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A Good Insulator Works By Trapping Pockets Of Air

Jul 17

Before stricter building codes and safety regulations were enforced builders could choose from a wide variety of insulation materials. Today, however, there are a couple of main options that are both safe and cost-effective: Cellulose or Fiberglass. Both can be found in blown or rolled batting forms. Choosing the right one for you depends on your project and budget. It’s also important to consider whether you need to install insulation for cavity walls or solid wall buildings.

A good insulator works by trapping pockets of air. The more these pockets are, the better the material insulates. Typically, good quality insulation is made from recycled products or man-made alternatives that are eco-friendly. However, it’s still vital to keep in mind that if the insulation is not installed correctly gaps and cracks will weaken its overall performance.

When choosing a material for an electrical application it’s important to have a clear understanding of what thermal class the insulation is going to need to achieve. Thermal classes are based on standardized criteria set out in industry regulations and help to direct you towards the right product for your specific application. For example, if you’re looking for an insulation that can withstand high temperatures you need to look for IEC Class 90 or 100. Class 90 insulation includes items such as cotton, paper, vulcanized natural rubber and silk. Class 100 insulation, on the other hand, consists of items that are impregnated with, immersed in or coated with a dielectric liquid such as oil or a gas.

For general Insulator Material Comparison purposes it’s a good idea to go with an IEC Class A or B product. This includes cellulose, fiberglass, polyurethane foam and PIR or PUR. These items are incredibly effective, durable and relatively inexpensive.

Another factor to consider is the compressive strength of the insulation. XPS and PIR/PUR offer far greater compressive strengths than EPS or mineral wool. This makes them ideal for concrete floors, foundations, plaza and podium decks as well as cold storage. EPS, on the other hand has a much lower compressive strength, making it less suitable for use in these demanding environments.

If your project involves a space that’s prone to humidity it’s worth considering the water vapour diffusion resistance of your insulation. EPS and mineral wool are both able to resist water vapour, but only to a certain degree. XPS is a better option for spaces that are prone to moisture, with a diffusion resistance of up to 80-250 times more than EPS.

For projects that are extremely energy-efficient and eco-friendly, you may want to opt for an Aerogel insulation solution. This material is incredibly thin and lightweight, yet it has incredible insulating power. It also doesn’t contain any HCFCs which means it doesn’t contribute to the ozone depletion. It’s also highly resistant to fire and smoke. If you’re interested in this type of insulation, be sure to contact a qualified professional contractor. They will be able to advise you on the best solution for your project.

Additional Resources:
Custom Materials, Inc
16865 Park Circle Drive
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023
(440) 543-8284