Polyiso and Mineral Wool Wall Continuous Insulation (CI): Comparing Water Absorption and Drying Using ASTM C209

A new scientific research study, conducted by M. Steven Doggett, PH.D., a principal scientist of Built Environments, Inc., reveals polyiso wall insulation performs better than mineral wool wall CI using the same test methods. The study compared two common wall insulation products – polyiso and mineral wool wall CI and how each performed when subjected to wetting.

The testing proves that when polyiso is compared to mineral wool wall CI using the same methods (ASTM C209), mineral wool wall CI absorbed 8 to 38 times more water than foil-faced polyiso and took an additional two to six days longer to dry than polyiso. These head to head results provide a better understanding of how these two continuous insulations handle bulk water, and should be taken into consideration when managing water and moisture in the building envelope.

The behaviors of mineral wool wall CI and polyiso were assessed by standard two-hour water immersion. A lack of sorption consistency within mineral wool wall CI products creates a wider variation in drying times, which is why tests show a range of three to seven days to achieve the same endpoint of .05% water content.

For a deep dive on the testing and findings, click here.