Thermal Insulation for Architects

   Türkçe terminoloji sözlüğü sayfanın altındadır.   

What is Thermal Insulation Materials?

Thermal insulation materials is the name for the materials that reduce the heat transfer between two spaces at different temperatures. Before starting, we need to know two parameters to be able to understand the thermal characteristics of materials. These parameters are thermal transmittance(U value-W/m.K), and thermal resistance(R value-m2K/W). U and R values are inversely proportional. The formula is R = m/ U (m: thickness of material as meter)

U value is about how much easy for a material to allow heat to flow to other side of itself.

R value is about how strong a material can resist the heat flow.

Secondly, in most situations, architects expect from the thermal insulation materials, fireproofing and sound-insulation quality on top of the thermal protection. This is because of the limitations in codes related with the insulation. However, in critical situations we have to apply special extra materials for these needs.

 

Why Do I Need Thermal Insulation?

  • Comfort in interior spaces
  • Energy conservation, less scary bills, strong economy
  • Protecting the health of users, Lack of thermal protection causes dampness and it causes some diseases
  • Preventing condensation in walls, corrosion on reinforcement steel, chemical degradations in building materials
  • Protecting the plumbing system, overheating in boiler room.

Do I need it even in Hot Climate?

There is misunderstanding of thermal insulation, as if it is needed just in case of cold climate. Absolutely no! It is needed for reducing the thermal flow between outside air and inside air. Houses consumes more energy for cooling than heating, therefore, even if your house is in a hot climate, your house needs thermal insulation materials at least in a standard level.

How Much Insulation Do I Need?

  1. Check the regulations and codes of your country. There are generally some limitations and standards for installing enough thermal insulation. Or check the U-value standards for climates, and control your detailing if it has enough U-value.
  2. Know your climate well. Climate characteristics will direct you to true detailing.

Which Insulation Material Should I Use?

There is no any best insulation product. If a product succeed to be sold, that means it is the right product in some specific situations. Having the greatest R value not means being the best insulation material. There are lots of other parameters to choose the right product.

For example, climate characteristics, budget, usage scenario(for ex. attic will be used or not?), limitations of related code in our country, building materials are some parameters that not related with the insulation materials. Reaction to fire, water vapour permeability value, water absorption value, freeze-thaw resistance, and compressive strength for applications under load are the parameters about the insulation materials.

Moreover, meet with the producers in your country, learn how they produce their products. Even if names of materials are same, the final products ,produced in all over the world, probably has different specifications and values.

Finally, Let’ s meet with material options…

 

SYNTHETIC FOAMS

1. Polystyrene

+ U value is approximately between 0,030 – 0,040 W/m.K

+ Low water absorption value.

 –  D-class fireproofing, Low fire resistance.(up to 75 celcius)

     a. Extruded Polystyrene Foam (XPS)

        + Vapour and water diffusion resistance value between µ=80-250 depends on the density of it.(Thanks to being closed cell, there are less gaps for water penetration)

        + Compressive strength value is between  100-1000 kPa.

          They mostly use dangerous(for environment) gases to produce the XPS. Some producers use CO2 which is less dangerous for environment.

     b. Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS)

         + They use Pentane gas in production which is not dangerous for environment.

          – vapour and water diffusion resistance value between µ=20-100 depends on the density of it.

          compressive strength value is between  30-500 kPa.

Briefly, If we do not need high density (to achieve better sound ins. or better compression strength or better waterproofing) of insulation, it is better to use EPS because it can be produced in low density values and can be used as thicker. While XPS just can be produced at high densities. If you compare them in same density, thermal insulation capabilities almost same. That’ s why sometimes using a thick EPS board is clever than using XPS due to its high cost.

APPLICATION

 

2. Polyurethane

+ U value is approximately between 0,025-0,040 W/m.K (Highest R value among all insulators)

+ Low water and moisture absorption value.

+ It can be applied as spray or foam board.

– It can be emitted unhealthy gases when burned. Check the producers.

It has two types as open-cell and closed-cell foam. Closed-cell is better in insulation, resistance to moisture; on the other hand open-cell is permeable to moisture, so if you apply it to roof, attic can breathe.

APPLICATION

 

3. Glass Foam

+ U value is approximately between 0,045-0,060 W/m.K

+ A-class fireproofing material. (up to 430 celcius)

It doesn’ t allow any penetration of water and water vapour.

