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Termex cellulose insulation and its versatile advantages

Termex cellulose insulation and its versatile advantages

The practical use of cellulose insulations in Europe has a long tradition of over 70 years. The production technology has been developed in USA almost 90 years ago. Cellulose fibre were initially used in North America. Its widespread use in Europe began in developed countries (Germany, France and Scandinavia in particular) since the 1980s, and in Poland since the 1990s. Consumers located in countries of high GDP, advanced health and environmental consciousness, have recognised its merits, which has triggered the gradual broadening of its application.

Wide scope of application

Cellulose fibre insulations are used wooden and brick buildings, both for new building and retrofit purposes, houses and blocks of flats, as well as public edifices. Between storeys and on roofs (both loft attics and closed cavities), the blowing method is used. Vertical cavities can be treated with the spraying method (cellulose fibre moisturized with a small amount of water with adhesive) which ensures the insulation of walls without thermal bridges, as the layer can be inspected prior to casing.

The blown-in or sprayed material fills entirely the designed cavity regardless of its shape. Troublesome crevices or voids, also behind screens or ducts, can be filled together with the conduits located therein. In case of insulation retrofit, cavities or shortage of existing insulation may be filled by blowing the material in under pressure. Heat and moisture conditions of old buildings can be improved by insulating both from outside and inside.

Effectiveness of thermal insulation and ‘breathing’ of cavity

Technical parameters of cellulose fibre ensure its robust positioning among commonly used thermal insulation materials. Heat conductivity is on average 0.039-0.040 W(m*K). Therefore, the U value for a wall insulated with a 15cm layer of cellulose fibre is less than U=0.25 W/K. Correspondingly, with a layer of 25 cm it is U=0.16 W/K. In case of applying 42.5 cm on the roof, it is possible to achieve a heat permeability rate of U=0,10 W/K. Such thermal insulation parameters may be also encountered in Scandinavian solutions. Thanks to the applying of our material heat losses can be reduced due to the continuity and tightness of insulation, as well as the reduction of local dampness of insulation which could affect the heat conductivity thereof.

Cellulose insulation offers low air permeability on one hand, however, on the other hand it is able to confine a big mass of air (70-80%). This is thanks to porous fibre structure and moisture resistance, coupled with the hygroscopic properties which allow to regulate the moisture relations in rooms thanks to the receiving and releasing of moisture through the entire insulated surface of the building. Cellulose fibre binds and releases moisture similar to wooden, ceramic or plaster elements. It also allows to get rid of technical moisture from newly built structures.

In order to obtain the desired microclimate, use of plastic moisture barrier should be avoided (this rule does not always apply to wet rooms). In some cases, in order to avoid the damaging of the insulation layer, wind barrier can be used from outside and membrane from inside. Cellulose insulation shows permanent heat conductivity rates, as it adjusts itself to air humidity and temperature, without affecting its insulating properties, up to a humidity level of 15%. According to research performed in buildings the material humidity in case of normal air humidity of 50% is approx. 5%, while in case the indoor humidity reaches 70-80%, humidity of the material can reach 11%.

The insulating material creates an insulation layer which prevents uncontrolled material movement without seams and with tight alignment to the frame. Sprayed cellulose fibre becomes uniform and elastic after drying. Uninterrupted and even insulation ensures controlled and energy-saving ventilation. It eliminates the flow of warm air elsewhere than designed (doors, windows, ducts). As regards gas exchange (vapour and other gases), in a properly insulated building all external walls and roofs are involved in the process (boundary of heated rooms). This exchange occurs not by means of convection, but diffusion. As proven in the course of research, open diffusion of wall and roof cavities triggers a natural ventilation of the interior, especially where no other air exchange is in place.

 

 

Acoustic insulation

Cellulose fibre can be applied in buildings as a sound damping material. It’s R value is 57-59 dB, when installed in partition walls and ceilings. Also acoustic screens and damping surfaces can be fitted with cellulose fibre. Insulation can be also sprayed upright with an addition of a mild adhesive.

Fire safety

Cellulose fibre is a flame retardant which does not proliferate fire. The resistance to fire is gained thanks to boric compounds and low air permeability, which limits the spreading of hot gases and flames, and thus heating of the structure. In case of fire, the expansion rate in the insulation is only approx. 1-2 mm/min. Under the impact of high temperatures cellulose fibre is not set aflame or melted down, but it chars in a temperature of 90-95°C without emitting toxic gases (wooden elements are ignited at 200°C and metal elements begin to lose their properties at 300°C).

Termex can be applied in cavities of fire-proof buildings.

Protection against mould, structural safety

According to American statistics, houses insulated with cellulose fibre are less vulnerable to excessive humidity and therefore development of mould and domestic fungi. Thanks to boric additives, cellulose fibre insulations are protected against decay throughout the years. Boric compounds contained in the material additionally protect the adjacent wooden elements. Thanks to a pH value of 8.0 cellulose insulation does not cause, or even on the contrary, can prevent from metal corrosion.

Easiness and safety of installation, dismantling and demolishing

Blown-in cellulose insulation can be applied by means of a blowing machine connected to a standard 230 V electric installation. The insulation process is quick and non-invasive to the building structure and interior, provided that it is performed during the agreed stage of construction, in order to optimize the distribution of costs (some of the insulation works can be performed also during the use of the building). Example: insulation of a medium-sized detached house takes from one to two working days.
In case of open horizontal surfaces it is required to consider up to 20% for settlement. In other cases settlement is prevented by the adequate compaction of the material. Health safety and ecological value in the entire lifespan of the building
Cellulose is an environment-friendly material both for man and environment, acquired from natural, renewable environment. The production of cellulose fibre based on recycled raw material which reduces greatly the environmental footprint. In the manufacturing process of cellulose fibre, broke and recovered newsprint paper is used, which under modern standard contains printing ink based on natural pigment made of plant oil.

The amount of boric acid is used to secure the material against fire and decay is not harmful to man or environment.

Termex does not pose any threats even when the surface is covered. Cellulose fibres do not contain needles or other strongly irritating particles. In normal conditions they should not cause an allergic reaction of the installer. The emission of mineral ingredients from the material is lower by 25-95% compared to mineral or glass wool. Cellulose fibre does not contain binders (e.g. formaldehyde-based adhesives) and other chemicals which could directly cause illness upon inhalation or a bad smell.

Cellulose fibre is energy-efficient both in production and transport, as well as during installation (primary energy consumption: 0.1 kWh/kg in production, 1kWh/kg in the entire production process until installation). The amount of energy used in the production of cellulose fibre is few tens less than the production of mineral wool or polyurethane. In case of building demolition, the material does not cause environmental hazard and it can be re-used. The insulation process does not generate waste.

Cheap luxury

In spite of its outstanding parameters, cellulose insulation is not an expensive material. In the construction process, cellulose fibre insulation can be installed quickly, without transport of building waste and on the condition of appropriate designing of the structure, the insulation can be performed as one of the last stages of construction. This allows to fit the necessary material no sooner than it may be necessary for the use of the building. Furthermore, the customer obtains a long-term warranty from the manufacturer.

Impact of the insulation technology on the architectural design

Building elements to be filled with cellulose fibre should be prepared according to the available instructions, so as to avoid time wastage on removal of panels or drilling of unnecessary installation inlets. The insulated elements should be made easily accessible. Insulating with cellulose fibre should be scheduled after the installation of all elements to be covered with the insulating material (water and sewage ducts, electric systems, shields etc.).

In order to fully utilise the versatile advantages of Termex cellulose insulation, its application should be clearly considered in the design according to the instructions of the manufacturer and authorised agent.

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