Originally published in Building Products Digest, December Product Spotlight
Take a look around you. Whether you’re in an office, a yard, or on a jobsite, chances are a pencil is close at hand. That pencil provides a clue about a new class of rigid foam insulation for residential and commercial uses.
Polystyrene insulations have been used in buildings for decades- with numerous product options available for expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). Now, a new type of polystyrene insulation- graphite polystyrene (GPS)- is being introduced though-out the U.S.
Most building professionals know graphite as the material in pencil lead, or in some cases, as a lubricant. The material is comprised solely of carbon atoms, and is the most stable form of carbon. The chemical company BASF has pioneered another application for graphite that many builders will find useful. By integrating high-purity graphite into the polymer matrix of EPS insulation, manufacturers increase the insulation’s R-value, while providing a lightweight, thin product that is easy to install.
The graphite also provides a simple way to recognize the insulation. GPS insulation has a gray/platinum hue, which readily distinguishes it from bright white EPS or the pastel colored XPS insulations.
Read more in Building Products Digest to learn about:
- GPS Performance Attributes: why is there a need for another type of rigid foam? R-Values and breathability?
- GPS Applications: what product configurations is GPS available in?
- GPS Cost: how is GPS priced?