When you decide you need to buy a thermal insulation material, you need to know several things, such as what type of material would best serve what situation. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of insulation materials available in the market, each having its own pros and cons. Based on factors such as sound insulation, flammability, environmental impact, price, and R-value, this post enlists the most common types of thermal insulation materials.
Types of Thermal Insulation Materials
The most common types of thermal insulation materials include:
1. Polyurethane Foam
It is the most expensive form of thermal insulation, but also the most effective one. Polyurethane foams use non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas as a blowing agent nowadays to help lower the damage caused to the ozone layer. At two pounds per cubic foot, it is comparatively lightweight compared to the other insulation materials. It also has the highest R-value (which tells how well a particular type of insulation material can avoid heat from entering or leaving the thing it is used to create), which is 6.3 per inch of thickness. You can get low-density polyurethane foams at R-3.6 per inch of thickness as well, best for spraying areas that have no insulation at all. This thermal insulation material is fire-resistant, but not environment-friendly.
2. Mineral Wool
This includes several types of insulation materials, including rock wool, made of basalt, slag wool, made from the slag from steel mills, and glass wool, consisting of fiberglass made of recycled glass. In the US, most mineral wool comprises slag wool. This Brandenburger Insulation material has an R-value range of R-2.8 to R-3.5, and it is pricier than other types of insulation materials, but still cheaper than polyurethane foam. It is environment-friendly, but does not support combustion or melt.
It is the most environment-friendly type of insulation material. Made of paper, recycled cardboard, and similar materials, cellulose comes in loose form. It has an R-value range within R-3.1 and R-3.7. It is best for controlling fire damage, as deduced by some recent studies. It has almost no oxygen in it, being compact in nature. This helps it minimize fire damage. It contains the highest amount of recycled content.
Being the most common type of insulation material used nowadays, fiberglass has an R-value of R-3.1. It is environment-friendly and non-flammable. It doesn’t absorb water and is economical as well. Fiberglass gets built by fine strands of glass getting weaved into the insulation material. The main disadvantage of this insulation material, however, is that it is dangerous to handle it – it is risky for the eyes and lungs and also the skin if you aren’t wearing your protective gear. The material is built of glass powder and finely woven silicon. So, if you choose this one, you will have to ensure the installation staff is wearing all protective gear, including gloves, masks, and eye protection glasses.
This insulation material is a waterproof thermoplastic foam having great temperature and sound insulation properties. There are two types of Polystyrene: Expanded (EPS) and Extruded (XEPS), a.k.a. Styrofoam. Styrofoam has an R-value of 5.5, while EPS has an R-value of 4. It provides a surface so smooth no other type of insulation material matches that.
Other types of thermal insulator materials include asbestos, which was previously used commonly in construction and repairs but has been declared illegal due to its disastrous consequences to human health.
The bottom line is you need to know what type of thermal insulation you need to choose the right material. There will be some sort of payoff if you make the wrong choice. So, consider the details in this blog, and you’ll be good.
Still confused about what thermal insulation material would suit you best? Discuss with a Prime Tech in USA expert!