Thermocore of Missouri panels may look like other structural insulated panels, but looks don’t tell the entire story. Most panel systems use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), a product that’s been in use for over 50 years. EPS has an R-Value of 3.5 to 4.0 per inch.
Thermocore of Missouri structural panels use Polyurethane, which was invented to improve upon the shortfalls of EPS. Polyurethane has an R-Value of 7.0 to 7.5 per inch, making it the world’s highest-rated insulation per inch, which explains why it’s the choice of manufacturers of everything from freezers to water coolers to refrigerated semi-trailers.
Better Fire Resistance
EPS can be damaged by temperatures over 180 degrees, so it offers little fire resistance. Class I rated polyurethane—the kind Thermocore of Missouri uses—can withstand temperatures of 750 degrees without damage. At those temperatures, it chars but does not burn, so it minimizes the spread of fire. In fact, the material normally self-extinguishes.
Better Moisture & Chemical Resistance
Building materials are rated for permeability, or how much moisture can seep through them. Typical EPS is much more permeable than polyurethane, which is why many EPS manufacturers include interior and exterior vapor barriers when calculating R-Values (be sure to read the fine print when comparing). In addition, most over-the-counter chemicals won’t damage polyurethane, but common petroleum-based chemical products such as insect sprays and many construction adhesives will degrade EPS.
Greater Density For Greater Strength
At a minimum density of 2.2 pounds, Thermocore of Missouri panels are more than twice as dense as EPS, which provides greater strength.
Less Environmental Impact
Typically, EPS panels are created in standard sizes and cut at the job site to fit your home’s requirements. The scraps usually cannot be recycled. In comparison, Thermocore of Missouri panels are designed and constructed to your specific plans, so waste is minimal. The polyurethane we use acts as its own adhesive, for a strong, consistent bond across the entire panel. EPS manufacturers have to use separate glues, with the quality of the bond dependent on how evenly the glue is spread and how long it dries.
More Value For Every Dollar
There’s a good reason EPS panels appear to be cheaper: they cost less to make. EPS manufacturers buy materials in finished form and use very little equipment and labor to produce panels. Of course, that’s offset by significantly more equipment and labor at the job site. Thermocore of Missouri starts with raw materials and custom manufactures each panel to your plans. But although it costs us more to make panels, that cost is offset by the lower labor and energy costs, so while EPS may appear to be cheaper, Thermocore of Missouri SIPS construction is a much better value.