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Insulation FAQS
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General Enquiries

What is insulation?

Building insulation, added to buildings for comfort and energy efficiency.

Soundproofing, also known as acoustic insulation, any means of reducing the intensity of sound.

Thermal insulation, materials used to reduce the rate of heat transfer.

Electrical insulation, the use of material to resist the flow of electric current and magnetism.

Insulated glass (energy saving).

Why insulate?

Insulation saves energy and money.

It helps fight global warming and climate change.

It makes your house/building/office more comfortable to live in Your home will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

It's important to choose the right kind of insulation. For instance, insulation made out of glass wool is made from up to 15% recycled glass bottles per roll, making it even better for the environment.

It increases resistance of your home/building/office to fire. Insulation made out of glass wool and stone wool can protect your place from fire. They both have an unbeatable A1 fire classification making them highly fire resistant. The Greenest Home Is Always the Most Energy Efficient Home.

Is glass wool forbidden in certain countries?

Glass wool is not forbidden anywhere. It is in fact the best-selling insulating material in the world. It takes up 60% market share in Germany, over 80% in Scandinavia and 85% in the United States.

Which way does the foil face (reflective side) on the AP foil faced insulation need to face?

In most cases it doesn't matter. Both sides have the same perm rating (0.05 perms). The reflective side will give an increased R-value when used behind an exterior brick veneer. This is called a reflective air space. Sometimes the non-reflective side is installed towards the outside to reduce glare from the sun or to eliminate any concerns about too much heat build up behind vinyl siding.

I need to insulate a structure that is going to be heated above ambient temperature. What are the maximum use temperatures of ISOKING fibre glass insulation products?

Un-faced: 230 °C

Health

Does glass wool represent a health risk?

Glass and stone wool presents no specific risk for health. Since 1997, according to European Directive 97/69/CE, all mineral wool sold in Europe is exonerated from carcinogenic classification. The hundreds of surveys conducted (including epidemiological surveys conducted in professional environments on more than 45,000 people) confirm these findings. In 2001, on the basis of more than 1000 scientific publications, the International Cancer Research Centre (WHO, World Health Organization) classified glass wool as group 3, i.e. in a group more favourable than coffee and in the same category as tea.

Does glass wool produce dangerous dust?

In private or collective premises, the quality of interior air is a subject of concern. In premises insulated by mineral fibres, these fibres only represent an infinitesimal share of particles and fibres present in the air. Levels of exposure are around 0.0002 to 0.005 fibre/ml, i.e. 1/200th of the professional exposure limit. The proportion of other particles or fibres is much higher (0,172 fibre/ml).

Does glass wool contain asbestos?

ISOKING glass wool and stone wool products contain no asbestos.

Is irritation caused by glass wool dangerous? Can they be avoided?

Superficial and temporary irritation of the skin after handling glass wool is mechanical and not chemical. It causes no allergies and disappears once rinsed with water.

Is glass and stone wool radioactive?

Mineral wool can not be considered to be a radioactive product A person living one year in a room completely insulated with mineral wool products is exposed to a accumulated dose evaluated at 0.0004 msv *(millisieverts, unit to measure biological absorption of radiation). In comparison, and taking into account natural terrestrial radioactivity:

A two-week skiing holiday at an altitude of 2000 m is equal to 0.2 msv**.

Living one year in a granitic region such as Brittany produces exposure to a dose evaluated at 1.3 msv**.

An x-ray of the lungs is equal to absorbing 1 msv.

An abdominal scan is 150 times more (150 msv)***.

Mineral wool can therefore not be considered to be a radioactive product.

Do ISOKING products cause cancer?

In October 2001, an international expert review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) re-evaluated the 1988 IARC assessment of glass fibres and removed glass wools from its list of possible carcinogens by downgrading the classification of these fibers from Group 2B (possible carcinogen) to Group 3 (not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans). All fiber glass wools that are commonly used for thermal and acoustical insulation are included in this classification. IARC noted specifically: Epidemiologic studies published during the 15 years since the previous IARC Monographs review of these fibers in 1988 provide no evidence of increased risks of lung cancer or mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the body cavities) from occupational exposures during manufacture of these materials, and inadequate evidence overall of any cancer risk.

