Thermal Protection

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There are many cheap and popular thermal insulation materials on the market today. Many of them have been around for a long time. Each of these thermal insulation materials has its advantages. Therefore, when deciding on the choice of thermal insulation material, you should pay attention to which material works best in your situation. 

Below we have considered differences such as R-value, price, environmental influences, flammability, sound insulation and other factors.

Here are the 5 most common types of thermal insulation


Fibreglass is currently the most widely used insulation. Due to its production, fibreglass is able to minimise heat transfer by effectively weaving fine glass fibres in the insulation material. The main disadvantage of fibreglass is the risks associated with it. Because fibreglass is made of finely woven silicon, glass powder and fine glass pieces are formed. They can damage your eyes, lungs and even your skin if you don’t wear proper protective equipment. However, if appropriate safety equipment is used, fibre-optic installation can be done without incident. Fibreglass is an excellent non-combustible insulation material with R-values ​​from R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch. If you are looking for cheap insulation, this is definitely expensive, although installation requires security measures. Always wear eye protection, masks and gloves when working with the product.


Cellulose insulation is probably one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of insulation. Cellulose is made of recycled cardboard, paper and similar materials and is supplied loose. Cellulose has an R-value between R-3.1 and R-3.7. Some recent cellulose research has shown that it can be an excellent product to minimise fire damage. Due to the compactness of the material, cellulose contains almost no oxygen. Without oxygen in the material, the extent of damage caused by fire can be minimised. 

Cellulose is therefore not only one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of insulation, but also one of the most fireproof forms of insulation. However, there are also some disadvantages to this material, such as allergies, which some people may have from newspaper dust. It is relatively difficult to find specialists who know this type of insulation, for example, compared to fibre. However, cellulose is an inexpensive and effective insulation measure.

Polyurethane foam

Although this is not the most popular type of insulation, polyurethane foam is an excellent form of insulation. Currently, polyurethane foams use non-chlorofluorocarbon gas (CFC) as a blowing agent. This helps reduce the amount of damage to the ozone layer. They are relatively light and weigh around two pounds per cubic foot. They have an R-value of about R-6.3 per inch thick. There are also low-density foams that can be sprayed in non-insulated areas. These types of polyurethane insulation usually have a power rating of around R-3.6 per inch thick. Another advantage of this type of insulation is that it is fireproof.

Mineral Wool

Mineral wool refers to different types of insulation. First, it can be glass wool made from recycled glass. Secondly, it can be mineral wool, which is a type of basalt insulation. It can also be slag wool, which is made from the slag from smelters. Mineral wool can be bought in batts or as loose material. Most mineral wool does not contain additives that would make them flame retardant, therefore they are not suitable for use at extreme temperatures. However, it is not generally flammable. In combination with other fireproof insulation materials, mineral wool can definitely be an effective insulator for large areas. Mineral wool has an R-value of R-2.8 to R-3.5.


Polystyrene is a waterproof thermoplastic foam, which is an excellent material for sound and temperature insulation. There are two types, expanded (EPS) and extruded (XEPS), also known as polystyrene. These two types differ in performance and cost. The more expensive XEPS is R-5.5, while EPS is R-4. Styrofoam insulation has an extremely smooth surface that no other type of insulation has. Typically, foam is created or cut into blocks, ideal for insulating walls. The foam is flammable and must be coated with a refractory chemical called hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). HBCD has recently been criticised because of the health and environmental hazards associated with its use.

Other Popular Insulation Materials

Although the elements listed above are the most commonly used insulation materials, they are not simply used. Materials such as airgel (used by NASA to build heat-resistant wafers that can withstand heat up to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit with little or no heat transfer) have recently become available. One of them is Pyrogel XT. Pyrogel is one of the most efficient industrial insulations in the world. Required thicknesses are 50% – 80% smaller than other insulation materials. Pyrogel is slightly more expensive than some other insulation materials but is increasingly used for some applications.