Multifoil insulation when there’s no PIR
Although seen as new space age insulation materials multifoils have been around for many years. But although as good as some of them are they have never seemed to take hold of the insulation market. So what does it take to boost the sales of multi foil insulation and get it more widely specified. Well the answer at the moment seems to be have a nationwide shortage of the most popular type of insulation used in lofts which is PIR rigid insulation board.
Currently we are experiencing a shortage of PIR insulation boards the like of which we have never experienced before. Certainly not in the 34 years I have been in the industry anyway. Shortages apparently are due to a factory in Germany burning down in November 2016 which provided a raw chemical that is used to make the foam. After which we did experience some small issues with a few products being unavailable for a week or so.
At that time we were being told by most of the manufacturers that all issues should be resolved with 4-6 weeks. But as time went on it was apparent that things were going to take a little longer than expected. A number of reasons started to come to light that answered why things were not getting better. One was that no-one realized that almost all the manufacturers sourced this chemical from the doomed factory. Another reason was that suddenly the house builders started to boom and build a lot more houses. Along with an unforeseen problem that car manufacturers also use this product. Its used in the dashboards and bumpers and the car market was also booming.
And we still rumble on with no PIR insulation…
So he we are one year later and four huge price increases. Most suppliers are quoting anything from one to six weeks for some products. With no-one able to say when things are going to get better. So we go back to the question at the start of this topic “what does it take to boost the sales of Multifoil Insulation ?” well i believe this to be the Multifoil manufacturers dream. Many architects are now aware of the PIR issues and are specifying various types of foil insulation materials instead of PIR insulation boards.
With the availability of many these straight off the shelf and foil insulation companies investing heavily in bringing new products to the market, this certainly is boosting multi foil insulation sales. Another aid for the foil insulation sales are all the price increases the PIR companies have inflicted on their customers. Multi foil is now more often than not going to be cheaper. We will I suppose have to wait and see long term what damage this has done to the PIR market. But when many architects have spent the last 10 months changing specifications and making new ones. I imagine it certainly won’t be a positive for PIR.
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