Does glass wool production consume a lot of energy?

The only standardized indicator is total primary energy taking into account the whole product life cycle from the extraction of raw materials making up the material to its end of life (demolition). Energy consumed to make glass wool is mainly used to melt the sand and cullet, then cooking the binder in a steam oven. The use of recycled glass reduces the consumption of energy on fusion. The life cycle analysis of glass wool compared, for example, with that of hemp wool (to choose a product sold by Isover) shows that the former consumes less energy than the second. The results of this life cycle analysis show that the impact of polyester fiber is very important. The environmental impact of hemp is degraded after the addition of products needed to grow hemp and the transportation of straw to the insulation production site. The argument promoting the C02 stored during growth of the plant should be put into context. This C02 is actually returned to the atmosphere at the end of the plants life when the insulation is removed from the building and dumped (as the product, when it decomposes, produces methane) or burnt (C02 emissions).

Acoustic

What is Reverberation time?

Reverberation time is the time taken for the sound pressure level to drop by 60 dB after the generated noise has been stopped. Areas with a long reverberation time are referred to as being “live“, e.g. cathedrals and churches. Those with a short reverberation time are referred to as being “dead“, e.g. offices with thick carpets and absorbent ceilings. A reduction of 60 dB in the sound pressure level is equivalent to the reduction of acoustic energy by a factor of one million. As a rough guide, the reverberation time of a room is approximately equal to the time it takes for loud clapping to become inaudible.

What is STC value?

STC (Sound Transmission Class) value is a single number rating to specify the reduction in sound levels that the partition provides. The sound transmission loss performance of a partition is measured using ASTM E 90 "Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions and Elements" and calculated according to ASTM E 413 "Classification for Rating Sound Insulation." As a general rule, the higher the STC rating, the better the partition's acoustical performance.

What is the STC rating of a fiber glass insulation?

Fiber glass insulation do not have a STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating, but the use of fiber glass insulation within a partition assembly can increase the STC rating by up to 10 points. An STC rating indicates the reduction of sound transmission through a partition assembly, not each individual element.

What are CAC ratings?

Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) ratings are used to determine the sound transmission loss through an acoustical or dropped ceiling. A CAC rating is determined by ASTM test method E 1414 "Standard Test Method for Airborne Sound Attenuation Between Rooms Sharing a Common Ceiling Plenum" and provides a value that is equivalent to an STC value.

What are IIC ratings?

An IIC (Impact Isolation Class) rating describes the impact noise that is transmitted through a floor/ceiling assembly. The rating is determined by ASTM E 492 "Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of Impact Sound Transmission Through Floor-Ceiling Assemblies Using the Tapping Machine." High ratings indicate that impact noise is reduced substantially.

Can a higher STC value be achieved if faced fiberglass insulation instead of un-faced insulation is used in a partition? There is no change in STC value of a partition assembly.

Can STC values be added together?

STC values can not be added together. Generally, doubling of the mass of a partition system increases STC value by 6.

Can NRC values be added together?

NRC values can not be added together.

Are there advantages to using steel studs over wood studs?

Twenty five gauge steel studs provide superior sound control performance to wood studs with the same dimensions. The flexibility of the studs allows the partition to provide performance equivalent to a wood stud construction with resilient channels.

What are resilient channels and where are they sold?

Resilient channels are strips of metal with an offset that spaces the drywall approximately 1/2 away from the framing. They are typically installed 24 inches on centre perpendicular to the studs. The use of resilient channels dramatically reduces the amount of sound that is conducted through the structure.

Fire

I need to build a wall that is rated to 1 hour. Which building insulation product will achieve this rating?

Fire rating of walls, floors, columns, and other building members under fire exposure conditions are tested in accordance to ASTM E-119. The fire resistive ratings are expressed in hours. The fire ratings of these assemblies are largely dependent upon the thickness of the gypsum board /Steel sheet and not the insulation. The insulation is usually an optional item in the assembly and should not have a negative impact on the hourly fire rating.

