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About Insulation Materials

12/21/2012 12:54:43 PM | by Anonymous

Insulation Materials

Insulation materials are any object used in the construction of a building to provide insulation of any purpose. In the early times, just any materials are used as an insulator like leaves, paper, grass, etc to reduce heat or wind coming in to a structure. As long as the object served its purpose, it is considered acceptable. Today, traditional materials and even products of advanced technology have emerged such as cellulose, polysterene, vermiculite, cement and wood fibre to name a few. Aesthetics, energy reduction and efficiency were not taken into consideration. Insulation is mostly applied to thermal insulators or restricting transfer of heat and preferably reduction of electric consumption namely electrical insulator. However, the term can also be referred to acoustic insulation, impact insulation and fire insulation. Several types of insulations can be achieved at once by using a certain insulation material. Insulators work by keeping heat carrying matter from moving maintaining same temperature and direct electric current to a certain place and lock them up. In order to obtain low electrical conductivity, a material containing many outer elections should be used. The energy demands of heating and cooling systems decrease resulting to low energy bills as the insulation regulates heat from building up or leaving a room during cold weather.


Any materials applied in construction can be considered as insulation materials. Cement, wood and glass materials commonly used for the walls, ceilings and floors of a building can slow heat loss at different levels. In order to create an effective thermal insulation, several insulators are used and various techniques and designs are applied to address the main modes of heat transfer. Heat transfer occurs when dealing with conduction and convection. Conduction is a mode of heat transfer that refers to the heat that moves through a piece of unmoving object such as a solid metal while conduction happens when an internal heat is removed from a moving object, for an instance, heat is carried away from the body by wind.


The effectiveness of different insulation materials can be known according to the R-values they hold. The qualities considered in determining the R-values of a material are its thickness, density and the material itself. To achieve a more effective insulation, one has to choose a material with higher R value. To give you an idea on how thermal resistance is evaluated, a structure mostly built of concrete is rated R-1. Fiberglass is another common insulation material being used these days. 4 inches of fiberglass insulation might be evaluated as R-15 while 12 inches might reach a rate of around R-40. This explains that the effectiveness of fiberglass depends on its thickness. Foam is also a popular insulation material nowadays. Foam can come in various forms and efficiency works differently depending on the material it is based from. For an instance, cement-based foam is less efficient than polyurethane foam. Its effectiveness depends on its thickness. However, using the former may provide a stronger support for the house. The issue that may be encountered in building construction is that working both on quality of construction and desired thermal insulation may be hard to achieve at the same time. Cellulose insulation may be a good choice for those who are environmentally concerned. The materials used in this technique are discarded newspaper and cardboard which are treated to be resistant to insects and flames. Other recyclable things that can also be used as insulation materials are cotton fibers and denim.

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