What Are Cold Room Panels and Their Suppliers?

PIR panel installation

Introduction to Cold Room Panels

In the world of commercial refrigeration and temperature-sensitive storage, cold room panels play a pivotal role. Essential for creating controlled environments, these panels are the backbone of walk-in coolers, freezers, and various temperature-controlled storage facilities. But what exactly are cold storage panels, and why are they so crucial?

At their core, cold room panels are prefabricated panels used to construct the walls, floors, and ceilings of cold rooms. These panels are designed to provide excellent insulation, ensuring that the internal environment of the cold room maintains consistent temperature levels. This insulation is not only crucial for preserving the quality of stored goods, be it food, pharmaceuticals, or other temperature-sensitive products, but also for energy efficiency. By maintaining a stable internal temperature, cold room panels reduce the energy required for cooling, which in turn lowers operational costs.

The technology behind these panels has evolved significantly over the years. Modern cold storage panels are typically made from materials like polyurethane or polystyrene foam, sandwiched between two layers of structural material such as steel or aluminum. This construction not only provides robust insulation but also adds structural integrity to the room. Furthermore, these panels are often equipped with features like tongue-and-groove joints, which ensure a tight seal and further enhance their insulating properties.

Key Features of Top-Quality Cold Room Panels

six key feature of cold room panels

Insulation Quality: The primary purpose of cold room panels is to maintain a consistent internal temperature. High-quality panels typically use polyurethane or polystyrene foam, known for their excellent insulation properties. The thickness of the insulation also plays a crucial role, with thicker panels providing better temperature control.

Material Durability: The outer materials of cold storage panels need to withstand various environmental conditions, including moisture, temperature fluctuations, and physical impacts. Panels often use steel or aluminum surfaces for their durability and ease of cleaning. Some panels come with specialized coatings for additional protection against corrosion or wear.

Energy Efficiency: Efficient insulation directly impacts energy consumption. Good quality panels help maintain the desired temperature with minimal energy usage, leading to lower utility bills and a reduced environmental footprint.

Panel Joining System: The way panels are joined together affects the overall integrity and insulation of the cold room. Advanced joining systems like tongue-and-groove joints provide a tight seal, preventing air leaks and enhancing insulation efficiency.

Fire Resistance: Safety is paramount, and choosing panels with fire-resistant properties is critical. Look for panels with materials that can withstand high temperatures and comply with fire safety regulations.

Ease of Installation and Flexibility: Consider panels that are easy to install and can be easily modified or expanded. Modular designs offer flexibility for future expansions or reconfigurations of the cold room.

Hygienic Properties: Especially important in food storage or pharmaceutical applications, the panels should be designed for easy cleaning and should resist mold and bacteria growth.

Comparing Different Types of Cold Room Panels

smooth sandwich panels
ribbed sandwich panels
  • Polyurethane (PU) Foam Panels: Polyurethane foam panels are widely recognized for their excellent insulation properties, making them a popular choice in a range of cold storage applications. These panels are composed of a rigid polyurethane foam core, known for its high thermal resistance, sandwiched between two metal sheets. This structure not only provides superior insulation but also adds to the panel’s strength and durability. PU panels are versatile, suitable for maintaining a wide range of temperatures, which makes them ideal for everything from food storage to pharmaceuticals. Their ability to prevent heat transfer ensures energy efficiency, leading to reduced operational costs over time.
  • Polyisocyanurate (PIR) Foam Panels: PIR foam panels are often considered a step up from PU panels, mainly due to their enhanced fire-resistant properties. They consist of a polyisocyanurate foam core, which offers a higher degree of thermal resistance compared to polyurethane. This makes PIR panels particularly suitable for environments where fire safety is a significant concern. Additionally, PIR panels maintain their structural integrity and insulation properties even at higher temperatures. Their lightweight nature, combined with their robust fire resistance and excellent insulative qualities, makes them an optimal choice for a variety of cold storage applications, especially where safety regulations are stringent.
  • Fiberglass Insulated Panels: These panels offer superior moisture resistance and are ideal in humid or wet environments. Fiberglass panels are also resistant to mold and mildew, making them a good choice for certain food-related applications.
  • Metal Sandwich Panels: These panels feature a metal exterior (often steel or aluminum) and an insulating core material. They are known for their durability and structural strength, suitable for large cold storage facilities.
  • Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Panels: EPS panels are lightweight and have good thermal insulation properties. They are cost-effective and commonly used in applications where extreme temperature control is less critical.

Top Suppliers of Cold Room Panels

  • Cryo Systems: CRYO offers two types of cold room storage sandwich panels: PU panels and PIR panels. They have two imported production lines dedicated to manufacturing cold storage panels with thicknesses of 50, 75, 100, 120, 150 and 200mm. And, they offer a variety of surface steels. CRYO has over 40 years of experience making their panels and refrigeration equipment factory your first choice for all your refrigeration needs.
cold room pu panels
cold room PIR panels
  • Kingspan: kingspan’s QuadCore cold storage panels are designed for applications such as food manufacturing and temperature-controlled storage in the food and beverage industry. Panels are also available for use in standard building environment conditions.
  • Atlas Cold Storage: Atlascool produces all range of PIR, PUR and PU sandwich panels with advanced automatic production line. Double surface materials are available with colored steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel, embossed aluminum etc.
  • Cold Storage Manufacturing, Inc.: Cold Storage Manufacturing is a full-service general contractor. They make sure that everything is up to code by staying up-to-date on USDA, NSF and UL regulations and standards.
  • BRUCHA: BRUCHA Insulated Metal Panels (IMP) are lightweight composite metal skins with an insulating foam core. Composite “sandwich” panels consisting of a rigid steel skin with an insulating core of foam or fire-resistant mineral wool. They are ideal for many wall, facade and roof applications

Buying Tips: What to Look for in Cold Room Panels

  • Check Insulation Properties: The insulation quality of the panel is paramount. Look for panels with high R-values, indicating better insulation performance. Materials like polyurethane (PU) and polyisocyanurate (PIR) are known for their superior insulating properties.
  • Evaluate Panel Material and Thickness: The material and thickness of the panels affect their durability and insulation. Thicker panels generally offer better insulation but may be more expensive. Balance your budget with the performance requirements.
  • Consider Fire Safety: Safety should never be compromised. Opt for panels that are fire-rated and comply with your local fire safety regulations. Materials like PIR offer enhanced fire resistance.
  • Examine the Joining System: A good joining system ensures airtight sealing and contributes to the overall thermal efficiency of the cold room. Systems like tongue-and-groove joints are effective in minimizing thermal bridging and air leaks.
  • Review Supplier Reputation and Warranty: Research the reputation of the suppliers. Look for reviews, case studies, or testimonials. A good supplier should offer warranties and after-sales support, indicating confidence in their product’s quality.
  • Assess Maintenance and Longevity: Consider the ease of maintenance and the expected lifespan of the panels. Panels that are easy to clean and maintain, and have a longer lifespan may offer better value in the long run.
  • Budget Considerations: While cost is an important factor, it should not be the only consideration. Investing in higher-quality panels can lead to long-term savings in energy costs and maintenance.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can navigate the complex market of cold room panels more effectively and choose a product that not only meets your immediate needs but also serves you well into the future.

Conclusion: Making an Informed Purchase Decision

The decision to invest in cold room panels is significant and impacts not just the immediate operational efficiency but also long-term sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

Remember, the right cold storage panel can enhance the operational efficiency of your refrigeration system, ensure the safety and longevity of stored products, and ultimately contribute to the success of your business. Therefore, taking the time to research, compare, and consult with experts is well worth the effort.

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