Phenolic Vs. Cellular Glass Insulation in Cold Piping Applications

Dyplast releases new Technical Bulletin on Phenolic vs. Cell Glass mechanical insulation for cold temperature applications.

Phenolic vs. Cellular Glass Insulation in Cold Piping Applications


Phenolic and cellular glass mechanical insulation have each been demonstrated as viable choices for cold applications when 25/50 (per ASTM E84) is required, particularly in chilled water applications. This Technical Bulletin offers an objective comparison - - with the conclusion that when comparing both side by side, the overall advantages clearly belong to phenolic.

1. The new phenolic is not the old phenolic

• New catalysts with minimum detectable halogens


• Low water absorption (the difference between 0.9% for phenolic vs. 0.2 for cellular glass is not material)



2. Phenolic with 60% better insulating value

• 0.18 versus 0.30 at 50°F


• 2.5 inches versus 4.5 inches thickness in a typical 50°F scenario



3. Phenolic is roughly 67% lower cost per board foot

• Plus lower fabrication/installation costs



4. #2 and 3 above when taken together puts phenolic capital costs possibly at one-third that cellular glass - - and that's ignoring fabrication and installation


5. Phenolic is one-third the weight of cellular glass

• 6 times more weight per linear foot in the 2.5 vs 4.5 inch scenario





In summary, both phenolic and cellular glass have been demonstrated as viable choices as insulation for cold applications when 25/50 is required. However, when comparing both side by side, the overall advantages clearly belong to phenolic.

As always we invite constructive criticism that will assist clients, engineer/specifiers, insulation contractors, and fabricators in making optimal choices for chilled water and refrigeration insulation systems.

This technical paper is one in a series of objective comparisons aimed at providing verifiable facts rather than subjective analysis or missing data.


As always we invite constructive criticism that will assist clients, engineer/specifiers, insulation contractors, and fabricators in making optimal choices for chilled water and refrigeration insulation systems.