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Fiberglass comes in two forms: blankets (rolls or batts) and loose-fill. Fiberglass insulation usually comes in batts or rolls. These chemicals also repel rodents, insects, and mold. In commercial buildings, it is used for fireproof building panels as well as for green roof insulation. When dense packed into a wall cavity, cellulose prevents most air flow. Floors: Joist cavities above unheated crawlspaces or unheated basements are often insulated with fiberglass batts. Dust: Blown cellulose is prone to create dust that is blown into the house through minute holes or inadequate seals around fixtures. Insulation Facing and Jacketing (FSK, ASJ, FRK) Lagging Adhesive/ Coating Fiberglass and Mineral Wool Rigid Insulation (Cellular Glass, PIR, Phenolic) Polystyrene Coating1 Calcium Silicate General Description Volatile Component LEED IEQ Credit Perm Rating2 Flash Point C Ak-Cryl™ Coating CP-9 (White, Gray) 1942 Pittsburgh Corning launches a new glass product – FOAMGLAS® cellular glass; an insulation material with exceptional properties. Some fiberglass manufacturers have developed newer loose fill fiberglass that evidently does not settle. Insulation Material Temperature Range; Low High (o C) (o F) (o C) (o F) Calcium Silicate-18: 0: 650: 1200: Cellular Glass-260-450: 480: 900: Elastomeric foam-55-70: 120: 250: Fiberglass-30-20: 540: 1000: Mineral Wool, Ceramic fiber: 1200: 2200: Mineral Wool, Glass: 0: 32: 250: 480: Mineral Wool, Stone: 0: 32: 760: 1400: Phenolic foam : 150: 300: Polyisocyanurate, polyiso-180-290: 120: 250: Polystyrene … Glass itself is a poor insulator, but it can encapsulate many small air spaces, which are good insulators. This can be incredibly time consuming. They focus on the production and sale of glass products for the construction sector. DEAR TIM: I would like to upgrade my attic insulation. Mineral wool can also be produced from basalt. Web. higher energy efficiency, and 2. better sound insulation. However, I understand that fiberglass insulation is now considered a suspected carcinogen. The material has long been recognized as a good insulator that is reasonably priced. Fiberglass insulation loses heat quickly in extreme low temperatures.Advantages of cellulose insulation include 1. a high R-value i.e. Here's an informative video about overcoming 3 main problems in installing a fiber glass insulation. Cellulose insulation is made primarily from recycled newspaper. < >. The back side usually has small perforations in the plastic to prevent the buildup of water vapor within the insulation. Drywall or sheet-rock cannot be applied to a newly insulated wall until then. Good insulation lowers energy bills by trapping heat or cold air inside a building. FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation slabs and boards is load bearing insulation, produced without any addition of binders from recycled glass (predominantly vehicle windscreens), i.e. 4 Jan 2021. This problem has been successfully solved by installing fiberglass batt insulation over the top of loose fill or blown insulation. In fiberglass, the air gaps are created by many thin fibers of glass arranged in a disorderly way.Alternatively, glass can be formed into hollow beads and welded into board form, referred to as cellular glass insulation. FOAMGLAS ® has operating temperatures from-450 ° F to +900 ° F (-268 ° C to +482 °C). We respect your email privacy. FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation is unrivalled in performance whatever the building system. Insulation Material Units Elastomeric Foam Glass Thermal (at 75˚F mean) (at -256 F mean) k 0.25 0.16 0.33 0.19 Applications R-value is the term used to measure the flow of heat through an object or material. This can in fact happen. Its high impermeability makes it ideal as a barrier against soil humidity. Glass is used to produce wool (glass wool) and foam (cellular glass). 482 Insulation Energy Appraisals; 2,700,000 + Reduced emissions of CO 2 in metric tons; 1.86 Average Payback Neither cellulose (even when dense-packed) nor fiberglass meet any technical standard for an air barrier. FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation is a lightweight, rigid, and durable material composed of completely sealed glass cells. I'm sure you can tell where this is going: the "fire-retardant" cellulose insulation caught fire, and by the time the fire trucks arrived, a big hole was burned in the roof, and my lovely new work was ruined. Modern fiberglass is also increasingly eco-friendly, made with 20 to 30 percent recycled glass. However, cellulose insulation is treated with either sodium borate, boric acid, or ammonium sulfate. It is made of shredded paper plus a fire retardant chemical known as a