Disrupting the status quo in a sector that has seen little to no innovation over the past 30 years, KPS Global® introduced FUSIONFRAME® to the industry earlier this year! Insulated panels for walk-in coolers and freezers typically require framing, and historically, those frames have been made of wood. Wood has been a popular material due to cost and the structural support they provide. However, the R-value of wood is lower than that of foam, meaning it has low resistance to conductive heat transfer. With FUSIONFRAME, KPSG delivers a patented frame system that features both the structural properties of wood-framed panels and the higher R-value of foam-framed panels. Recognized by the industry for its performance, FUSIONFRAME took home two RAC awards this year!

What R-Value is and Why It’s So Important in Walk-in Coolers and Freezers

In general terms, R-value is a measure of how well a barrier resists the conductive flow of heat from the warmer to the colder surface under steady-state conditions. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance to heat transfer. When building freezers or walk-in coolers, it’s desirable to avoid materials that create opportunities for heat transfer, such as ordinary wood framing. FUSIONFRAME, from KPSG, has 4 times the thermal performance of wood. In addition, KPSG uses closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation in their panels, not extruded polystyrene, or XPS, as some other manufacturers do. That’s because XPS only has an R-5 insulating value per inch of thickness, whereas polyurethane insulation offers up to R-8.06 per inch thickness—the highest R-Value of any insulation used in the industry!

FUSIONFRAME® Provides a Thermally Efficient Alternative to Wood Frames

FUSIONFRAME is a high-performing polyurethane insulating tongue-and-groove component with a structural element embedded in it. This results in a framing system that increases walk-in unit R-values to a level that significantly reduces the rate of heat/humidity flow and condensation formation, while limiting issues affecting life-cycle performance that can plague traditional wood-framed systems. The key to the improved performance of this new panel-frame system is a method of construction that injects a closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation jacket around the structural member. The polyurethane is injected with a blowing agent that can form a rigid plastic, but only 3% of the material in the foam insulation is a solid. The other 97% consists of millions of minuscule air bubbles that have a blowing-agent gas inside them. These air bubbles are better able to resist the flow of heat compared to wood.

FUSIONFRAME® Offers a Number of Benefits

A traditional wood-frame system only offers an R-value of 6.25 in testing. However, KPSG’s recently introduced FUSIONFRAME system provides an R-value of 29.30—more than four times higher—without sacrificing structural integrity. In addition, the new rails use a tongue-and-groove connection, fitting together more snugly at the joints than wood, thereby creating a seal that limits moisture vapor from entering the panel joint. Further, FUSIONFRAME’s innovative design also extends walk-in cooler and freezer lifecycles by eliminating condensation development and panel joint icing. And in tests, when compared to a 5-inch wood frame panel, a 5-inch FUSIONFRAME insulated panel reduced heat gain through the freezer envelope by 50% while performing comparably in span tests. Enhancing energy efficiency for our eco-conscious customers, the FUSIONFRAME system is an environmentally friendly solution, offering a significantly reduced carbon footprint when compared to its wood counterpart.

In short, FUSIONFRAME combines the structural benefits of wood framing with the insulative properties of foam, delivering the best of both worlds for grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, big-box retailers, warehousing, and cold storage operations. KPS Global’s patented FUSIONFRAME system is available from five strategically located facilities across the United States, and each order is custom-built to project-specific specifications. To find out more about FUSIONFRAME, visit https://kpsglobal.com/fusionframe/

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