URECON U.I.P.® processed pipe is factory pre-insulated with rigid, foamed in place polyurethane insulation. Rigid polyurethane foams were first developed in Germany by Otto Bayer during the late thirties and were used commercially in wartime Germany to strengthen the wings of aircraft. It took until the late fifties before they gained any kind of commercial acceptance in North America. Since those early days, the use of these versatile materials has grown into a vigorous and thriving industry, touching many aspects of our everyday life.

Urecon U.I.P.® void free insulation prior to the application of the outer jacket showing the cut-back on the spigot end of the pipe.

Urecon U.I.P.® void free insulation prior to the application of the outer jacket showing the cut-back on the spigot end of the pipe.

Urecon U.I.P.® polyurethane foam is a thermosetting cellular plastic, consisting of a solid mass of small closed cells with a density of 35 to 48 kg/m³ (2.2 to 3 lbs/ft³). At this density range it is an excellent thermal insulator. It is formed as the reaction product of a polyol and isocyanate in the presence of catalysts, surfactant, blowing agent and other additives necessary to complete the foaming process. For U.I.P.® foam, the reaction mixture expands to about thirty times the original liquid volume and the foam reaction proceeds relatively quickly to form the crosslinked polymeric structure. While this reaction is taking place, heat is generated which vaporizes the blowing agent, which is then trapped in the form of closed cell bubbles in the expanding foam mass.

Rigid polyurethane foam is one of the most effective practical thermal insulation materials known, whether used in buildings, domestic refrigerators or on pre-insulated pipes. The combination of small unconnected closed cells, each containing a low conductivity gas, reduces the flow of heat. Compared with most other insulations, rigid polyurethane's performance throughout the life of a pre-insulated piping system provides long term economy, in both cost savings and energy conservation.

K Values of Some Common Pipe Insulation Materials

Insulation Material K Value (Metric) K Value (English)
Polyurethane Foam 0.020 - 0.026 W/m°C 0.14 to 0.17 Btu • in/ft2 • hr •°F
Polyisocyanurate Foam 0.020 - 0.027 0.14 - 0.19
Polystyrene Foam 0.0276 0.20
Fiberglas 0.033 - 0.039 0.23 - 0.25
Cellular Glass 0.038 - 0.040 0.31 - 0.33
Calcium Silicate 0.059 - 0.068 0.41 - 0.47

At the U.I.P.® density range, the solid polymer phase occupies less than 5% of the foam volume and is distributed in the form of very small unconnected cells. These closed unconnected cells result in the polyurethane foam being water resistant, the opposite of open cell flexible foam (the sponge) which absorbs water. Rigid polyurethane foams have very low moisture absorption characteristics, thereby reducing the risk of moisture pick up. Because of its waterproof nature, low density rigid polyurethane foam is widely used in buoyancy applications. The exposed insulation faces (ends) on each pipe may be coated with a waterproofing mastic to further reduce the risk of moisture pick up.

Urecon U.I.P.® polyurethane foam is light-weight and robust. It is resistant to attack by fuel oils, most solvents and other chemicals (a chemical resistance chart is available on request). If Urecon pre-insulated pipe is being considered for a chemically sensitive application, care must be taken to be sure that a suitable outer jacket is specified.


SUPERIOR INSULATING EFFICIENCY: for a given thickness, rigid polyurethane foam resists the transfer of heat better than any other material used in the construction industry today. Because of the excellent K value of polyurethane insulation, only a minimum wattage per foot of heat input is required to keep pipes from freezing, even those installed in the Arctic, above ground, at no flow conditions.

HIGH STRENGTH TO WEIGHT RATIO: rigid polyurethane is light in weight, yet provides surprising structural strength when cured.

VOID FREE INSULATION: in the URECON U.I.P.® process, the rigid polyurethane foam mixture expands to completely insulate the core pipe, without voids. All pipes are inspected for foam quality and pipe concentricity prior to application of the outer jacket. The result of this unique, patented process is a continuous, homogeneous layer of rigid polyurethane foam insulation, bonded directly to the entire pipe surface.

DURABLE: resistant to most oils, chemicals and solvents. Resists mildew and fungus and provides no food value for rodents.

TEMPERATURE RANGE: can be used from -45°C to +150°C (-49°F to +300°F)

WATER AND MOISTURE RESISTANT: closed cell structure resists water absorption and moisture pick up.

ODORLESS: generally does not emit nor absorb odor.

DIMENSIONALLY STABLE: exhibits excellent dimensional stability over a wide range of temperature and humidity, and does not shrink, settle or compact.

EXCELLENT ADHESION: the foam reaction mixture will adhere strongly to the core pipe and outer jacket. This results in a strong composite pre-insulated pipe.

FLEXIBILITY: Urecon's unique U.I.P.® insulation process can be applied to any type of core pipe product on the market today.

INSULATED BELLS: all push joint pipe have U.I.P.® insulated bells, eliminating the need for field installed insulation joint kits.


COMBUSTIBILITY: typical of polymeric materials, when ignited, they may emit high, toxic smoke levels (most pre-insulated pipe systems are buried).

ULTRA VIOLET DEGRADATION: rigid polyurethane will degrade if exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time (all U.I.P.® polyurethane is protected by a UV resistant outer jacket).

TEMPERATURE LIMITATION: Urecon's standard polyurethane may not be used for service above 85°C (185°F). Please contact your representative for options above this limit.

Weight of UIP polyurethane insulation

Nominal Pipe Size Thickness of U.I.P.® Insulation
50 mm 2 in 62.5 mm 2.5 in 75 mm 3 in
mm in Kg/m lbs/ft Kg/m lbs/ft Kg/m lbs/ft
50 2 1.51 1.01 1.95 1.31 2.41 1.62
62,5 3 1.82 1.22 2.32 1.56 2.85 1.92
100 4 2.22 1.49 2.76 1.85 3.35 2.25
150 6 2.85 1.92 3.47 2.33 4.21 2.83
200 8 3.46 2.33 4.22 2.84 5.04 3.39
250 10 4.06 2.73 4.92 3.31 5.88 3.95
300 12 4.68 3.14 5.68 3.82 6.66 4.48
350 14 5.35 3.60 6.38 4.29 7.52 5.05
400 16 5.99 4.03 7.18 4.82 8.38 5.63
450 18 6.59 4.43 7.86 5.28 9.20 6.18
500 20 7.20 4.85 8.61 5.79 10.05 6.75

NOTE: Weight table based on standard 1.27 mm (50 mil) thick polyethylene jacket.