Brickwork is one of the first things to occur to us when we talk about building any infrastructure and they have evolved decently from being available initially to just warmer countries because of the heat of the sun required for drying the bricks, to eventually being produced through fire thereby making it more popular in countries with colder climates as well.
But constructing a plant brick by brick involved lot of time and there was a need for a process much swifter than this. Over the course of time came in the introduction of sandwich panels having a pretty simple manufacturing process involving just 2 metal sheets and an insulating material such as PUF or Rockwool sandwiched between them.
Building a plant with the use of these panels were not only swift but came with a bundle of other benefits such as excellent insulating properties, soundproofing, easier installation etc. The use of sandwich panels today is widespread with abundant applications.
Next question to crop up is which infill material is most suitable? This is a question we answer our customers almost on a daily basis and hence we decided to have this piece of information available on our blog to help you make your decision.
The Basics :
PUF or PUR or Polyurethane is a leading member of the wide-ranging and highly diverse family of polymers or plastics. Polyurethane can be a solid or can have an open cellular structure, in which case it is called foam and foams can be flexible or rigid. We use the rigid foams which are formed by injection of chemicals for the Panel application.
Rockwool is the branded name (that we use) to its generic type called Mineral wool is also known as mineral fiber, mineral cotton, man-made mineral fiber, and man-made vitreous fiber (MMVF). Mineral wool is any fibrous material formed by spinning or drawing molten mineral or rock materials. It also includes glass wool and ceramic fiber, both of which are completely man-made fibers.
PUF & Rockwool both have their respective pros and cons and none is really better than the other. It’s the application and the availability of a particular essential property or feature in that material that makes it the suitable or the perfect pick.
For this very reason, we have listed the benefits, disadvantages, and various properties of both these materials so as to help you decide the infill material for the cleanroom panels to be used in your upcoming plant.
Below are the 10 Parameters which you must know between PUF and Rockwool
|PUF PANELS||ROCKWOOL PANELS|
|1)||PUF or Polyurethane foam ( also known as PUR) is a product of polyol & isocyanate mixed in a ratio of 2:1 respectively.||Rockwool or Mineral wool is made by spinning molten rocks, ceramics, and slags into fine fibers with the final product in cubes or blocks.|
|2)||PUF panels are manufactured by injecting the chemical mixture through an opening between the two metal barriers.||In case of Rockwool panels, glue is applied on a metal surface; blocks of Rockwool are placed over them & the arrangement is then sealed with the other metal sheet.|
|3)||PUF is a better heat insulator & has a thermal conductivity (k) of just 0.025-0.028 W/m.K. Lower the ‘k’ value, better will be their insulating property.||Rockwool scores lower here with thermal conductivity (k) of about 0.041-0.045 W/m.K meaning their ability to contain heat is comparatively less.|
|4)||PUF is easily flammable and hence not recommended where fire hazards are a concern.||Rockwool can withstand temperatures up to 1000oC without melting making it highly resistant to fire.|
|5)||PUF has a density of about 40-45 kg/m3 making it comparatively lighter and easier to handle. This makes it also faster for the installation of cleanroom panels.||Rockwool on the other hand is quite heavy and difficult to handle due to its density of about 100-110 kg/m3. Rockwool filled cleanroom panels are heavier during installation and require more personnel to complete the job|
|6)||PUF isn’t a good option to consider where soundproofing is crucial.||Rockwool has a tendency to break the acoustic waves & hence has excellent sound-absorbing properties.|
|7)||PUF panels are priced affordably in comparison to Rockwool.||Rockwool panels are expensive by about 12-15% compared to PUF.|
|8)||Production of PUF panels is partly automated and requires less labor leading to slightly higher productivity compared to Rockwool.||Manufacturing Rockwool panels is a completely manual process and demands more labor thereby hampering productivity to an extent.|
|9)||Applications: Being cost-effective & a better heat insulator, PUF is the natural choice for Pharmaceuticals, Hospitals, Hotels, Commercial buildings, Cold storages etc. ||Applications: Since Rockwool is highly sound & flameproof, it is the go-to material for Pharmaceuticals (Flameproof areas), Studios, Marine & Offshore platforms, etc|
|10||When PUF burns it gives out an immense amount of fumes and they contain the heavily toxic Cyanide gases in quantities that can cross the Lethal Dosage thereby causing severe respiratory problems.||When Rockwool burns, it does not give out any fumes and the fibers are reduced to Ashes. It is for this reason that Rockwool is preferred in facilities dealing with a greater risk of fires due to the use of organic solvents or particulate dust.|
The above comparison clearly shows there are many areas where PUF scores higher than Rockwool due to its properties and cost and hence is widely used but there are also areas where Rockwool has the upper hand and is totally irreplaceable.
It is clearly the area of application that decides the choice of infill material to be used.
HVAX’s range of cleanroom panels includes both PUF as well as Rockwool to suit our customer’s requirements. For further queries you can write to us at email@example.com.