Fibreglass Insulation (Glass Wool)

File:Fibreglass 2000dpi.jpg
File:Fibreglass 2000dpi.jpg


Glass wool (UK) or fiberglass insulation(US) is an insulating material made from fibreglass, arranged into a texture similar to wool. Glass wool is produced in rolls or in slabs, with different thermal and mechanical properties. Glass wool is a non-combustible, non-toxic and resistant to corrosion. It also has a low weight by volume, low thermal conductivity (making it a good insulator), stable chemical property and low moisture absorption rate. Thanks to its intertwined flexible fibres, glass wool is the best insulating material against noise, cold and heat and also offers excellent fire-resistant properties.


Manufacturing

After the fusion of a mixture of sand and recycled glass at 1,450 °C, the glass that is produced is converted into fibres. It is typically produced in a method similar to cotton candy- forced through a fine mesh by centrifugal force, cooling on contact with the air. The cohesion and mechanical strength of the product is obtained by the presence of a binder that cements the fibres together. Ideally, a drop of bonder is placed at each fibre intersection. This fiber mat is then heated to around 200 °C to polymerize the resin and is calendered to give it strength and stability. The final stage involves cutting the wool and packing it in rolls or batts under very high pressure before palletizing the finished product in order to accommodate transport and storage.

Uses

Fibreglass insulation is often used in the roofs of houses as heat insulation. Glass wool is a type of thermal insulation that consists of intertwined and flexible glass fibers, which causes it to "package" air, resulting in a low density that can be varied through compression and binder content. It can be a loose fill material, blown into attics, or, together with an active binder sprayed on the underside of structures, sheets and panels that can be used to insulate flat surfaces such as cavity wall insulation, ceiling tiles, curtain walls as well as ducting. It is also used to insulate piping and for soundproofing. Fibreglass insulation is mainly available in two forms- Batts (slabs) and Rolls. Batts are precut in determined shapes, often rectangular, whereas blankets are available in continuous rolls. Compressing the material reduces its effectiveness, so it is cut to accommodate electrical boxes and other obstructions. Blankets can cover joists and studs as well as the space between them. Gaps between batts can become sites of air infiltration or condensation, both of which reduce the effectiveness of the insulation.