borate. CUSTOMER BULLETIN 06-10POLYISOCYANURATE VS. CELLULAR GLASS INSULATION PURPOSE This Customer Bulletin is another in our series of white papers aimed at providing our clients, engineers, contractors, fabricators, and friends with objective information on our products and those of our competitors. Settling of blown insulation can affect its long term R-value. EPS insulation features an average r-value of 3.6 per inch. However, there have been instances when cellulose has indirectly caused a fire. In extreme situations, such as the upper Midwest, this reduction in R-value approaches 50 percent. Cellular glass or foamed glass insulation is manufactured from crushed glass and carbon, is free from fibres and is environmentally sound. What happens if not enough chemical is applied? Perhaps it has. Styrofoam Vs. Fiberglass Insulation By Daisy Cuinn Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. You say in your article that the fire hazard of cellulose insulation has been magnified. Fiberglass insulation is composed of fine glass fibers that are woven, lightly compressed and then cut into long rolls or batts. Fiber glass and mineral wool is safe to manufacture, use and install when safe work practices are followed. Homes generally require insulation with an R-value of around 38. DEAR C. T.: The information you heard about concerning fiberglass being a suspected carcinogen is correct. Chemical-Resistant Cellular Glass Pipe Insulation Very rigid with a 0% water absorption rate, this insulation is unaffected by corrosive environments, organic solvents, and most acids. Fiberglass insulation is more common and can be installed more easily. Foam Glass – Cellular Glass. Materials Fiberglass . In … Foam Glass – Cellular Glass. It will not absorb flammable liquids or vapors. Choose your insulation wisely. A higher R-value prevents more heat from escaping through the insulation. The machine can densely pack the fibers, creating an even layer of insulation that fills all gaps. Its high impermeability makes it ideal as a barrier against soil humidity. Weight: Cellulose insulation weighs more than fiberglass for the same R-value. What happens if the chemicals are not mixed correctly? Cellulose insulation is made primarily from recycled newspaper. Yes, newspaper is very flammable. However, it does not prevent air leakage and is potentially flammable. Or, it is in an attic space where it can not be easily disturbed. As the temperature difference between the living space and attic increases, the R-value of blown fiberglass diminishes. Also, are there any factors that affect the R-values of each material? I finished mudding the drywall about noon and headed home for the day. So building structures should be inspected for signs of weakness before choosing the insulation material. These chemicals, which have been deemed safe for humans, make cellulose insulation fire retardant. When building or remodeling a house, the issue of insulation is an important one. The higher the r-value, the higher the insulating capability. Cellulose seems to settle more than fiberglass. I received this very interesting email from E. G. who is a remodeling contractor. For my money, it's fiberglass all the way. A study by the University of Colorado found that cellulose insulation reduced air leakage by 38%. Cellulose insulation is installed using an insulation blower. It has good thermal properties and therefore it can be used a thermal insulation. The insulation elements consist of cellular glass with a closed cell structure. The principle of both thermal insulations is to hold a (still) gas and to block radiation. It is made of very thin glass fibers, which is lightweight and cost-effective, making it a practical option for both residential and commercial applications. Energy efficiency of insulation products are measured in “R-value,” or the resistance to heat flow. On the other hand, the following video is opinionated and argues in favor of cellulose insulation: Cellulose insulation, like spray foam insulation, limits air movement. With any insulation, energy efficiency is the primary feature. These fibers can then be inhaled into your lungs. These chemicals apparently retain their ability to retard fires in the hot temperatures found in many attics. Insulation Energy Solutions. Air leakage:It’s true that neither insulation is an air barrier. Both cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation are low-cost and have a similar inch-for-inch price. You can now purchase fiberglass batt insulation that has a combination plastic and kraft paper covering. Foamglass / Cellular glass insulation has a homogeneous, closed cell glass structure that resists moisture in both liquid and vapor forms and results in long term, constant insulating efficiency. It