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The Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) is calling for the use of Polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation boards on internally located ductwork systems to be banned.

PIR, a rigid foam insulation with excellent thermal performance properties, is commonly used on external ductwork. Its properties mean it can provide a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing finish when used with external weatherproofing/cladding products.

But, as TICA points outs, PIR is also combustible, and the only PIR product CE Marked for ductwork applications is CE Marked for external ductwork only. Alternatives with an improved reaction to fire, such as phenolic duct insulation, are more expensive and, TICA suspects that some contractors are using PIR insulation to reduce costs.

Chris Ridge, TICA’s technical policy manager, said: “Are contractors who continue to use PIR boards on internal duct systems wilfully turning a blind eye or are they ignorant of the facts concerning the products they are installing? Either way, the use of PIR board on internal ductwork systems needs to end.”

He added: “TICA continues to champion best practice in the thermal insulation industry. With the Construction Product Competence White Paper now published, it’s time for the construction industry to take responsibility for products that are being used in the built environment.

“The responsibility for ensuring compliance cannot begin and end with the specialist contractor and those awarding such contracts need to play their part. In the case of thermal insulation, mechanical and electrical contractors should be checking the credentials of the insulation product applied and asking more questions of their insulation contractors.”

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