Insulated metal panels (IMPs) are a type of wall or roof panel constructed with an interior urethane foam sandwiched between two composite metal sheets. These panels come pre-assembled, bypassing several steps of an intensive construction process.
These panels are functional for various building types, from government buildings to industrial warehouses and commercial grow rooms; some people use them for their home residences, primarily because of their durability and efficient heat insulation properties.
How Do Insulated Metal Panels Work?
Because the outer sheets of EMPs are composite metal, they tend to expand and contract when subjected to varying degrees of thermal activity. However, the thicker internal foam layer promotes this behavior with minimal adverse effects, as any thermal bowing is not visible due to the clips that hold it in place.
Careful color selection, such as dark colors which absorb heat, helps reduce this phenomenon to reduce this occurrence and keep thermal bend within acceptable parameters.
Meanwhile, the foam interior absorbs heat that attempts to pass through in large part due to the nature of polyurethane. The small cells in the material trap air while also providing a barrier against moisture. This material has the added benefit of being fire-resistant with sound-dampening properties and can also keep out rodents and insects.
Other Benefits of Insulated Metal Panels
While the protection and insulation properties are excellent reasons so many use IMPs, they are far from the only benefits. Here are some additional perks that explain why IMPs are such a widely-respected wall and roofing solution:
With a minimal need for welding equipment, supplies, and extra labor fees, Insulated Metal Panels make for an easy installation project because the designers engineered a simple fastener system for that purpose. These are concealed fasteners for aesthetic purposes, but they have the advantage of converting what is often a multi-step process into a single act.
Plus, the panels are lightweight, making it easy to transport and move them into position with little difficulty. As a result, installing IMPs is much faster than most other types of wall or roof paneling.
People love saving money, and the practical installation itself reduces a lot of labor costs. With most types of paneling, workers must construct each panel on the field before installing them, but factories assemble IMPs completely intact, subverting this process entirely.
Furthermore, they are energy-efficient and highly durable, so they will save you additional money, in the long run, on monthly energy costs because they will not need replacing very often. These elements combined make IMPs a cost-effective solution across the board.
IMPs are excellent choices because they are entirely recyclable, earning credits in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) while meeting green energy requirements and building standards. Their all-in-one construction process also reduces costs in that sector, and the versatility of the panels means that you can use them as exterior and interior options.
When finding the right design to meet your tastes, insulated metal panels showcase versatility, as you can use them horizontally or vertically, depending on your desire. There are also design options that allow you to customize the appearance of your panels, ensuring that your walls or roofing is attractive and functional.
Companies can tailor-make your IMPs to your specifications, including determinations regarding the panel’s texture, color options, finishing, surface profiles, and other exterior features. Further considerations include the trim, thickness of the material, and any panel accessories, such as caulk, aluminum tee bars, or threaded rods.
Their strength, durability, and longevity make IMPs relatively easy to repair and maintain. From time to time (especially in industrial settings), the panels may suffer damage from equipment or other external sources. Repairs are often easy to manage, returning the impaired panel to an aesthetically pleasing and fully-functional condition.
These sturdy coverings are also low-maintenance, as they are easy to clean and can withstand harsh chemical cleaning to ensure sanitation and a pleasing appearance. As the manufacturers build them to withstand harsh elements, they tend to endure for decades, sometimes over 50 years. Imagine what savings on replacements can do for an operating budget!
Temperature regulation is a strong point for insulated metal panels, and they make ideal insulation for cold storage and refrigeration areas. When planning this type of usage, seeking a greater thickness of metal and insulation will save money in the long run, providing better efficiency and lower energy costs.
What Is the R-Value of Insulated Metal Panels
“R-Value” measures a material’s thermal resistance to heat flow. The higher this value, the better the product is at insulating a designated space; consequently, higher R-value insulation is generally more expensive. The recommended R-value for a home varies depending on location, as different regions experience greater or lesser temperatures. In other words, warmer climes need less dense insulation than colder ones.
The R-Value range for standard paneling is from approximately 5 to 8 per inch, although foam cores can span up to about R-64 depending on the inherent thickness of the insulating foam. On average, exterior walls for a home should have insulation values of between 12 and 24, but the thicker the material, the more efficient the panel’s insulation will be.
The Bottom Line
As a construction of two composite metal sheets abreast of urethane foam, insulated metal panels work by absorbing air particles within the foam’s small cells, which promotes efficient heat regulation. This foam also captures sound to reduce noise and serves as a fireproof barrier, keeping rodents and insects out.
Insulated metal panels are hard to beat when it comes to acquiring quality wall and roofing panels. Their durability, strength, and longevity form a weather-resistant and fireproof home or industry insulation solution. Factor in the easy and cost-effective manufacturing and installation, and these panels are sure to please.
Added benefits come from simple maintenance and cleaning requirements, customizable designs to add a personal touch, and sustainability to help the environment and earn LEED credits. With so many great features at an affordable price, IMPs are one of the most commonly used building materials for walls and roofing.