BRUFMA makes a sound case of recycled PIR insulation

brufmaIn an effort to boost the reduction of waste in the construction industry, the British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturer’s Association (BRUFMA) has conducted tests to see how polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation might be recycled.

BRUFMA says while many contractors have introduced Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP’s) to reduce waste, there is a still much that needs to be done, particularly if zero carbon building is to become a commercial reality. The organisation has therefore carried out laboratory tests to determine how insulation waste could be recycled to offer alternative uses.

Initial results have found that recycled PIR insulation can offer desirable acoustic properties when used as a fill material in party wall applications for attached houses and flats.

The sound insulation tests, carried out at the Building Performance Testing Centre in Glenrothes, focused on the effect of recycled mixed crumb size PIR particles as an option for separating walls for attached houses and flats. The aircrete, lightweight aggregate and timber frame party walls were tested with and without the presence of the PIR granules within each wall cavity and in all instances the walls tested met the requirements of both sets of sound insulation regulations.

Chris Hall, chief executive of BRUFMA, said:

“Many end-of-life options exist for PUR / PIR insulation waste. The use of recycled PIR as an alternative to other insulation materials on this application is just one of a number of options we are pursuing. This test was a world first and the results prove that recycling and recovery solutions have proven technical feasibility.”

BRUFMA represents all of the major companies in the Rigid Polyisocyanurate (PIR) and Polyurethane (PUR) insulation sector in the UK, including manufacturers of finished polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam products, suppliers of the various raw materials and associated services.

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