How to Maintain Commercial Appliances

« Back to Home

Freezer Room Insulation: Polyurethane vs. Extruded Polystyrene

Posted on

When it comes to storage of perishable food items like unprocessed milk, vegetables, and fresh meat for commercial purposes, walk-in freezer rooms fit the bill. All types of freezers come with some sort of insulation as a standard feature. Proper insulation is vital to ensuring that freezers hold cold temperatures and resist heat transfer. 

Two types of material that have been extensively used in the insulation of commercial-grade freezer rooms are polyurethane and extruded polystyrene. Here's some useful general information on the use of each of the two types of plastic foam insulation in the refrigeration appliances:


The biggest reason why polyurethanes are used to insulate freezers is that of their low thermal conductivity. These plastic foams are structurally robust and stable (they do not shrink or become deformed), thus they can withstand the extremes of cold temperatures. 

Another reason for the widespread use of polyurethanes for freezer insulation is their cost efficiency. The material is cheap to buy, driving initial costs down. Aside from that, polyurethanes are lightweight in nature, making them easy to transport and install. This helps to significantly cut down transportation and installation costs. 

In addition, polyurethanes provide a watertight seal around freezers because of their low water penetrability level. Hence, users do not have to worry about corrosion and rusting of underlying metal panels.

Extruded polystyrene    

Like polyurethane, extruded polystyrene are excellent insulators available in a range of compressive strengths to match the requirements of virtually every type of cold storage job. High compressive strength helps ensure that the insulation material remains intact when subjected to freezing temperatures. Compared to polyurethane insulation, this type of plastic foam insulation offers superior resistance water permeation and moisture absorbency, thanks to its dense closed-cell structure.

Because extruded polystyrene performs better than polyurethanes when it comes to minimising moisture and water absorption, they have a better energy rating. Hence, freezer rooms insulated with extruded polystyrene can lead to lower life cycle costs. 

In terms of eco-friendliness, extruded polystyrene insulation ranks higher than their polyurethane counterparts. This is because polyurethanes can only be manufactured from chemicals, whereas extruded polystyrene can be made from recycled polystyrene. What is more, extruded polystyrene insulation is fully recyclable upon reaching the end of its service life.

When considering what type of insulation your freezer rooms should come in, it is important to understand that each type of insulation has unique strengths and weaknesses, which must be assessed based upon the requirements for each individual application. Temperature and moisture are the two most significant factors that can impact the insulation's efficiency, generally speaking.

Contact a company that offers freezer rooms for sale for more information and assistance.