I was recently asked by a customer if they could use Kingspan Insulated Metal Panels as a cooler floor as an alternative to an insulated poured concrete floor. Albeit, I would like to sell IMP's on anything, one should always look at the standard care and merchantability of their products and sell responsibly within the parameters of their designed use.
In this case the room was to be maintained at -20°C, with a dew point at ≤-40°C and filled with a number of our large -80°C chest freezers, as well numerous automation systems and the floor to handle a static load of ~110 lb/ft2 over the entire area, and static load rating of ~180 lb/ft2.
There are a couple of issues here at work that that are my biggest concern. Firstly, the suitability for long term option for the freezer floor with such high load bearing capacity. The load and compressive nature of the panel foam core are designed for structural performance under thermal and wind and should not be used for static loading of this nature. Secondly, the requirement was for an under-floor heating system under the insulation. I would suggest a typical freezer load bearing floor consisting of heating system, vapor barrier, high compressive strength insulation and concrete on top. Insulated wall panels would be installed set into the floor flush with u/s of floor insulation. This solution would prevent frost from reaching adjacent floors around the freezer and freezing of the soil under the freezer.
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Steve Mauro joined Kingspan in 2009 and serves as Director of Sales for the US Cold Storage Division. Steve has a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University, has 20 years design and construction experience, the last 15 specific to building envelope products and assemblies. Steve is a member of CSI and holds a CDT certification is active Board Member of IACSC and an active member of the Global Cold Chain Alliance.