The main part of this chapter considers the properties of different materials in relation to static insulation.
The technical demands of an insulating material are usually as follows:
1. High thermal insulation properties.
2. Stability and long lifespan.
3. Fire resistance.
4. Lack of odour.
5. Low chemical activity.
6. Ability to cope with moisture.
The thermal insulation property for static insulation is usually called lambda (A) and can be measured with special equipment:
Mineral wool has a lambda value of 0.04, whilst a woodwool slab has a value of about 0.08. This means that a double thickness of woodwool gives the same insulation value as a single thickness of mineral wool. However, there is not always a linear relationship between the lambda value and the practical insulation value. The material's specific weight, hygroscopic quality and air resistance play a role too.
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