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5 Most Common Thermal Insulation Materials
- Jul 30, 2018 -

There are plenty of cheap and common insulation materials available on the market today. Many of these have been around for quite some time. Each of these insulation materials have their own ups and downs. As a result, when deciding which insulation material you should use, you should be sure to be aware of which material would work the best in your situation. We have considered differences like R-value, price, environmental impact, flammability, sound insulation and other factors below. Here are the 5 most common types of insulation materials:

1. Fiberglass


pink fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass Insulation.


Fiberglass is the most common insulation used in modern times and 


an excellent non-flammable insulation material.

2. Mineral Wool

Mineral wool actually refers to several different types of insulation. First, it may refer to glass wool which is fiberglass manufactured from recycled glass. Second, it may refer to rock wool which is a type of insulation made from basalt. Finally, it may refer to slag wool which is produced from the slag from steel mills.

 Most mineral wool does not have additives to make it fire resistant, making it poor for use in situation where extreme heat is present. However, it is not combustable. When used in conjunction with other, more fire resistant forms of insulation, mineral wool can definitely be an effective way of insulating large areas. 

3. Cellulose


cellulose

Cellulose Insulation Material.


Cellulose insulation is perhaps one of the most eco-friendly forms of insulation. Cellulose is made from recycled cardboard, paper, and other similar materials and comes in loose form. 


4. Polyurethane Foam


polyurethane insulation spray application

Polyurethane Insulation.


While not the most abundant of insulations, polyurethane foams are an excellent form of insulation. Nowadays, polyurethane foams use non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas for use as a blowing agent. This helps to decrease the amount of damage to the ozone layer. They are relatively light, weighing approximately two pounds per cubic foot (2 lb/ft^3).  Another advantage of this type of insulation is that it is fire resistant.


5. Polystyrene


polystyrene material

Polystyrene (Styrofoam).


Polystyrene is a waterproof thermoplastic foam which is an excellent sound and temperature insulation material. It comes in two types, expanded (EPS) and extruded (XEPS) also known as Styrofoam.


Typically the foam is created or cut into blocks, ideal for wall insulation. The foam is flammable and needs to be coated in a fireproofing chemical called Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). HBCD has been brought under fire recently for health and environmental risks associated with its use.