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Insulation Materials Used in Cold Storage

walk-in panel construction

Cold storage, whether a walk-in for retail stores or a test chamber for scientific applications, require exact conditions to be maintained which starts with the insulation materials used in manufacturing the unit. There are several options explored here. KPS Global uses polyurethane foam in walk-in coolers and freezers as well as for scientific chambers due to its strong thermal performance. We also use expanded polystyrene for large cold storage applications as it is a cost-effective option and the additional depth is not typically an issue.


Polyurethane is a closed cell insulating material that has low thermal conductivity. It expands and hardens as it cools and is commonly applied by pouring it in place. To ensure that it is sprayed properly, this foam needs specialized equipment and proper technical training. It is typically used in walk-in freezers and walk-in coolers or specialized applications. For more information on my KPS Global chooses closed cell, poured-in-place polyurethane, read our in depth comparison of foam types


Polystyrene is cellular foam insulation. It has two classifications: Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) or Extruded Polystyrene Foam (XPS). 

EPS is a lightweight option that also has thermal properties. It is less expensive than polyurethane but typically requires two times the width to achieve the same thermal R-Values as polyurethane. KPS Global uses this type of foam in our Continuous Line Panels.

XPS is closed-cell insulation made into various shapes then shaped as rectangular billets. It is commonly used in the industry but is inferior in it’s ability to retain thermal performance over long periods of time.


There are lots of options available and each have their own pros and cons. For more information on foam insulation materials and their R-Values, check out these Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions, please reach out to discuss with one of our experiences sales representatives or in-house engineers. We are happy to talk through the options and help you determine what is right for your project.

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