Spray Foam For Shipping Container Insulation

The Enverge range of spray foam solutions offer the perfect solution for those looking for shipping container insulation as a part of a storage, site welfare or modular buildings concept. Shipping containers are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their solid, durable structure and versatility across numerous use-cases.

Enverge Spray Foam Benefits For Shipping Container Insulation

Shipping Container Insulation Systems

We recommend Enverge Nexseal LE Closed Cell Insulation for use within shipping container structures. Enverge Nexseal LE has exceptional bond strength to steel substrates and the spray-applied nature of the closed cell spray foam helps to ensure that it follows the corrugated profile to provide a seamless, monolithic layer of thermal mass that prevents condensation and adds airtight, thermal performance. Whether you are using a shipping container for storage or converting it into a dwelling or welfare structure, Nexseal LE can be spray-applied to the required thickness to meet thermal targets. Unlike many other closed cell spray foam systems, Nexseal LE can be spray-applied in thicker layers which helps to speed up installation process for the installer and end user which makes it the perfect choice for shipping container insulation.

Fast Install





Strong Adhesion


Space Saver

Shipping Container Insulation Solutions

Enverge Nexseal LE Closed Cell Spray Foam is widely used for shipping container insulation thanks to its strong adhesion to metal surfaces and long-term durability. Unlike pre-manufactured insulation materials, Nexseal LE bonds to the substrate and follows the corrugated profile to provide a seamless, monolithic, and airtight barrier that solves condensation problems and provides the necessary thermal performance. From as little as 25mm in thickness to solve condensation problems up to 250mm for passive building standards, Nexseal LE is up to 10 times faster to install than pre-manufactured insulation which leads to less downtime during a conversion project. The result is a long-term, durable performance that will last for the life of the structure without any drop or decline in performance.


Check our Enverge BBA-Certified Spray Foams for Shipping Container Insulation

The Enverge range of spray foams include leading brands, Sucraseal Open Cell and Nexseal Closed Cell. Utilising recycled materials, manufactured sustainably with the environment in mind and containing HFO, water-based blowing agents, Enverge products offer thermal, airtightness and durability.

This low exothermic, high-lift closed cell foam boasts a fast installation time, offers incredible thermal performance and improves the structural integrity of a building. Loved by installers for its fast rise, Nexseal is ozone-friendly and holds BBA Certification.

One of the leading open cell foam systems now available in the UK. Sucraseal combines peace of mind British Class 1 fire safety with exceptional thermal performance and is fully certified by the BBA. Sucraseal is installed exclusively by ThermoFoam-approved contractors only.


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Why Can’t Sucraseal Open Cell Be Used?

Sucraseal Open Cell is not recommended for use as the primary adhesive layer to metal substrates due to the potential for their to be delamination and a cohesive failure. Whilst Sucraseal is a cheaper alternative to Nexseal LE, it doesn’t carry the same bond strength or structural integrity which means it may not last for the life of the structure. Additionally, as a low-density, sponge-like product, if the spray foam is to be left exposed, Sucraseal could become damaged with ease.

Does Spray Foam Insulation Require Covering Over?

If the shipping container is used for simple storage and is not classified as a habitable space, a simple anti-condensation treatment does not require covering over once in place. When used as a conversion project into a dwelling or modular structure, the insulation should be installed in accordance with its BBA Certification and will therefore require covering over with a suitable lining such as plasterboard. Whilst Nexseal LE achieves a Class 1 fire-rating, it is still classified as a “not non-combustible” product which is why, in some circumstances, it requires a thermal lining.

How Long Does An Install Take?

This depends on the thickness required, access into the container and the overall square meterage. For shipping containers that require a 25mm anti-condensation treatment, a standard 20ft size with insulation on ceiling and walls equates to around 65m2 and will be completed in just a few hours. For shipping container conversions that must comply with Building Regulations thermal targets, more than 100mm may be required and this will take around a day to complete per container.

Does Spray Foam Require A Vapour Control Layer?

Almost certainly, yes when converting a shipping container into a habitable space such as a home or office. Metal is a non-breathable, high resistance to moisture surface that will trap internal moisture from escaping. If the container walls and ceiling are studded out using timber and the structure is occupied, interstitial condensation will form from breathing, bathing, and cooking which could penetrate the insulation and cause structural decay. A hygrothermal calculation will be required to assess the condensatiopn risk on a case-by-case basis.