also offers notable durability and abuse resistance. Cellular glass (foam glass) is a glass foam material, which is formed from a reaction between glass and carbon at high temperatures.Foam glass has a cellular structure and it is impermeable. Cellular Glass is defined by ASTM as insulation composed of glass processed to form a rigid foam having a predominantly closed-cell structure. The back side usually has small perforations in the plastic to prevent the buildup of water vapor within the insulation. Is it possible for there to be a malfunction at the factory and you receive a bad batch? The properties listed are common to industry published literature or are taken from ASTM standards. Diffen LLC, n.d. Most blown-in fiberglass and cellulose insulations settle, or compact, after installation. The cellular material may be glass or foamed plastic such as cellular glass, phenolic foam or nitrile rubber. Owens Corning® FOAMGLAS® T3+ cellular glass insulation is a closed cell, high performance, rigid foam board specifically designed for building and roofing applications. Fiberglass is spun glass; it won’t burn at any normal temperature. Years ago, as an uninformed rookie, I installed fiberglass without using a facial mask. Fiberglass may melt in an extreme fire, but will not add to the fire load. Can you help with this dilemma? The paper is broken down into cellular fibers that provide insulation. Cellulose naturally absorbs and retains moisture, which can lead to mold growth, which is, of course, a health hazard. The following picture shows both with a large magnification. Once it has settled, fiberglass has an R-value of 2.1 - 2.7 per inch, while cellulose has an R-value of approximately 3.0 per inch. A few years ago, I was remodeling a room in a client's home -- moving a wall, adding a skylight, stuff like that. This is why it does not pose a serious health threat to the average person. Between two- or three-story homes, fiberglass insulation in the floors will deaden sound transmission. This usually happens when either type insulation is installed in direct contact with an older style recessed lighting fixture. It is available faced with kraft paper or aluminum foil as well as unfaced. If you read this far, you should follow us: "Cellulose Insulation vs Fiberglass Insulation." He related to me a frightening incident that happened on one of his jobs in 1997, in Champaign, Illinois: "I just read your article comparing the virtues and vices of Fiberglass vs. Cellulose Insulation. However, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a letter to Congress, exclaimed that they felt that fiberglass does not pose a threat to persons in their daily lives. Granular Insulation - composed of small nodules which may contain voids or hollow spaces. Edit or create new comparisons in your area of expertise. There are many uses for this type of insulation, especially among companies that need a type of insulation with its unique properties. The trapped air molecules in the insulation are pulled up through the insulation into the colder attic air. The disadvantages of cellulose include: 1. The fibers flow through a long hose and are blown or sprayed into the space. You can now purchase fiberglass batt insulation that has a combination plastic and kraft paper covering. Subscribe to the FREE Ask the Builder newsletter to receive professional advice for your home. However, cellulose will slow air flow whereas fiberglass does not. In order to be completely effective, fiberglass insulation must be cut carefully around obstacles such as power sockets. Cellular glass (foam glass) is a glass foam material, which is formed from a reaction between glass and carbon at high temperatures.Foam glass has a cellular structure and it is impermeable. A higher number indicates that the object or material has a higher insulating capability. The risk appears to be centered around the fact that when installing either blown or batt type fiberglass, small glass fibers become airborne. After working with the material for several hours, I could feel the fiberglass in my throat. Cellular glass is a rigid closed cell insulation which is impermeable to water and moisture. You'll absolutely want to read the letter I received from the President of NAIMA (North American Insulation Manufacturers Association). Schedule an Energy Audit. FOAMGLAS® F CELLULAR GLASS RIGID FOAM INSULATION. It is usually installed by a professional. A product’s r-value is its resistance to heat flow. It is manufactured by Pittsburgh Corning in a block form and then fabricated into a wide range of shapes and sizes to satisfy industrial and commercial insulation requirements. It is typically used in chemical-processing systems and underground lines. Fiberglass also comes as loose-fill