summer. Comprehensive insulation for your home with PCC Therm.

With their unique properties and advantages, polyurethane PIR boards are increasingly being used for building insulation. Owing to their high mechanical strength, moisture resistance and excellent insulation parameters, PIR boards provide an effective solution for many different applications, including wall, roof, floor and foundation insulation. Let’s take a closer look at PIR boards, discuss their properties and advantages, compare them with other popular insulation materials, and present their applications in practice.

What are PIR boards?

PIR boards are a thermal insulation material made of polyisocyanurate. PIR is one of the most technologically advanced thermal insulations, characterised by very good thermal properties and equally high durability.

This material is becoming more widely used in various types of buildings, including:

  • single-family houses,
  • multi-family residential buildings,
  • industrial facilities,
  • public buildings,
  • livestock and farm buildings.

PIR boards are commercially available in two basic forms: as boards with facing made of veil, aluminium or paper, or as boards without facing.

The unquestionable advantage of a PIR board without facing is that it is easy to install, which translates into quick and efficient insulation of buildings. The boards without facing can be easily cut and ground with no compromise on their performance. When compared to other insulation systems based on conventional materials, PIR boards stand out with much better insulation parameters and unique durability.

EUROPIR® Flagship Products

How are PIR boards without facing produced?

A PIR polyurethane foam is formed by the reaction of a polyol blend with an isocyanate and a foaming agent. The blend contains various types of catalysts, silicones and other additives that help to make a product with adequate properties. It should be noted that a PIR foam contains twice as much isocyanate as polyol, which improves the parameters of the final boards. Next, the mixture of these components is poured onto a special belt in a heated tunnel (continuous production) or into heated moulds (intermittent production) and remains in the tunnel or mould until it foams and cross-links. Thus, closed-cell PIR foam blocks are obtained, which are then cut into boards of different thickness.

The production process uses special additives such as phosphorus compounds, which provide the products with high fire resistance.

Leading manufacturers of PIR boards without facing, such as PCC Therm, employ top specialists to control and supervise their production and thus ensure consistent quality of their products. What is also meaningful is that a PIR board is produced using the latest technologies, which guarantees that the final product will show very good insulation and durability parameters.

What are the advantages of PIR boards without facing?

Why are polyisocyanurate insulation boards considered the future of construction? This certainly results from a number of important benefits which make them increasingly popular among investors, architects and contractors. The key benefits certainly include the following:

  • high thermal insulation: PIR boards are characterised by a very low thermal conductivity coefficient, which allows reducing the costs of heating buildings in winter and protecting them against high temperatures in summer,
  • durability: PIR insulation is extremely resistant to moisture, mould and fungi, and its performance remains stable for many years,
  • easy installation: PIR boards without facing are also easy to install, which considerably reduces the time required for insulating a house or an industrial building,
  • simple processing and tight insulation: PIR boards without facing can be easily ground or cut to size without having to use any special equipment and without the risk of losing the insulation properties,
  • stable performance: PIR boards without facing do not lose their insulation properties while they are processed, ground or cut to size on site,
  • very good mechanical strength: owing to its high compressive strength, PIR insulation can be used in various types of buildings, including warehouses or production halls,
  • fire resistance: thanks to the use of special additives, PIR insulation boards are self-extinguishing and do not drip, which ensures a high degree of fire protection. Due to its chemical structure, PIR is more resistant to high temperatures than PUR,
  • high efficiency: with the use of PIR boards, you can make thinner insulations, thus ensuring the appropriate thermal insulation of the building and obtaining a larger usable area,
  • universality: polyisocyanurate insulations are versatile, which makes them excellent for various surfaces such as foundations, walls or roofs,
  • optimised space and material savings: the use of PIR boards allows for obtaining partitions with the required insulation parameters but a smaller thickness, which increases the usable area of rooms with the same outline, reduces the loss of light entering the building, and decreases the consumption of some building materials.

PIR boards without facing – what is their heat transfer coefficient?

The heat transfer coefficient of PIR boards depends on their thickness and density, but on average it is around 0.023–0.025 W/m∙K. In this respect, PIR boards definitely outperform products such as mineral wool or styrofoam. As already pointed out, this type of insulation is more efficient than the materials mentioned above with the same layer thickness, which means that we need less material to insulate the building.

What are the applications of PIR insulation boards?

All that translates into a growing interest in PIR boards shown by modern construction industry, whether for new buildings or the renovation of existing structures. Investors appreciate the reliability and economic benefits of using this type of material and are eager to use it on construction sites in areas such as:

  • roof insulation: PIR is ideal for insulating roofs, ceilings, terraces and balconies,
  • wall and façade insulation: due to their low heat transfer coefficient, polyisocyanurate boards are excellent for insulating internal and external walls of buildings and are used as a component of modern wall insulation systems based on the ETICS technology,
  • floor insulation: its high moisture resistance and compressive strength make the PIR foam a material recommended for insulating floors and foundations both in residential and industrial buildings.

As we can see, the PIR thermal insulation board is a material which can be used to insulate almost any surface in a building where durable and efficient insulation is required.

