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Chemical and biological stability

Contact with chemicals can affect the properties of some insulation materials. Insulation boards made of rigid polyurethane foam are for the most part resistant to the chemical substances used in the building industry such as:

  • most solvents used in adhesives,
  • bituminous materials,
  • wood protection products or
  • sealing compounds.

In addition, polyurethane insulation is not susceptible to the effects of plasticisers used in sealing films, or to fuels, mineral oils, diluted acids and alkalis, exhaust gases or aggressive industrial atmospheres.

PUR/PIR rigid insulation does not rot; it resists mould and decay, is odour-neutral and physiologically sound for the intended technical building applications.

Chemical resistance of rigid polyurethane foam (PUR/PIR)
Building materials / chemical substances Behaviour of rigid polyurethane foam
Lime, gypsum (plaster), cement +
Bitumem +
Cold bitumen and bituminous cements on water basis +
Cold bituminous adhesive +
Hot bitumen + / -
Cold bitumen and bituminous cements with
+ / -
Silicon oil +
Soaps +
Sea warter +
Hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, nitric acid Caustic
soda (10% resp.)
Ammonium hydroxide (conc.) +
Normal petrol / diesel fuel / mixed +
Toluene, clorobenzene + / -
Monostyrene + / -
Ethyl alcohol + / -
Acetone / Ethyl acetate + / -

+ resistant
+/- partly/resistant
The resistance of rigid polyurethane foam (PUR/PIR) (without facings) to building materials and chemical substances was determined at a test temperature of 20°C

cfr. PU Europe Thermal insulation materials made of rigid polyurethane foam - 2006