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Insulation glossary & technical terms.
Are you confused by the many technical terms used in the insulation industry?
Don't worry we have produced this glossary to help you understand some of the most commonly used terms.
Compressive StrengthkPa - KilopascalThis is the measurement of at which point a force on the insulation causes it to fail or give way.
Densitykg/m³ - kilogram per metre cubedDensity is the mass per unit volume of a material. The larger the density the greater the acoustic resistance.
GWPGlobal Warming PotentialThis is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere, and how much the material is estimated to contribute towards Global Warming.
Non-HygroscopicA non-hygroscopic material has the ability to not absorb moisture.
ODPOzone Depletion PotentialDuring the manufacture of insulation, gas can be released into the atmosphere, this then harming the ozone layer. So materials manufactured with zero ODP potential, do not directly help with the degradation of the ozone layer.
Phenolic FoamPhenolic is manufactured with over a 90% closed cell formation, which gives it a great stability. It has exceptional fire retardant properties and a low smoke level. Its resistant to fungus an mould growth and will not sustain vermin. Great alternative to PIR boards in environments that require self extinguishing, low smoke materials.
PIRPolyisocyanuratePIR is thermoset plastic and is one of the most efficient insulation materials available.
R-Valuem²·K/W - metre squared Kelvin per WattIs the measure of the resistance of heat transfer through a material. A materials thickness will affect the given R-Value. The higher the value the better the effectiveness of the material at insulating.
To calculate the R-Value: R Value = thickness(m)/Thermal Conductivity (W/mK)
Thermal ConductivityW/m·K - Watts per metre KelvinThermal Conductivity also known as Lambda (λ) or K-Value, is the measure of how easy it is for heat to flow through a given type of material by conduction, independent of the material in question. Conduction is the main form of heat transfer through insulation.
U-ValueW/m²·K - Watt per metre squared KelvinU-Value is the sum of all the elements that make up the entire building I.e Roof, Wall or Floor and how well they are insulated. This shows the ability of a building's elements to transmit heat from a cold source to a warm and vice versa. The lower the U-Value the better insulated the building, or slower the heat can transfer.
Vapour PermeabilityOr Vapour PermeableThis is the ability of a material at allowing vapour to pass through it. For example, a Vapour Permeable building membrane is effective at stopping the flow of vapour through the membrane.