SANDWICH PANEL AND ENVIRONMENT

Environmental compliance of building components consisting of various materials is one of the most crucial topics that need attention. An overview of the physical characteristics of sandwich panels indicates that all components of sandwich panels including metal surfaces, organic finish, polyurethane (PUR) core filling materials etc. are safe components. Such components remain safe from the assembly of the materials to the building up to the entire use in the building after assembly. The safety of this cladding system which has been in use for over 50 years except for minor revisions is already evident from previous experience.

Including applications that require food safety, all materials used in sandwich panels easily meet the requirements for good hygiene practices. Polyurethane as the core filling material offers significant advantages with its biological properties such as being odorless in addition to being highly resistant to contaminants, mold, and decay. In addition, a high level of insulating capacity also makes it the ideal core filling material. The ecological effects of gases used to blow out polyurethane are one of the important issues required to be addressed. Based on various studies conducted, it was found that gases previously used within this scope had adverse effects in the ozone layer. With an aim to find a solution to this problem, environmentally conscious sandwich panel manufacturers have made great efforts and begun using environmentally friendly n-Pentane gas.

In a natural cycle, any form of energy consumption has a certain effect on the environment. Although the content of these effects is complex in nature, they are often related to emissions released into the atmosphere. The amount of energy used for heating purposes has a direct effect on ecological balance. For such reasons, high-capacity insulating materials used in buildings provide significant environmental advantages in addition to economic contribution. In conclusion, insulating materials used in buildings for a long period help protect energy resources as well as contributing to reduction of emissions in the atmosphere.

Sandwich panels are the most effective cladding system in terms of economic and ecological aspects thanks to its polyurethane core filling with high insulation capacity as well as its technology that does not create a thermal bridge. Although there is energy consumption during the production processes of sandwich panels, it is considered to have a minimum impact as compared to the energy efficiency provided during their use. The greatest advantage of sandwich panels within the energy cycle is their long service life. Their polyurethane filling material has commonly been used as an insulating material for about 50 years. Since the beginning of 1960s, polyurethane has proved to be the most effective insulating material used in cold room systems despite the significant differences between the interior and exterior temperatures.

Today, whether materials are recyclable is among the most crucial parameters in terms of environmental concerns. Thanks to its long service life, the unused portions of polyurethane materials used in buildings remain negligible as compared to the production volumes. Provided they are disassembled carefully without causing any damage, sandwich panels can be reused. In case the polyurethane material that has been used for many years is not suitable for reuse due to damage or being no longer required, then there are three different recycling methods are available. Since older versions of polyurethane materials still contain CFC gas which is harmful to the ozone layer, such materials and raw materials are not suitable for recycling, and therefore, only the energy recovery is considered. Polyurethane materials containing CFC gas and that have been used over the years may be used in new materials only under special conditions. Recycling of the metal surfaces of sandwich panels is often preferred in the metal industry.

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