Differences between Rock Wool and Polyurethane Insulating Panel for our Restaurant

The difference between a polyurethane insulating panel and a panel with a rock wool core lies in the formation of the core of each of the panels.

In this article, we are going to discuss the differences in uses and needs between these two types of Sandwich Panels.

Polyurethane Vs Rock Wool Insulating

The polyurethane insulating core is a foam formed by the reaction of isocyanate and polyol (polyester or polyethylene glycol). A catalyst is added to this mixture in order to improve the reaction and the inclusion of other additives that allow changing characteristics of this material.

Rock wool is a material made from rocks of volcanic origin. It has been used as an excellent thermal insulator, as an insulator against fire, and in turn as an acoustic insulator. Due to its fibrous and multidirectional internal structure, it hardly contains any air inside. They are commonly used in the residential sector but also in the construction of industrial warehouses with insulation requirements, with cold storage or freezing chamber installations.

Differences between Rock Wool and Polyurethanes: Thermal Insulation

It is important to know that we need to know a series of previous characteristics to assess its capabilities.

  • Thermal insulation value
  • The behavior of materials against fire
  • Acoustic Insulation Capacity
  • On-site handling and installation

Let’s take a closer look at these capabilities.

Thermal insulation value:  PUR and PIR panels have a greater thermal insulation capacity compared to rock wool. At the same thickness of both panels, the thermal insulation capacity is higher because the polyurethane insulates more. Then, a 50 mm thick polyurethane panel insulates thermally like a rock wool panel about 80/100 mm thick.

The behavior of materials against fire.  Polyurethane, being an organic compound, can tend to feed the flames.
The rock wool, made up of inorganic elements, does not contribute at all to the spread of fire, which is especially important in industrial cold-storage installations. This implies that, if we need to separate fire loads by prescription, with the absence of flame for up to 240 minutes, the Rock Wool panel will withstand long periods of time without causing fire, which facilitates the compartmentalization of storage sectors of goods.

Sound insulation capacity.  One of the most important advantages of a rock wool panel is its noise reduction capacity since rock wool fibers are one of the best destroyers of acoustic waves and significantly reduce their intensity. The Polyurethane panel does not reveal itself against the acoustic insulation to an insignificant extent

Handling and installation on site. Here, in terms of ease of assembly, both panels have similar behavior due to their own construction, although the rock wool panel is heavier than a polyurethane panel and, therefore, requires experience and greater technical means for handling and installation.

We hired American Walk-In Coolers to construct our C1D1 Extraction Labs with the best insulation to build our restaurant’s walk in cooler.