Shipping containers are used for a variety of purposes, including storage, offices, and even homes. However, due to their metal construction, they can be difficult to insulate properly. The best insulation for shipping containers depends on a variety of factors, including the intended use of the container, the climate in which it will be located, and the budget available. Here are some of the most common insulation options for shipping containers:
- Spray Foam Insulation: Spray foam insulation is a popular option for insulating shipping containers due to its ability to expand and fill gaps, creating an airtight seal. We usually recommend our Nexseal LE Closed Cell Spray Foam for shipping containers due to its thermal performance per inch, durability and ability to repel moisture. However, spray foam insulation can be more expensive than other options and may require professional installation.
- Fibreglass Insulation: Fibreglass insulation is a common option for insulating shipping containers due to its affordability and ease of installation. Fibreglass insulation is made of small glass fibres that are woven together to create an insulating material. However, fibreglass insulation is not as effective at creating an airtight seal as spray foam insulation and can be prone to mould growth in humid or wet climates.
- PIR Board Insulation: PIR board insulation is a common insulation material that is made from Polyurethane. With a similar chemical formulation to spray foam insulation, the installation of PIR board requires cutting and fixing the sheets into place. Unlike spray foam insulation, PIR board does not follow the corrugated profile of the walls and ceiling. This can leave an air gap behind the insulation and in some circumstances, condensation may form.
- Reflective Insulation: Reflective insulation is a type of insulation that uses foil-based materials to reflect heat away from a building. This type of insulation is often used in hot climates to help keep buildings cool. Reflective insulation is relatively easy to install and can be effective in reducing heat gain in a shipping container. However, it is not as effective at creating an airtight seal as spray foam insulation and may not be as effective in colder climates.
In conclusion, the best insulation for shipping containers depends on a variety of factors, including the intended use of the container, the climate in which it will be located, and the budget available. Spray foam insulation is often considered the most effective insulation option for shipping containers due to being spray-applied, following the profile of the wall and ceiling corrugation to provide an airtight thermal seal. We are seeing the demand for spray foam insulation in shipping containers increase rapidly as customers look to convert these structures into useable spaces.
It is important to consider spray foam insulation as the primary choice for insulating a shipping container and we would recommend speaking with one of our specialists to establish the correct specification for your project. Whilst some spray foam companies may promote the use of Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation, we do not recommend this for Shipping Containers due to its reduced thermal performance and sponge-like texture. Our Nexseal LE Closed Cell Spray Foam is a safe, high-performance and long term solution for insulating shipping containers.