PU panel vs PIR panel,which is better?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-09-14      Origin: Site

PU panel vs PIR panel,which is better?

Polyurethane (PU) panels and Polyisocyanurate (PIR) panels are both commonly used insulation materials in construction and cold room applications. To determine which is better, it's essential to consider various factors, including their insulation properties, fire resistance, environmental impact, cost-effectiveness, and specific application requirements. This detailed comparison will help you make an informed decision between PU panels and PIR panels.

Insulation Properties:

Thermal Insulation: PIR panels generally offer better thermal insulation properties than PU panels. PIR has a higher R-value (thermal resistance) due to its improved cellular structure and composition, making it more efficient at reducing heat transfer. This can result in lower energy consumption and better temperature control.

Moisture Resistance: PIR panels have an advantage in humid environments as they are less prone to moisture absorption compared to PU panels. This property helps maintain their insulation performance over time.

Fire Resistance:

PU Panels: PU panels are generally less fire-resistant compared to PIR panels. They can ignite at lower temperatures and release more toxic gases when exposed to fire. This can be a critical consideration in building and safety codes, especially for applications where fire resistance is crucial.

PIR Panels: PIR panels have better fire resistance properties. They can withstand higher temperatures before ignition and produce fewer toxic fumes when exposed to flames. This makes them a preferred choice in applications where fire safety is a priority.

Environmental Impact:

PU Panels: PU panels may contain blowing agents with a higher Global Warming Potential (GWP) and may contribute more to greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing. However, efforts are being made to produce more environmentally friendly PU panels with lower GWP blowing agents.

PIR Panels: PIR panels are often considered more environmentally friendly due to their lower GWP blowing agents. Manufacturers have been working to improve the sustainability of PIR panels, making them a preferred choice for green building projects.


PU Panels: PU panels are generally less expensive than PIR panels, which can make them a more cost-effective choice for some applications. The lower upfront cost may be attractive for projects with budget constraints.

PIR Panels: PIR panels tend to be more expensive than PU panels due to their superior insulation properties and fire resistance. However, their long-term energy savings and potential for reduced maintenance costs can offset the initial investment.

Specific Application Requirements:

Temperature Control: If your application requires stringent temperature control, such as cold room for perishable goods, PIR panels may be a better choice due to their superior thermal performance.

Fire Safety: In applications where fire safety is a top concern, such as commercial buildings or facilities with high fire risks, PIR panels are generally preferred.

Budget Constraints: If you have limited upfront capital and can accept slightly lower insulation performance and fire resistance, PU panels may be more budget-friendly.

Environmental Concerns: For environmentally conscious projects or those seeking green building certifications, PIR panels may align better with sustainability goals.

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Here's a comparison chart highlighting the key differences between PU (Polyurethane) panels and PIR (Polyisocyanurate) panels:


PU Panels

PIR Panels

Thermal Insulation

Good thermal insulation properties.

Excellent thermal insulation properties.

Moisture Resistance

Moderate moisture resistance.

Better moisture resistance.

Fire Resistance

Lower fire resistance; ignites at lower temps.

Better fire resistance; ignites at higher temps.

Environmental Impact

Higher GWP blowing agents; may be less green.

Lower GWP blowing agents; more environmentally friendly.


Lower upfront cost.

Higher upfront cost.

Application Areas

Building insulation, cold room, industrial.

Building insulation, cold room, high-end projects.

Temperature Control

Suitable for maintaining lower temperatures.

Suitable for maintaining a wide range of temperatures.

Fire Safety

Less fire-resistant; not ideal for fire-prone areas.

Better fire resistance; suitable for fire-sensitive areas.


May not align with green building certifications.

Preferred for green building projects.

The main application areas of PU boards:

Building insulation: PU boards are often used as insulation materials for building exterior walls, roofs and floors. They provide effective thermal insulation, helping to improve a building's energy efficiency and maintain indoor temperatures in cold regions.

Refrigerated and frozen room: PU boards are widely used in cold room and freezer room. They are able to maintain extremely low temperatures and are suitable for storing perishable products such as frozen foods, meats, and seafood.

Industrial buildings: PU boards can be used for thermal insulation, sound insulation and wall covering of industrial buildings. They have a lower cost and are suitable for larger projects that require large areas to be covered.

Main application areas of PIR boards:

Advanced Building Insulation: PIR panels are often selected for use in building projects that require higher thermal insulation properties, such as high-end residential buildings, commercial buildings and medical facilities. Due to their excellent thermal insulation properties, they can help reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.

Refrigerated and frozen room: PIR panels are also suitable for cold room and freezer room, especially where higher insulation performance and tighter temperature control are required.

Fire Protection Application: Due to its excellent fire protection properties, PIR panels are widely used in construction projects that require a high degree of fire safety, such as public buildings, hotels, and medical facilities.

Sustainable Construction: PIR panels are very popular in sustainable construction projects because they generally have a lower global warming potential (GWP), helping to reduce a building’s carbon footprint.


In summary, the choice between PU panels and PIR panels depends on your specific project requirements and priorities. PIR panels excel in thermal insulation, fire resistance, and environmental sustainability but come at a higher cost. PU panels may be more budget-friendly but may not perform as well in these areas. Consider factors such as the application, budget, fire safety regulations, and environmental concerns when making your decision. Ultimately, both PU and PIR panels have their strengths and can be suitable choices depending on your needs.

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