Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) Compared to Other Insulations – Part 1. Loose-Fill Insulation

Comparing structural insulated panel (SIP) to other forms of insulation, can be a long and tedious process, so we thought we would do the work for you.  Our previous post broke insulation down into 6 categories.  To get a better picture of how different insulations compare, the next 6 posts will take these categories and further break them down identifying some of the more common insulation products, compare insulation R-value per inch, and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Take a look at the table below and compare the superior qualities of RAY-CORE’s structural insulated panel (SIPs) to see why you must consider RAY-CORE when building your next home.  To learn more, visit our website and see why structural insulated panel construction with RAY-CORE is the smart choice.  Just click the green button on the right of your screen now or call 877.552.2440 to speak with a knowledgeable RAY-CORE representative.

1. LOOSE-FILL INSULATION
TYPER-VALUEMADE FROM &
CHARACTERISTICS
ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES
Fiberglass Loose-Fill2.2 - 2.7 per inchSpun molten glass
fibers

Soft, wool-like material,
Usually pink, yellow or white
* Inexpensive
* Good coverage - fills
hollow cavities, voids,
around framing and
mechanicals
* Works well in attics
* Non-flamable, but will
melt
* DIY Friendly? (If you
don't mind the itch) -
requires blowing
machine
* R-value reduced
by compression, air
currents and
subsequent dust
and dirt
accumulation
* Tends to settle
reducing R-value
* If wet, must be
replaced
* Irritating to work
with - wear eye
protection and air
infitration mask
Cellulose Loose-Fill3.2 - 3.8 per inchGround recycled paper
products

Fire-retardant added to
reduce flammability
* Good coverage
* Works well in attics
* Less air movement
and reduction in
R-value than fiberglass
* Sound absorbing
* Higher recycled
content
*No itch associated
with fiberglass
*DIY friendly- requires blowing machine
* Allows for air and
moisture movement
without continuous,
near perfect air and
vapor barrier
*Tends to settle
reducing R-value
and leaving
uninsulated areas
at top of walls
* Loss of fire-retardant
performance with time
* Can draw moisture
and promote mold
* If wet, must be
replaced
Cellulose Damp Spray3.5 - 3.8 per inchGround recycled paper
products, similar to
loose-fill cellulose,
applied with small
quantity of water to
help it bind to wall
cavities to reduce
settling
* Good coverage
* Less settling than
loose-fill cellulose
* Non-flammable (with
added fire retardant)
* Many of same
issues as loose-fill
cellulose (see
above)
* Must allow
insualtion to dry
prior to covering
* Special installation
equipment required -
not DIY friendly
Rockwool Loose-fill

(Also known as mineral wool)
3.0 - 3.3 per inchSpun molten rock or
iron ore blast furnace
slag - made into long
fibers in a similar
process as fiberglass

(One time the most
common type of
insulation - replaced
by fiberglass)
* Similar advantages
as loose-fill fiberglass
(see above)
* Non-flamable - won't
melt or burn
* Produced from post
industrial recycled
waste products
* Tends to settle
* Very dense and
heavy
* Must be installed
with a blowing
machine - Not as
DIY friendly
* Wear eye protection
and air filtration mask
RAY-CORE STRUCTURAL INSULATED PANEL (SIP)
TYPER-VALUEMADE FROM &
CHARACTERISTICS
ADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES
Polyurethane Foam7 - 8 per inchDow 2-part chemical
(byproduct of
petroleum) mixed and
injected with blowing
agent to form small
air pockets and
molded to form
insulation panel

Closed Cell Foam
* Highest R-value
* Dense - resists
compression, impact or
deformation
* Superior strength
* Provides excellent air
barrier
* Good acoustical
qualities
* Low permeability
* No moisture retention,
causing rot or mold
* Can withstand flooding
* Class-1 fire rated
* More expensive
than fiberglass or
polystyrene but
good investment
with a lifetime of
energy savings
(more R-value
per dollar spent)
* Can somewhat
degrade if long-term
exposure to sunlight
(Construction
practices do not lend
to this being a
problem)

Insulated Panels by RAY-CORE vs Loose-fill Insulation

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