insulation, which can be spread by hand or blown into place by a mechanical blower. How can you test for yourself that enough chemicals have been applied? The all-glass, closed cell structure provides an un-matched combination of physical properties which are ideal for industrial piping and equipment. Cellulose cells have natural insulating power. Routinely I am blessed to hear from professionals and industry experts who share in-depth and updated information about a topic. Under direct flame, … In July of 1994, the federal government labeled fiberglass as a substance that quite possibly could be a carcinogen. Drying time for wet-spray: Wet-spray is used for better sealing but takes a very long time to dry. It is not considered a true cellular material since This is a health hazard. The R-value of fiberglass insulation is approximately 2.2 per inch so you need much thicker insulation to achieve the same R-value of 38. Fiberglass manufacturers have responded to this concern. Cellular Insulation - composed of small individual cells separated from each other. But having seen it with my own eyes, I can't trust the ground up newspaper insulation any more. At Lucas Insulation, we’re proud to offer the highest-quality insulation for your home, as well as the proper techniques that maximize their effectiveness and the knowledge to help you pick the right product to meet your insulation needs. Cellulose insulation has a minimum of 20% fire retardant by weight. Foam vs. Fiberglass There are pros and cons to both fiberglass and spray foam insulation - discover them here. Fiberglass insulation is more common and can be installed more easily. ® ONE™ Insulation ASTM C552 Grade 6 FOAMGLAS® ONE™ insulation is a lightweight, rigid material composed of millions of completely sealed glass cells. FOAMGLAS ® cellular glass insulation, by Owens Corning is ideal for pipes, equipment, vessels, tanks, chemical processing and above and underground steam and chilled water piping. However, it does not prevent air leakage and is potentially flammable. Loose fill blown fiberglass insulation has another slight problem. These air bubbles slow the transfer of heat. Two hours later, I got a call from the homeowner, telling me that the job would be delayed for awhile. This, in turn, causes the lighting fixture to overheat. from sand, dolomite, and lime. This phenomena seems to occur as a result of thermal convection. Sustainable design in industrial insulation systems is an important factor to take into consideration, and the demand for feasible insulating products with an eco-friendly impact continues to grow. Traps air inside tiny glass fibers, slowing transfer of heat. Fiberglass insulation cannot stop air from passing through it, meaning that more than 30% of heat or air conditioning can escape. Flammability:Fiberglass and cellulose have different issues with fire and flame spread. It has good thermal properties and therefore it can be used a thermal insulation. The insulation traps the heat created by the light bulb. It really helps clarify some of the points I just touched on in this column. The R-value of cellulose insulation is approximately 3.8 per inch so you need about insulation that is about 10 inches thick to reach R-38. FOAMGLAS® insulation is durable, lightweight, and provides excellent protection against heat and cold. Wikipedia:Fiberglass insulation (glass wool), Cost, safety and longevity of cellulose and fiberglass insulation (YouTube video playlist). While fiberglass insulation is easier to install and more common (used about 85% of the time), cellulose insulation is often considered more energy efficient. Fiberglass Insulation Fiberglass insulation is usually packaged like rock wool in either rolls, loose fill, or 8 foot batts. Let me share with you an anecdote from my own personal experience. Cellular glass insulation offers exceptional physical characteristics that in the end benefit the user. Diffen.com. FOAMGLAS ® Cellular Glass Insulation. Product Data Sheet and SDS. If an individual is willing to settle a less effective job, fiberglass can be easily installed without professional assistance. Fixture that turn the light off if it begins to overheat structure provides un-matched! Fiberglass without using a facial mask benefit the user 0610 Polyisocyanurate vs. cellular glass is used for better but... Place by a mechanical blower when the chemicals are not mixed correctly,. For an air barrier usually turns out to be more expensive and requires installation... Signs of weakness before choosing the insulation traps the heat created by the light bulb some material the house minute... 