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5 min read

Thermal Insulation Sheets: An Eco-Energy Efficient Option


5 min read

Thermal Insulation Sheets: An Eco-Energy Efficient Option

InsulationThermal Insulation Sheets: An Eco-Energy Efficient Option

There's a wide range of thermal insulation materials on the market, and all of them have the potential to reduce heat transfer in a home. Some materials are more effective and versatile than others. One such material is thermal insulation sheets, which is a material that's used across a wide range of industrial purposes. Want to know more about thermal insulation sheets? Read on to learn all about the features, types, and benefits of this highly effective insulation!

What’s Thermal Insulation Sheet?

insulation sheet

Source: Canva

Thermal insulation is designed to prevent heat and cold from seeping out of an enclosed structure. This material consists of several thin layers of insulating materials covered by aluminum foil. There are several varieties of thermal insulation sheets, varying in the materials used, but each has a layer of aluminum foil. Thermal insulation is available in either a rigid panel or a roll of material that can be cut to fit almost any building. It's a versatile material used for various surfaces in the home, such as walls, baths, ceilings, roofs, heating pipes, balconies, floors, etc. 

Types of Thermal Insulation Sheets

There's a wide variety of thermal insulation sheets available on the construction market, which differ from each other in terms of their properties, the density of the foil, and the type of insulation material used. 

Expanded polyethylene foam

Expanded polyethylene foam is usually sold in compact rolls, and used to shield structures from cold, noise, and moisture. Its thickness varies from 2 mm to 10 mm, and the material can be coated on both sides or just one side. This insulation has a moisture absorption capacity of 0.35 to 0.7%. Its vapour permeability is approximately 0.001 mg/m*k. This material is durable and can withstand sudden temperature fluctuations. And, it isn't subject to rotting and is harmless to human health. It also provides excellent soundproofing.

This type of material is used to insulate roofs, floors, walls, ventilation, or piping. It's also used for underfloor heating and heating baths. Occasionally, a layer of polyethylene foam insulation will be installed behind a radiator to prevent heat from leaking through the wall structure. Pricing for this type of material varies depending on the thickness of the insulation, its brand, and the square footage it can cover. This is true for all other types of insulation. For example, you can spend about $67.99 for reflective insulation and 2 sheets of 2" x 25' polyethylene.

Mineral wool/foil backing

This product is mainly used as exterior insulation for buildings since mineral wool with a foil backing is known for its high thermal resistance. It's available in rolls, sheets, and cylinders. This type of thermal insulation sheet is usually covered with a layer of aluminum foil on one side only. Manufactured from wool, basalt, or fibreglass, it has a thickness ranging from 50 to 100 mm. This material can be used in all types of insulation works, given its low thermal conductivity, which is 0.03-0.04 W/m.K. It can be used for heating showers, baths, saunas, etc. 

Expanded polystyrene panel

Expanded polystyrene thermal insulation panels are thermoplastic products manufactured from melted-down polystyrene granules. Used mainly in industrial construction, it's sold in single slab form. Being a fairly durable material, it's resistant to rot, mildew, and temperature changes. In addition, it's very affordable compared to other types of materials. You can find it at various prices on the market depending on the brand and features. Polystyrene foam thermal insulation is easy to install and is used for insulating exterior walls, attics, crawlspaces, floors and roofs, both from outside and inside. For an 8' x 2" x 1 1/4" polystyrene insulation panel, plan on spending roughly $11.49.

Basalt fibre thermal insulation

This type of thermal insulation is used in a variety of construction projects and is designed to withstand really harsh temperatures. It'll easily withstand temperatures anywhere from -200°C to +700°C, and is classified as non-flammable. All of these characteristics make it ideally suited for insulating appliances that operate at high temperatures. In addition, basalt thermal insulation doesn't absorb water, unlike other types of insulation. It has a very high resistance to mould, rust, and chemicals. It's also a material that's valued for its high soundproofing properties. 

Folgoizolone insulation

Folgoizolone is an excellent thermal insulator, widely used when building and repairing saunas and baths due to its high resistance to moisture and to sudden temperature changes. It isn’t prone to rotting and is also considered an excellent soundproofing material. Folgoizolone is an eco-friendly material with high durability. However, its expensive nature means that it isn't available to everyone.

Besides the above-mentioned types of thermal insulation sheets, there's also multi-foil, which consists of a layer of aluminum covered with an air-filled bubble, polyethylene and polypropylene film. This product helps limit heat loss in homes and increases moisture resistance. 

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Advantages and Downsides to this Insulation

enclosed space thermal insulation sheets

Source: Canva 

Advantages of Thermal Insulation Sheets

If thermal insulation sheets are so valued and sought after on Quebec construction sites, it's largely because of their many advantages:

  • Has really good reflective thermal energy: the insulation sheet reflects up to 90% of the heat and guarantees overall comfort in the home during the summertime. 

  • Can withstand humidity pretty well: The aluminum layer within the panel repels humidity. Also, it’s not affected by temperature fluctuations. It doesn’t freeze during the winter nor does it dry out during the summer. 

  • It’s an eco-friendly material that is harmless to humans and the environment. 

  • Is watertight.

  • Good soundproofing material (reduces exterior noise pollution).

  • It lessens drafts, protects against strong winds, and temperature drops. Between that and the fact that it also reduces thermal losses, it also contributes to lower heating costs.

  • Has great durability since it withstands corrosion, moisture, rust, and rot. 

  • Because of its high degree of elasticity, it's easily malleable; it can be shaped and moulded to all kinds of structures.

  • It’s affordable and easily installed.

  • It's a very versatile material that can be used in almost any type of building, from residential homes to industrial or other structures.

Downsides to Thermal Insulation Sheets

Thermal insulation sheets are flexible, which makes them unsuitable beneath finishing compounds during construction work. Furthermore, a single thin layer can't provide a sufficient level of thermal protection. It's sometimes necessary to supplement the insulation sheet with other insulation materials to achieve the desired level of insulation. 

Few precautionary measures when installing thermal insulation sheets

contractor installing thermal insulation sheet

The appropriate PPE when installing insulation. 

Source: Canva

Installing thermal insulation sheets has a few peculiarities, which are listed below:

  • Effective insulation designed for walls, floors, and ceilings must be at least 50 mm thick. 

  • Mineral wool is able to absorb moisture. Once damp, it loses its insulating properties. Also, note that wool doesn't generate as much moisture, and the moist particles can turn into chunks of ice as a result of cold weather.

  • As such, it's important to shield thermal insulation sheets to prevent moisture crystallization. The aluminum layers can sometimes have tiny, invisible holes or micro-cracks, which allow vapour particles to seep into.

  • Remember to lay the thermal insulation sheet on the floor so that the aluminum-covered side is facing the inside of the room. The sheets should be tightly packed together under the linoleum. Using a proper installation technique is essential to benefit from all the insulation has to provide.

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Last modified 2024-05-09

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