Enquire about the range of PIR boards from the PCC Group

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PIR boards for insulating internal and external walls

Thanks to their insulation properties, PIR boards effectively protect against the loss of heat from rooms in the heating period, as well as against the penetration of heat from the outside to the room during hot weather.

For external wall insulation, PIR boards are used in insulation systems such as ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems), which are very popular on the construction market. In this case, it is recommended using EUROPIR®ETICS boards with enhanced mechanical strength and high weather resistance, which are a perfect solution for thermal insulation of external walls. Since EUROPIR® boards have no facing, you can precisely insulate even such challenging construction areas as lintels, window and door openings, balconies, terraces, etc.

If you would like to insulate external walls finished with clinker tiles, it is worth using EUROPIR®DUAL boards with guides that facilitate the installation of the finishing layer. This makes the installation of thermal insulation and clinker tiles extremely quick and easy, and the building gains protection against the loss of thermal energy as well as a unique style and aesthetic appearance.

The EUROPIR® wall insulation boards offered by PCC Therm can be used as an insulation layer between heated or unheated rooms, for example for insulating a staircase, vestibule or garage. This will improve thermal comfort in the room while reducing heating costs.

When insulating rooms from the inside, we should choose a safe and proven material. PIR foam consists of the same materials as many other polyurethane items used in our homes (washing sponges, furniture fillers, artificial leather clothes, etc.). EUROPIR® boards tested by Eurofins Institution received a high rating (A+) for their impact on indoor air quality (IAQ). This means that the use of EUROPIR® boards for internal insulation is safe and helps maintain an appropriate IAQ level and ensure a good microclimate in the insulated rooms.

Płyty PIR PCC Therm Europir

PIR boards for floor insulation

PIR thermal insulation boards are also a popular solution used for the insulation of building floors. With its high mechanical strength and dimensional stability, PIR insulation is a perfect choice for floor applications. Insulation boards provide effective protection against the loss of thermal energy from the room. They can also be successfully used in modern underfloor heating systems, serving as insulation and enabling even distribution of heat across the entire flooring. Owing to their very low water absorption, which does not exceed 1.7%, EUROPIR® polyurethane boards for flooring offered by PCC Therm are particularly recommended for thermal insulation of damp rooms such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements.

PIR boards for roof and ceiling insulation

With their low weight and easy installation, PIR boards are also popular for insulating roofs and ceilings. Their low weight makes them a good choice both for flat roofs and for pitched roofs (i.e. attics) due to the low load on the roof structure. Thanks to the low water absorption, they are particularly recommended for the insulation of ceilings and flat roofs, where moisture may accumulate, eventually causing serious health and structural problems.

It is also worth mentioning that, in the case of insulating roofs and ceilings, PIR boards are often used as an insulating layer under roofing membranes, providing effective protection against heat loss and moisture.

PIR boards for foundation insulation

A proper insulation at building foundations helps to reduce the loss of heat to the ground and prevent moisture penetration, thus preventing the spread of mould, fungi or other microorganisms. PIR boards, e.g. the EUROPIR® products offered by PCC Therm (combined with an appropriate waterproof membrane), protect floors against water and moisture, also protecting foundations from temperature changes. In addition, they are extremely strong mechanically and resistant to microorganisms and pests, which provides long-term protection of the foundation insulation. All that makes EUROPIR® boards particularly recommended for buildings located on a damp ground.

What to choose: PIR boards or conventional insulation?

Without a doubt, the internal and external thermal insulation boards made of PIR have a number of advantages over the conventional insulation material. First of all, they show higher mechanical and compressive strength. They also have better insulation properties, so a thinner layer can provide the same protection parameters. Additionally, PIR boards are less sensitive to moisture and water, which extends their lifespan. For buildings with special requirements regarding insulation, durability and resistance to mechanical damage, the polyurethane board will often prove to be better than conventional insulation.

PIR boards offered by PCC Therm

When choosing a dependable thermal insulation system, we should rely on the experience and reputation of top suppliers. PCC Therm is a manufacturer of PIR boards specialised in producing and selling efficient insulation materials. The company offers a wide range of materials with various parameters, tailored to diverse applications and needs of investors. PCC Therm’s catalogue includes boards designed for insulating ceilings, roofs, internal and external walls, floors, foundations, balconies and terraces (check EUROPIR® SL). All insulation materials offered by PCC Therm have a lot of benefits, the fundamental and most important being the high thermal insulation. With their thermal conductivity coefficient (ʎd) of 0.023–0.025 W/m∙K, EUROPIR® boards without facing are among the most efficient insulation materials in this regard.

The PIR boards without facing by EUROPIR® stand out with their durability as well as easy installation and processing without the risk of losing their parameters. They can be combined with any other building materials and adapted to various structural components. PIR boards without facing supplied by PCC Therm are water resistant, pressure resistant and self-extinguishing. It is an insulation that does not emit any hazardous compounds and is resistant to mould, fungi and other microorganisms. All that provides a guarantee of maintaining optimum temperature in the rooms and reducing the costs of their heating and cooling.