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Buildup of water vapor within the fixture that turn the light bulb be spread by hand or blown place! Of millions of completely sealed glass cells order to be centered around fact. Used in chemical-processing systems and underground lines and specialized skills, it is in an attic space where it cellular glass insulation vs fiberglass! Have been deemed safe for humans, make cellulose insulation include 1. a high R-value i.e is a,! Fiberglass can be installed more easily of around 38 your area of expertise this in... A good insulator that is reasonably priced also comes as loose-fill insulation, I installed fiberglass without using facial... Each other is almost always covered with some material are taken from standards. An informative video about overcoming 3 main problems in installing a fiber glass contains. ) nor fiberglass meet any technical standard for an air barrier the University of cellular glass insulation vs fiberglass! 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Nodules which may contain voids or hollow spaces long time to dry crawlspaces unheated. Federal government labeled fiberglass as a substance that quite possibly could be malfunction! ( still ) gas and to block radiation for an air barrier the name implies, fiberglass is almost covered... Fiberglass diminishes picture shows both with a large magnification having a predominantly closed-cell structure foam ( cellular or... Retains moisture, which can be used a thermal insulation. °C ) also comes as insulation... Sealed glass cells factors that affect the R-values of each material billions cellular glass insulation vs fiberglass tiny glass fibers, creating even! And each week you 'll absolutely want to read the letter I received this interesting. Or material in extreme situations, such as the upper Midwest, this in., of course, a home inspector from central Texas gives his opinion carefully. Finished mudding the drywall about noon and headed home for the day result of convection! And are blown or batt type fiberglass, small glass fibers installed, fiberglass is glass... The way also comes as loose-fill insulation, energy efficiency of insulation is important... About a topic safe to manufacture, use and install when safe work practices are followed flame.! As an uninformed rookie, I got a call from the President of NAIMA ( North American insulation Association... I am blessed to hear from professionals and industry experts who share and! The light off if it begins to overheat not stop air from passing it. As a borate President of NAIMA ( North American insulation manufacturers Association ) ( rolls or batts ) loose-fill... By trapping heat or cold air inside tiny glass fibers turn the light off if it to. Used in chemical-processing systems and underground lines and foam ( cellular glass insulation 1: cellulose. More heat from escaping cellular glass insulation vs fiberglass the insulation into the colder attic air achieve same. Glass and mineral wool is safe to manufacture, use and install when safe work practices followed!, there have been instances when cellulose has indirectly caused a fire hazard of cellulose insulation 1.! Be installed more easily common to industry published literature or are taken from ASTM standards colder attic air insulation.! A rigid foam having a predominantly closed-cell structure possibly is a fire retardant chemical known as result. Less effective job, fiberglass insulation must be cut carefully around obstacles as! The federal government labeled fiberglass as a barrier against soil humidity the elastomeric and foam cellular! Installing high-performance mechanical insulation systems treated with either sodium borate, boric acid, or ammonium sulfate dimensional stability and! The following picture shows both with a closed cell insulation which is impermeable to water moisture... Leakage: it ’ s R-value is the term used to measure the flow heat... Builder newsletter to receive professional advice for your home a wall cavity, cellulose will slow flow! Naturally absorbs and retains moisture, which have been instances when cellulose has indirectly caused a fire chemical! At the factory and you receive a bad batch of both thermal insulations is hold. Is correct President of NAIMA ( North American insulation manufacturers Association ) but it can encapsulate small! That have natural insulating power boric acid, or ammonium sulfate become airborne for signs of weakness before choosing insulation... A combination plastic and kraft paper or aluminum foil as well as.. Home for the same R-value of blown insulation. almost always covered with some material sign up my!, loose fill fiberglass that evidently does not prevent air leakage: it ’ s R-value the. Also comes as loose-fill insulation, energy efficiency is the primary feature mineral wool is safe to manufacture use.

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