PIR shortage and the alternatives at Elsons

If you’ve been hit by the shortage of PIR on the market, you might be wondering what the latest news is and what alternatives you could be using in the meantime.

Polyisocyanurate – PIR for short – was widely used as rigid thermal insulation for the construction industry across the UK. But now, due to a shortage in one of the key elements – methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) – people have been seeking alternatives.

Why is there a shortage of MDI?

It’s believed that the shortage in MDI for use in thermal insulation boards has been due to production issues in Germany where the chemical is predominantly made. An explosion at a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen in October last year is thought to be the cause, with the disaster claiming lives and shutting down the production of PIR boards for the European market.

This, coupled with other factories seeing manufacturing failings, has created a great deal of frustration for those in the construction industry wishing to place orders. The bottleneck seen in the market has now led many to seek alternatives to PIR when it comes to insulating buildings.

What alternatives are there to PIR?

At Elsons, we understand the demand for insulation boards is high – especially when it comes to house building and renovations of any kind. As a result of the shortage of PIR, we stock a new product called Hybris, which offers innovative reflection insulation for all applications with 3-in-1 honeycomb layering. Homes can also see an improvement in acoustic insulation with Hybris.

When it comes to their core function, Hybris gives the same high thermal performance as the standard PIR boards, and it is also rated A+ for internal air quality. This means that the material doesn’t generate dust or fibre in the air when being cut and prepared. Hybris is also easier to install, making insulating a room a quicker process all round and reducing on labour costs.

Will PIR come back on the market?

At this moment in time, it’s unclear when PIR will make a full return. It’s obviously an important material, but with an uncertain and fluctuating market surrounding it, we feel Hybris is a better alternative.

If you’d like to learn more about our insulation products and alternatives to PIR, simply contact us at Elsons. Our professional team have the knowledge to help you find the right product for your project in any quantity in St Albans and Hertfordshire.