SIPs Panels Product Overview

What Are SIPs?

SIPs stands for Structural Insulated Panel (SIP).  The product name is descriptive, being just that, an insulated panel that is structural. Used in the building industry for both residential and commercial construction, SIPs primarily are utilized for the exterior walls or roof of a structure.  There are a variety of types of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) available on the market with many different features and in a wide range of costs.  We will discuss some of the differences below, but let's start with a history lesson. 

History of SIPs Panels

Sandwich Panel SIPs

The concept of Structural Insulated Panels began in the 1930's, but Sandwich Panel structural insulated panels as we know them have been around since the 1950's.  Seeking beautiful, but cost effective homes, some of the earliest examples of SIPs homes were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, although these structural insulated panels did not contain insulation.  In the 50's an architecture student of Wright, Alden B. Dow, an environmentally conscious individual concerned about energy efficiency, designed a SIP panel with an insulated core.  Many credit Dow to be the father of the structural insulated panel.

The most common structural insulated panel or SIP panel, Sandwich Panel SIPs, consist of a foam core insulation material, commonly polystyrene, sandwiched between two sheets of OSB and adhered with an adhesive or glue. The strength of the SIPs come from the combination of these materials.  These sandwich panels are joined one to another with a spline and attached at the floor with a dimensional lumber bottom plate and supported at the top with top plates as in conventional framing.

History of RAY-CORE SIPs ®

The Better SIP Panel - None Of The Problems Associated With The Others

A general contractor for over 50 years, Harry Raymond believed that the construction industry needed better ways to build more energy efficient, reducing a homeowner's heating and cooling costs for the lifetime of a home.  Having worked with Sandwich Panel SIPs, he liked the benefits of solid foam insulation and the air-tightness the panels provided, but he was also very familiar with the numerous problems associated with Sandwich Panel SIPs.  Harry knew that there was a way to produce a more structurally reliable structural insulated panel.  RAY-CORE's patented SIPs were the answer, manufacturing since 1987.

RAYCORE Structural Insulated Panels ® (SIPs) were to offer all the benefits of the more common Sandwich Panels SIPs and eliminate all the well know problems also associated with those SIPs by coupling the tried and true dependability and ease of conventional framing in a quick easy to use modular panel.  RAY-CORE SIPs ® utilize conventional proven building materials: premium Douglas fir structural members, state-of-the-art rigid closed-cell polyurethane foam, and a foil radiant barrier.  These superior building materials are combined, molded together into an easy to handle, lightweight structural insulating panel that meets or exceeds all local standard building codes.


Let's Compare - RAY-CORE SIPs ® vs Sandwich Panel SIPs *


What Are SIPs? RAYCORE SIPs Panel Breakdown.

RAY-CORE SIPs ® Panel Features

  • Foamed-In-Place High Quality Structural Douglas Fir Wood Studs (S)
  • High Density Closed Cell Polyurethane Foam Insulation (I)
  • Foil Radiant Barrier
  • Easy To Use Dimensions
  • Extremely Lightweight - No Cranes or Special Equipment Necessary to Move Panels
  • Exceeds Or Meets All Codes - Wall framing under Section 6 considered conventional stick framing in the IRC  (Section R610 doesn't apply and no special engineering, no special ICC Reports required)
  • Least Expensive Per R-value * Inch Insulated Panels On The Market! (P) - Generally 1/2 the price of Sandwich Panel SIPs

SIPs Panels Dimensions?

Standard Framing Thickness:

2x4 (3 ½”) – R26

2x6 (5 ½”) – R42

2x8 (7 ¼”) – R52

Standard Widths: 

4 feet wide

Standard Lengths:   

Precuts:  92 5/8, 104 5/8, 116 5/8  inches

Full:  8, 9, 10, 12 feet

RAYCORE Polyurethane Foam

This state-of-the-art custom blend of high density closed cell polyurethane foam not only produces some of the highest R-values * available, it has a low perm rate and will not retain or allow moisture to pass through it, so no problems with condensation or mold and mildew.  It also ensures an airtight structure.  Further, it produces all of these benefits while maintaining a Class 1 Fire Rated standard.  Class 1 means that the foam will not sustain a flame.  Far, far superior to polystyrene foam, RAYCORE’s quality control standards will not settle for less. 

Foil Radiant Air Barrier

This paper thin high-tech foil radiant air barrier, similar to an emergency heat blanket, helps to reflect the outside temperatures out and keep the inside temperatures in on any structure.

Only RAYCORE combines these advanced technologies into one energy saving SIP panel.

Can I Get OSB On My Panels?

