How to ensure the continuity of vapour seal?

All panel joints and corner angles of cold rooms shall be sealed with gun applied butyl mastic (non-hardening sealant) on the external (warm) side to ensure continuity of vapour seal under operating conditions. All joints other than panel to panel, to be trimmed with extruded aluminium frames and finished by silicone sealant.

When designing the building structure, what needs to be considered concerning panel supports?

Wall panels shall be self supporting unless specified otherwise. Ceiling panels shall be supported from the main building structure. Please check load/span tables for design and consideration of numbers and distances of supports. Designers should also consider some aspects such as panel weight, working loads, and panel movement from imbalance pressure, when designing main building structure. Roof panels shall be held down to the structural purlins fixed by screws or other materials if required.

Can we walk on ceiling?

Advice for Walk on Ceiling: Walk on ceiling can be contructed from panels (refer to panels strength data), for the purpose of supporting occasional maintenance workers. The following general advice is given with the unterstanding that full consideration should be given to ceiling design with respect to loads to be placed on them.

  1. Clear guidelines should be displayed for personnel at all ceiling access points.
  2. No more than 2 people should stand on any one panel.
  3. With additional caution given to panels with apertures.
  4. Ceiling should not be placed under additional stress by personnel such as running or jumping.
  5. Walk ways should be constructed by means of cat walks or young man type boards for access areas in frequent use.
  6. All pipe work, plant and equipment should be securely fixed to the overhead structure and not directly to the panels.
  7. Sources of heat such as welding equipment should be kept clear of panels.

If we want to install panels with apertures, is there any caution?

Ceiling apertures can cause differences to load span calculations. Apertures would obviously affect the structural strength of the panels. All apertures through wall and ceiling panels for refrigeretion, electrical or plumbing lines, etc. shall be vapour sealed with appropriate materials.

How to test panel's quality?

Many buyers believe that if they have a set of requirements to check the insulation panels being delivered to the site, they can be sure they get the right panel specifications. But the fact is we can partially random check the panels. In addition, the buyers normally do not place an order with very specific specifications. Some manufacturers still can cheat. Nonetheless, the buyers did run some tests by weighing, burning foam, or measuring steel’s thickness. Still, this does not confirm if the buyer gets high/low panel quality. Whether the insulated panel is high/low quality depending on “selected materials” and “production standards”.

How do we know if steel and foam are 100% attached together?

You can test by stripping the steel; however, it is just a random test. Factory visit helps understand the production process if it meets the standards. In addition, you can assess the company’s credentials e.g. tenure of company, its credibility, product reviews, its reputation, product warranty, staff’s knowledge, staff’s skills and expertise, etc. However, these criteria cannot be easily tested and quantified.

Panel joints - distance between joints and joint's methods?

IXL I-Joint (H-Profile) is produced by ISOWALL Lamination Machine. The machine continually produces constant pressure to bond the steel and foam with Polyurethane adhesive. The foam length is always 3 meters but its thickness is as per request. Why it has to be 3 meter-long because:

  1. Loading Machine has a trim function and the distance between cuts is 3 meters. The machine trims the top and bottom of the foam to be like shark tooth so-called “Finger Joint” before going through the lamination line.
  2. More convenient to store, transport and easy to install. If it is longer than 3 meters, it will be very difficult to handle; panels easily get damaged when dispatch or store.
  3. Finger Joint System reduces the fracture and chipping foam problems. Since the machine trims all 6 sides, all joints are tightly connected. Doing so strengthens the panels, can carry more loads.

Glue - is it slow drying or fast drying? How long will it be set-up?

IXL uses Polyurethane adhesives from either Huntsman or Henkel which are fast-setting glues required by the machine. A pressure pump controls the glue drop on the steel and spread by glue spreader throughout the steel surface before steel and foam are pressed together. The setting time of the adhesive is about 2-3 minutes before cutting. The newly glued panels can be moved with no damage because it is a fast setting glue. However, it is recommended not to ship right away, panels should be stored for at least 2-3 hrs before shipping. Polyurethane adhesive is fast setting and has better elasticity, compared to slow drying glue. It is perfect for insulated panel production.

Prefabricated insulation panels are often exposed to steel shrinkage problem due to temperature change. There are also other causes that affect the shape of the insulation panels such as the change of air pressure in the room, the wind force and even the loads ceiling carrying when workers are walking. Therefore, the adhesive selected in the insulation panel production must be specific.