From time to time certain building materials can fall into short supply. This can be for a number of reasons, such as the housing market is booming and factories just have not got the extra capacity to cope with the increase in production.
Alternatively it could be that the raw materials required to make these insulations are in short supply. Such as we have experienced over the last year with insulation blocks. This is where we have mild winters and people don’t use as much electricity to warm their homes. This in turn affects the coal fired power stations whose bi-product is one of the raw materials used to make insulation blocks.

At the time of writing we are experiencing a huge shortage in PIR insulation. Mainly due again to one of the raw chemicals used in the production of this type of material being in short supply.  In November 2016 a factory that supplied a chemical that is used in the manufacturing process of polyisocyanurate burnt down. This over 2017 has created an ever increasing shortage of PIR foam insulation boards.
This is an unprecedented shortage the like of which we have never seen before. It is one which has forced people to either plan far in advance for ordering materials.  Alternatively completely where possible change the insulation they are using.

Back to the question ‘ What do you do when you can’t buy PIR insulation? ‘

The answers are you can either put your project on hold alternatively change to an insulation that is available. One such type of product is multi-foil insulation. We supply a variety of multifoil insulation products from different manufacturers. For instance Actis with their range of Triso and Hybrid / Hybris insulation foil insulation. Also Superfoil insulations multifoil range is available within a few days of ordering.

Both of these insulation suppliers provide a wide range of multi foil insulation.  These can be used on their own and along side other types of insulation to replace PIR insulation. Actis have a great online calculator that shows what foil insulation of theirs are required to hit you target ‘u’ value.
Another range of products that can be used to replace PIR insulation can be mineral wool and glass wool insulation . These can be used where space is not limited to fit the materials in.  These types of insulation tend to be somewhere near half the insulation value of the equivalent thickness rigid insulation board. You do need to use a lot thicker insulation or further insulation in different parts of your construction.

From time to time some manufacturers cease making a PIR insulation product. Celotex insulation have done this with their FR5000 range in this instance there can be various workarounds to replace this product. These would be down to the architect to specify but can often be done with products such as Rockwool insulation . Alternatively a fire resistant cement fibre based board. Also the Celotex FI5000 insulation board which basically was a board with a damp proof membrane already attached which can easily be replaced with applying the membrane below and above a standard insulation board.