RAY-CORE does not apply OSB sheathing to their panels.  Best practices require that it be applied on at the job site.  Benefits include a lighter, easier to handle panel, and a substantial reduction in panel costs and shipping costs, and a reduction in labor costs. No cranes needed. Most importantly, by applying the sheathing onsite, this allows for the OSB or plywood to overlap the panel joints ensuring a stronger airtight wall or roof system that saves you money.

Lightweight RAYCORE SIPs

RAY-CORE SIPs ® Staggered Stud 2x6 (5 ½”) x 8 ft. Panel Is Easily Handled By One Man and Weighs Only 78 Pounds!

Sandwich Panel SIPs

What Are Sandwich Panel SIPs?

Sandwich Panel SIPs Panel Features 

  • Inner and Outer OSB Skin
  • Block of Foam Insulation - Most Commonly Polystyrene
  • Adhesive or Glue
  • Non-Standard Framing Dimensions
  • Panels are Heavy - Cranes and Special Equipment Required to Move Panels
  • Special Codes Required - Not Accepted in All Code Jurisdictions
  • Generally 2X the Price of RAY-CORE SIPs ®

Sandwich Panels Dimensions?

Non-Standard Wall Thicknesses:

4 ½” – R16

6 ½” – R24

8 ¼” – R32

10 ¼” – R40

12 ¼” – R48

Variable Widths

Variable Lengths


About Polystyrene (EPS) Foam 

We all are familiar with the white foam coffee cups and packaging made up of a thousand tiny beads of foam compressed together.  Expanded Polystyrene is kind of like that.  EPS is the most readily available and least expensive foam on the market, but it also is one of the lowest in R-value at around 4 per inch, based on the foams density.  Because of its low R-value, walls need to be thicker to achieve required insulation values.  With a high perm rating, moisture and associated rot and molds can be a real problem.  And EPS’s low melting point allows for builders to carve the product with heated cutting tools, but also reduces the product’s resistance to fire, and should your home catch on fire, as the OSB burns, the foam would melt away.

Concerns With Integrating OSB and Foam

Gluing or injecting foam directly onto OSB board can have catastrophic affects.  When OSB gets wet during installation or the result of wall leaks, roof leaks, ice damming, condensation or other common problems, it begins to swell, grow mold, mildew, and break down.  This swelling diminishes the integrity of the sheathing, the structural element of the panel, requiring it to be replaced.  If the OSB is glued to the foam with an adhesive, the whole panel has to be replaced in order to fix the damaged wall or roof decking.  This is the case with other sandwich panel SIPs.  But with RAY-CORE SIP Panels, if this were to happen, simply pull off the damaged sheets of OSB and replace them.  RAY-CORE SIPs ® are the far superior and more reliable solution.

Heavy Sandwich Panel SIPs

Sandwich Panel SIPs Are Heavy and Awkward, With A 6 ½" x 8 ft. Panel Requiring Two Men to Move and Weights A Whopping 120 Pounds!                  

RAYCORE Structural Insulated Panels ® (SIPs)

The Largest Manufacturer of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) from a single location anywhere. See why...

  • Reliability - Time-Proven Reliability of Wood Studs.
  • Strength - You Could Park a Semi Truck on a 4' x 8' Wall Panel.
  • Highest R7 R-value Per Inch - Superior Closed Cell Polyurethane Foam.
  • Radiant Barrier - Reflects Heat & Increases Performance.
  • Least Expensive SIP Per R-value Inch on Market.
  • Factory-Direct Sales and Factory-Direct Pricing - No Middle Man.
  • Extremely Lightweight (54lbs - 3-1/2"x4'x8' Panel) - No Costly Cranes Required.
  • Fast and Easy - Uses Standard Framing Practices.
  • No - Expensive Engineering, Special Plans, Special Tools or Special Builders.
  • Conventional Lumber Dimensions - Saves Custom Materials Costs.
  • Exceeds Or Meets All Building Codes - Falls under stick framing in the IRC
  • Do-It-Yourself - DIY Friendly - Any Builder Can Build With RAY-CORE SIPs ®.
  • Perfect Solution for Roof Insulation - Great For New Construction or Retrofit.
  • Problem Free - Unlike the Numerous Problems Associated with Sandwich Panel SIPs.
  • Will Last a Lifetime - Limited Lifetime Warranty!
  • In Business for Over 30 Years - By Far the Best Structural Insulated Panel Available!

Least Expensive Per R-value Inch SIPs Panel on the Market.



* R means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation power. See RAYCORE SIP Panel Specification Sheet or Fact Sheet
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