Foams are often used for insulation with a wide variety of applications. They’re found in walls, ceilings, roofs, attics, structural insulated panels (SIPs), patio assemblies, and in the case of geofoam, as a foundation for laying roads. NTA understands that different foams serve different needs, and each is subject to different standards for code compliance. Four common foams are:
Expanded polystyrene (EPS): A rigid, closed-cell foam usually made of pre-expanded polystyrene beads and manufactured in large blocks.
Extruded polystyrene (XPS): A rigid, closed-cell foam that consists of melted polystyrene crystals, which are combined with additives, forced through a die, and then cooled and trimmed.
Preformed polyisocyanurate: Typically produced as a foam and manufactured in blocks.
Spray polyurethane (SPF): A spray-applied insulating foam. It’s manufactured as a liquid but expands and hardens upon application.
Chapter 26 of the International Building Code outlines the code compliance requirements for foam plastic insulation used in exterior walls. NTA can verify code compliance through these generally required tests (although other tests, such as ASTM C297, could also be performed):
- Potential heat (NFPA 259)
- Flame-spread and smoke-developed indices (ASTM E84)
- Fire propagation (NFPA 285)
- Ignition (NFPA 268)
What NTA can do
NTA can help you demonstrate that your products meet code requirements. NTA can also conduct tests to several different methods, including but not limited to:
- Dimensional stability
- Water absorption
- Thermal resistance
- Compressive resistance
- Water vapor transmission (Watch ASTM E96 video)
- Oxygen index
- Closed-cell content
- Surface burning characteristics
- Tensile strength (ASTM C297)
- Leachable chloride, fluoride, silicate, and sodium ions
- Response to thermal and humid aging
NTA offers a single solution for all testing, inspection, certification, evaluation, and follow-up services. Having all the required services performed by a single vendor saves you a significant amount of time and money.
NTA is accredited by A2LA under ISO 17025 to test (Midwest/Southwest), ISO/IEC 17020 to inspect, and ISO/IEC 17065 to certify foam insulation and other building products and materials.
NTA conducts foam insulation tests according to several different methods, including but not limited to:
- ASTM E84: Standard test method for surface burning characteristics of Building Materials
- ASTM E96: Standard test method for water vapor transmission of materials
- ASTM C271: Standard test method for density of sandwich core materials
- ASTM C272: Standard test method for water absorption of core materials for sandwich constructions
- ASTM C273: Standard test method for shear properties of sandwich core materials
- ASTM C297: Standard test method for flatwise tensile strength of sandwich constructions
- ASTM C303: Standard test method for dimensions and density of preformed block and board-type thermal insulation
- ASTM C364: Standard test method for edgewise compressive strength of sandwich construction
- ASTM C365: Standard test method for flatwise compressive properties of sandwich cores
- ASTM C393: Standard test method for core shear properties of sandwich constructions by beam flexure
- ASTM C518: Standard test method for stead-state thermal transmission properties by means of the heat flow meter apparatus
- ASTM C578: Standard specification for rigid, cellular polystyrene thermal insulation
- ASTM C591: Standard specification for unfaced preformed rigid cellular polyisocyanurate thermal insulation
- ASTM C1029: Standard specification for spray-applied rigid cellular polyurethane thermal insulation
- ASTM C1289: Standard specification for faced rigid cellular polyisocyanurate thermal insulation board
- ASTM D1621: Standard test method for compressive properties of rigid cellular plastics
- ASTM D1622: Standard test method for the apparent density of rigid cellular plastics
- ASTM D1623: Standard test method for tensile and tensile adhesion properties of rigid cellular plastics
- ASTM D2126: Standard test method for the response of rigid cellular plastics to thermal and humid aging
For more information about NTA and our foam insulation testing services, contact us.