Both polystyrene and mineral wool feature very good thermal insulation properties. Thermal conductivity coefficient (λ) for polystyrene and mineral wool are similar. A decision, which material to pick during the building insulation, must be based on other features and parameters of these materials.
The both groups of thermal insulation systems hold specific features, which characterize them and determine optimal conditions of their use. The core feature, i.e. thermal thermal insulation, in the both groups is very high.
Therefore, a decision which of these materials should be used primarily depends on their thermal insulation properties. Selection of FOVEO TECH S systems based on polystyrene is far more beneficial due to economic and application reasons. Polystyrene is a lot easier material as far as installation and handling are concerned. It is neutral to skin and mucous membranes, does not contribute to any irritations. Due to its low weight, nearly ten times lower than mineral wool, it is much more convenient for transport and storage.
The cost of polystyrene and additional accessories necessary to perform the system (adhesive, anchors) will be lower than mineral wool. In addition, there is no fear that the building construction, which is insulated, will be overloaded.
On the other hand, FOVEO TECH W systems basedn on mineral wool is ideal for buildings particularly exposed to fire, or high temperatures. Due to high acoustic insulation, mineral wool is perfect for areas where high volumes of noise occur. Mineral wool sheets (with regular fibre system), demonstrate high elasticity, are easily installed on irregularly-shaped buildings.
Use of thermal insulation materials for construction purposes of high buildings is governed by applicable laws.
Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 April 2002 on the technical conditions to be fulfilled by the aforementioned buildings and their location, § 216 p. 6 defines: "In a building above 25 m above the ground level, facade cladding and mechanical anchors, and insulation of the exterior wall, shall be made of non-combustible materials." At the same time, p. 7 of the Regulation allows for derogation from this rule: "It is permissible to insulate the exterior wall of a residential building erected before 1 April 1995, up to 11 storeys, using self-extinguishing expanded polystyrene in a manner preventing fire from spreading."
For newly erected buildings up to 25 m, both types of thermal insulation materials, i.e. wool and polystyrene, can be used. The both technologies can be combined above this height - polystyrene can be used up to 25 m, and above this figure mineral wool must be used due to its non-combustible properties.
Polystyrene is a construction material that has no negative impact on health, does not emit any radiation and does not affect the environment adversely. It is a durable material. Not subject to UV radiation, fully retains its very good physical and technical properties. Styrofoam is a safe material and very easy to handle, dust free and does not cause allergies during application. It is also a size-stable material that does not deform. This is an important feature in terms of eliminating the risk of thermal bridges in the building's thermal insulation. Another very important advantage of polystyrene is that it is not absorbent and effectively prevents moisture. Moreover, its weight is very low - 1 m3 of polystyrene weighs only about 17 kg. What is very important, the insulation cost with taking advantage of polystyrene is lower than for mineral wool.
Polystyrene has slightly lower resistance to high temperatures than mineral wool. Does not spread fire but temperature over +80°C destroys it. I is not resistant to organic solvents such as benzene, toluene, acetone and the like, therefore it is necessary to check the chemical composition of the materials that are used together with it.
Mineral wool is a material made from natural rock. One of its most important features is almost full incombustibility. Mineral wool fibres begin to melt only after two hours of temperature impact equal to or higher than + 1000 ° C, which makes it work as a fire barrier during that time. In addition, no smoke is emitted when mineral wool is exposed to high temperatures.
Mineral wool, thanks to high internal sound absorption, ensures a very good acoustic protection. The positive features characteristic for mineral wool include also resistance to most chemicals substances.
Mineral wool features also high water vapour permeability, which allows to get rid of moisture immediately. The disadvantage of mineral wool, however, is a phenomenon of condensation, which can significantly reduce its thermal insulation properties.
Mineral wool is much heavier than polystyrene, 1 m3 exceeds 145 kg. This is important when calculating transport and storage costs. Mineral wool is also relatively weak and difficult to handle.