+ Compressive strength value is between  430-8800 kPa.

+ Durable towards chemicals.

 

4. Phenolic Foam

+ U value is approximately between 0,030-0,045 W/m.K

 – vapour and water diffusion resistance value between µ=10-50

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

WOOLS

+ U value is approximately between 0,035-0,050 W/m.K

+ Variety of usage, It can be produced in blanket, board, and pipe form.

+ Lower vapour diffusion resistance( µ=1), that’ s mean water vapour can easily transfer to the other side; therefore, prevents condensation in wall.

If there is no precaution in production, its value for water absorption is high.

Rockwool

 

1. Rockwool

+ A-class fireproofing material. (up to 750 celcius)

+ Almost half of the ingredients are recycled materials, so it is eco-friendly.

+ Better sound insulation than Fiberglass.

2. Fiberglass

+ Cheaper than Rockwool.

Less safety in case of fire (It resists 260 celcius at most)

 

APPLICATION

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

BOARDS

1. Woodwool Board

+ U value is approximately between 0,065-0,090 W/m.K(It can be varied depends on producers)

+ Lower vapour diffusion resistance( µ=2-5), that’ s mean water vapour can easily transfer to the other side; therefore, prevents condensation in wall.

+ Compressive strength value is between  20-1000 kPa.

+ B-class fireproofing material.

+ It can be used as sound insulation as well.

+ Eco-friendly because it is natural material.

It can be damaged by insects, because it is natural material.

2. Cork Board

+ U value is approximately between 0,045-0,055 W/m.K

+ Low vapour diffusion resistance( µ=5-10)

E-class fireproofing.

3. Ceramic Fibre Board

+ U value is approximately between 0,035-0,040 W/m.K

+ A-class fireproofing material.(Up to approx. 1400 celcius)

+ Low heat storage

+ Excellent thermal shock resistance

+ Low water vapour diffusion resistance( µ=1), that’ s mean water vapour can easily transfer to the other side; therefore, prevents condensation in wall.

Thanks to its excellent thermal stability characteristics, it is generally used for insulation of boilers.

 

4. Calcium Silicate Panel

+ A-class fireproofing material. (Up to approx. 1100 celcius)

+ U value is approximately between 0,050-0,095 W/m.K

+ Low vapour diffusion resistance( µ=5-10)

 

 

5. Expanded Perlite

+ A-class fireproofing material. (Up to approx. 1000 celcius)

+ U value is approximately between 0,045-0,065 W/m.K

+ Low water vapour diffusion resistance( µ=5)

 

Cellulose Based Thermal and Sound Insulation

 

 

 

Research Sources

 

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/compare-rock-wool-fiberglass-insulation-74180.html

http://www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/what-woodwool-safe.html

www.jaycompdevelopment.com/walk-in-cooler/polystyrene-vs-polyurethane/

https://www.metrohomeinsulate.com/blog/polystyrene-vs-polyurethane-insulation

https://www.vitcas.com/ceramic-fibre-board

http://www.morganthermalceramics.com/media/2598/vf-boards.pdf

https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Phenolic_foam_insulation

https://www.izoder.org.tr

https://www.guneyyapiizolasyon.com.tr/sayfalar.3999.isi-yalitim-malzemelerinin-karsilastirmasi.html

www.gnyapi.com.tr/eps_xps_karsilastirmasi/

http://www.pakboard.com.tr/index.asp?action=pakboard_eps_xps_karsilastirma

http://www.ode.com.tr/yalitim-sozlugu/

http://www.bandirmasove.com/yalitim-yanlislari.html

 

Dictionary (English to Turkish)

thermal transmittance: ısıl iletkenlik thermal resistance: ısıl direnç water vapour permeability: nem geçişine izin verme kabiliyeti water absorption: su çekme freeze-thaw resistance: donma-erime direnci compressive strength: basma dayanımı condensation: yoğuşma corrosion: korozyon(kimyasal aşınım) foam: köpük rockwool: taş yünü(kaya yünü) fiberglass: cam yünü woodwool: ahşap yünü cork: mantar expanded perlite: genleştirilmiş perlit

 

Thanks for giving your time to learn somethings, If you have further questions or corrections or anything else, just leave a comment.

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