Polyurethane foam (PUF), a representative insulation material, not only prevents heat conduction but can also support a load. Particular interest in rigid PUF proliferated over the past several years in fields where extreme environments are applied. A closed-cell structure which forms the interior of rigid PUF serves to maximize the utilization of these polymeric foams. Rigid PUF is more sensitive to external conditions such as temperature or restraint than other structural materials such as steel. Depending on the market trends in which utilization of a cryogenic environment is expanding, the tendency of material behavior resulting from the binding effect also needs to be investigated. However, most conventional compression test method standards applicable to rigid PUF do not adequately reflect the restraints. Therefore, this study proposes a method for evaluating the mechanical performance of materials in a more reliable manner than that of conventional tests. Experimental observation and analysis validated this compression evaluation method in which constraints are considered. Consequently, the compressive strength of rigid PUF compared to the results of the conventional test showed a difference of up to 0.47 MPa (approximately 23%) at cryogenic temperatures. This result suggests that there are important factors to consider when assessing performance from a material perspective in an environment where rigid PUF insulation is utilized. It is believed that the test methods newly proposed in this study will provide an experimental framework that can be applied to the evaluation criteria of material properties and reflected in structural design.
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