Fire Retardant Foam Insulation - Videos

I used to live in California - working a good portion of my life in the hi-tech industry in Silicon Valley - and it pains me to see the raging fires in that beautiful state that seem to arrive earlier each year, taking a larger and larger toll on the communities who lie in their path.  When we started Eco-Panels, determined to create the strongest and most energy efficient building envelopes in the world, safety was always at the forefront of conversations.  STRUCTURE is always our primary concern, with thermal efficiency coming in at a close second.  And it amazes me as we consider the safety of building envelopes that probably 90% of the structural insulated panel (SIP) industry that we operate in is comprised of manufacturers using polystyrene or EPS foam insulation.  This is like Styrofoam(R), the small white compressed beads compressed together for a coffee cup or food packaging.  Actually you don't see styrofoam(R) food packaging much anymore - communities all across the country are banning it because it is difficult to recycle and not good for the environment.  But the point I am getting to is that while EPS foam may be a mediocre insulator for building materials (insulation value only slightly better than fiberglass) it reacts terribly to fire, either igniting outright or melting or vaporizing due to the presence of often very toxic additives like the neurotoxin and bio-accumulating brominated flame retardants.  Remember, a structural insulated panel acts like an I-Beam, with the panel "skins" acting as the flanges of the I-Beam and the foam core is its web.  Just as if you took away the middle member of an I-Beam and the beam collapses, when a STRUCTURAL panel loses its foam core it also collapses, allowing for a more complete destruction of a building than might otherwise occur.  A fire captain touring our factory once told me that temperatures from a small kitchen fire can reach more than 1700 degrees, and EPS insulation starts to melt/deform at less than 200 degrees, and sheetrock and OSB skin offers very little insulation against these high temperatures.  This is why it is virtually impossible to get insurance on a building made out of polystyrene (EPS) panels in the United Kingdom - while still legal by building code the insurance industry does not like to insure structures made from this material - (see discussion & results of 10 year case study elsewhere on our website).

The proprietary foam blend used by Eco-Panels will NEVER melt.  Ever.  Known as a "thermoset" foam, if it comes in contact with flame it will char, thereby protecting itself.  And, well, if we use a flame resistant siding "skin" on the panel it can create a wonderful barrier to flame.  Take a look at these couple of videos I recently posted  - I still need to get them directly hosted by our website - but I hope you will be impressed.  If it stops this kind of heat from a torch - I don't think you'll have much problem at all with a hot summer day!  NO OTHER STRUCTURAL INSULATED PANEL MANUFACTURER IN THE COUNTRY USES THIS SAME FOAM BLEND - ONLY ECO-PANELS.