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Building insulation refers broadly to any object in a building used as insulation for any purpose. While the majority of insulation in buildings is for (1)thermal purposes, the term also applies to (2) acoustic insulation, (3) fire insulation, and (4)impact insulation.
Thermal insulation can refer to materials used to reduce the rate of heat transfer, or the methods and processes used to reduce heat transfer. Heat or thermal conduction is the spontaneous transfer of thermal energy through matter to equalize temperature differences. It is also described as heat energy transferred from one material to another by direct contact.

Convection in the most general terms refers to the movement of molecules within fluids

Radiation, as used in physics, is energy in the form of waves or moving subatomic particles emitted by an atom or other body as it changes from a higher energy state to a lower energy state.
Ionizing radiation has enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules while non-ionizing radiation does not. Radioactive material is a physical material that emits ionizing radiation.

The standard comfortable temperature of insulation required to keep a resting person warm in a windless room is at 70 F (21.1 C). In addition to environmental conditions, thermal comfort depends on the clothing and activity level of a person.

The amount of clothing is measured against a standard amount that is roughly equivalent to a typical business suit, shirt, and undergarments. Activity level is compared to being seated quietly, such as in a classroom.


Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Insulation

A two component mixture comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto concrete slabs, into wall cavities of an unfinished wall, against the interior side of sheathing, or through holes drilled in sheathing or drywall into the wall cavity of a finished wall.

sometimes also called Foamed-In-Place Insulation

Rigid panels/Insulation
Rigid panel insulation is made from fibrous materials (fiberglass, rock and slag wool) or from plastic foam. They are sometimes sold in sections designed to fit tightly in standard wall cavities.

Insulated Concrete Forms

ICFs are hollow, lightweight "stay in place" forms made of two Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) panels which are connected by polypropylene webs. During construction, the forms are stacked to the desired height then filled with concrete making stable, durable and sustainable walls.

Structural insulated panels

Structural insulated panels (SIPs), also called stressedskin walls, use the same concept as in foam-core external doors, but extend the concept to the entire house. They can be used for ceilings, floors, walls, and roofs. The panels usually consist of plywood, OSB, sandwiched around a core of expanded polystyrene, polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, compressed wheat straw, or epoxy.

Oriented strand board, (OSB) or Sterling board (UK), is an engineered wood product formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations.

Blanket Insulation made from fibrous materials like mineral wool, wood fiber, cotton fiber or animal hair and manufactured to form a mat with thickness of 4 .

Some installed with vinyl cardboard or wire mesh and is stapled to sides and edges of studs and joists.

Batt Insulation
Batts are precut, whereas blankets are available in continuous rolls.

Components of Batt and Blanket Insulation

Fiberglass is a material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. Made from molten glass, usually with 20% to 30% recycled industrial waste and post-consumer content. Rock and slag wool. Usually made from rock (basalt, diabase) or iron ore blast furnace slag. Some rock wool contains recycled glass. Nonflammable.

Rock and slag wool

Loose Fill Cellulose is 100% natural and 75-85% of it is made from recycled newsprint.

a. Fibrous Type from mineral wool rock, glass wool, slag wool or vegetable fiber usually of wood fiber.
b. Granular Insulation from expanded minerals like perlite, vermiculite or ground vegetable matter.

Reflective Insulation
Consists of 2 layers of 99% aluminum foil laminated to the outsides of 2 sheets of heavy-duty polyethylene air-bubble cushioning.

Corrugated Insulation
from paper formed into shapes that produced enclosed air pockets into small regular semi circular corrugations and covering both sides with sheet of flat paper to give strength and produce the air pockets.

Sound Insulation (Soundproofing)

is any means of reducing the intensity of sound with respect to a specified source and receptor.

Soundproofing affects sound in two different ways:

noise reduction and noise absorption.

Fire Insulation (Fireproofing)

refers to the act of making materials or structures more resistant to fire, or to those materials themselves, or the act of applying such materials.
Example of spray fireproofing, using a gypsum based plaster in a low-rise industrial building. The plaster provides a layer of insulation to retard heat flow into structural steel elements, that would otherwise lose their strength and collapse in an accidental fire.