How Does Nexseal LE Prevent Condensation?

Enverge Nexseal LE adheres directly to the substrate and provides thermal mass that eliminates a cold thermal bridge. Steel is a conductor of heat which means in cold winter temperatures, the surface can become colder than the air temperature. If the internal temperature is higher than the substrate, condensation will naturally form. With Nexseal LE bonded to the substrate, the temperature differential is reduced and therefore, condensation will not accumulate. Unlike some other paint coatings used to treat anti-condensation in shipping containers, Nexseal LE outperforms for the life of the substrate/structure.

Can I Install Nexseal LE Myself?

The installation of spray foam insulation requires specialist plant and machinery operated by experienced, ThermoFoam-approved technicians. The spray foam installer is responsible for the manufacturing of the insulation and then the installation of it, therefore, its not a DIY system. For those undertaking large volumes of shipping container conversion, purchasing a spray foam rig could be a proactive way to save money on installation. ThermoFoam can provide advice and full training for those looking to acquire the equipment and self-apply.

Why Insulate A Shipping Container?

Over the last 15 years, the use cases for shipping containers have increased significantly – no longer are they simply used for transporting goods. Think about self-store facilities, plant rooms and even family homes! Shipping containers are a versatile option when you need to create fast space within a stable structure. When left uninsulated, the freezing cold metal surface will undoubtedly condensate during the winter whilst in summer months, the conduction of the metal will create an internal oven. In most use cases, shipping containers should be insulated to help eliminate the seasonal temperature extremes and provide an ambient and dry internal space.

Shipping Container Condensation

Condensation is a common problem in shipping containers during autumn and winter months. The smallest of temperature differential between the internal and external surface will cause the inside of the metal ceilings to condensate. It’s the resulting surface condensation that can drip onto belongings, plant, machinery and people which can make the sustainability of a shipping container, difficult.

The metal surface acts as a conductor of heat which means it will rapidly transmit the cold external temperature to the interior surface. If the internal air temperature within the container is higher than the surface temperature, this is when surface condensation will form. Opening the doors and allowing ventilation may solve the issue but as a long term solution, this is likely to be unviable.

How To Insulate A Shipping Container

The waves, corrugated surface of a shipping container will make it impossible to provide a seamless thermal layer to all surfaces. Pre-manufactured insulation requires fixing into place and this may require consideration of an internal stud frame or attaching fixings to the container surface itself. With the internal space of shipping containers quite limited, it’s important to choose an insulation material that achieves the best performance per inch. Even when pre-manufactured insulation materials like fibre-batts or PIR board are installed, there is no guarantee that surface condensation can be eliminated whilst the corrugated metal pockets remain behind the insulation.

Anti-Condensation Insulation

Closed cell insulation can be applied directly to the metal corrugated surface at around 10-20mm thick to eliminate surface condensation.

Container Conversion Insulation

When converting a shipping container into a dwelling or office, an internal stud wall can be built with insulation between before plaster boarding.

Shipping Container Insulation

Shipping containers can be insulated at any specified thickness required but spray foam is by far the most effective thermal performance per inch.

Why Choose Spray Foam Insulation?

ThermoFoam Nexseal is a closed cell insulation material that offers an exceptionally strong bond to the surface when applied to metal, timber and other substrates. The closed cell foam is spray-applied to the metal surface of shipping containers, following the corrugated undulations to provide seamless, monolithic and airtight insulation. It can be applied in as little as 10-15mm of thickness which would generally be enough to eliminate surface condensation. 50-100mm is needed when better thermal performance is required.

If converting into use as a dwelling, shipping containers still need to meet modern Building Regulations, therefore, the type and thickness of insulation chosen is vital. Spray foam insulation doesn’t require any provision for ventilation gaps and can be applied directly to the surface, therefore saving space. The thermal conductivity (lambda) value of closed cell spray foam insulation is also very low, making it one of the most effective insulation materials per inch. Throw in the speed of install, the lack of requirement for mechanical fixings and the durability of the foam, spray foam should be considered your number one choice for insulating a shipping container.

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