Are ISOKING fibre glass building insulation products Non-combustible?

Yes, ISOKING's un-faced fibre glass insulation is rated non-combustible when tested in accordance to ASTM E 136, BS 476(Part 7) and ISO 1182.

Thermal

What is an R-value?

An R-Value (thermal resistance) indicates the insulating power of an insulation material. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power i.e. more energy savings.

Water Vapour

What is dew point?

Dew Point is the temperature at which condensations forms.

What is condensation?

Air is composed of many gases. One of these is water in a gaseous from, called water vapour. The amount of water vapour that air can hold is a function of temperature. When the air comes in contact with an object at a temperature where water vapour will change to a liquid. This process is called condensation.

What is perm?

Perm is a traditional unit of water vapour permeability, that is, the ability of a material to permit the passage of water vapour. If we want to keep things dry, we wrap them in something having low permeability. A material has a permeability of one perm if it allows transmission of one grain of water vapour per square foot of area per inch of mercury (in Hg) of pressure difference per hour. The value depends somewhat on temperature, however. At 0 C, one perm equals about 5.721 x 10-11 kilograms per square meter per Pascal per second (kg/(m2 Pas) or about 0.2060 mg/(m2 Pa h); at room temperature the equivalent is about 5.745 x 10-11 kg/(m2 Pa s). [The SI unit, kg/(m2 Pa s), simplifies to seconds per meter (s/m).] The lower the perm value, the better the vapour barrier.

What is perm inch?

Perm inch is a traditional unit of water vapour permeance. The perm value (see above) does not depend on the thickness of the material used as a water barrier. The permeance is the product of the perm value and the thickness, measured in inches. One perm inch equals about 1.453 x 10-12 kg/(m Pa s) at 0 C or about 1.459 x 10-12 kg/(m Pa s) at room temperature. The SI unit kg/(m Pa s) actually simplifies to seconds (s).

What is water vapour transmission?

The amount of water vapour passing through a given area of a plastic sheet or film in a given time, when the sheet or film is maintained at a constant temperature and when its faces are exposed to certain different relative humidity's. The result is usually expressed as grams per 24 hours per square meter (g/24 hr m2).

What is the difference between permeance and permeability?

Permeability is the water vapour transmission of a homogeneous material under unit vapour pressure difference between two specific surfaces, per unit thickness. An acceptable unit of permeability is perms-inch: grain-in/h ft2 in Hg. Permeability is important for specifying insulation material. Permeance is the water vapour transmission of a specific sample under unit vapour pressure difference between two specific surfaces. An acceptable unit of permeance is perm: grain/h ft2 in Hg. Permeance is important for specifying vapour retarders. It is important to ONLY use permeance when specifying vapour retarders. The industry standard requirements for vapour retarder permeance in mechanical systems are typically 0.02 perms for below 32 F service temperature and 0.03 to 0.05 perms for above 32 F service temperatures. When selecting a vapour retarder, make sure that permeance meets these requirements. Saran* 540 and 560 vapour retarder films easily meet the more stringent of these two requirements (0.02 perms). This makes them suitable for use at service temperatures from ambient down to cryogenic temperatures.

Which side do I install the vapour retarder on?

It depends on your geographical location. In cold climates, the vapour retarder should be installed on the inside (warm in winter) of the structure. In hot and humid climates the vapour retarder should be installed on the outside (warm side). Vapour retarders play an integral role in moisture control. Since climates are rarely cold or hot all the time, the vapour retarder should be placed to the side of the structure that is the predominately warm side. This is because heat flows from warmer to cooler in attempt to reach equilibrium. The warmer air can hold a higher amount of water vapour. As air cools, it can reach the dew point. This is the point at which the relative humidity reaches 100% and water vapour condenses from the vapour phase to the liquid phase. Therefore, the vapour retarder should be placed to the predominately warm side to prevent the moisture from migrating with the heat flow to the cold side, reaching the dew point, and creating a liquid moisture problem.

Do I need to replace my building insulation if it gets wet?

Yes. In cases where the insulation has become saturated and the insulation is not allowed to fully dry, the insulating properties of the fibre glass will be deteriorated.

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