Originally published by : Facility Executive — February 8, The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. As a consequence, SBC cannot vouch for the validity of any facts, claims or opinions made in the article. When facility executives are faced with the important decision of selecting roofing insulation for a project, there are several critical factors that must be considered.

Roofing insulation should not only meet building codes, but also offer the most value related to performance and durability. Each insulation option brings its own distinct benefits to a commercial roofing project. Due to its components, mineral wool goes by many names, including mineral fiber, rock wool, slag wool, and stone wool insulation. Mineral wool originated in Germany in and was one of the first insulation materials to be commercially produced.

To manufacture mineral wool, molten glass, stone, or slag and other raw materials are heated and spun into very thin fibers, much like how cotton candy is spun. When the material is produced, binders are used to hold the fibers together and form it to meet specific product needs. Mineral wool is commonly available as blanket and loose-fill insulation. Polyiso was originally developed in the s and was once used as insulation for beer barrels.

Since then, it has evolved to become an environmentally friendly roofing and wall insulation solution. When selecting insulation, comparing and contrasting factors like fire protection, R-value, and compressive strength must be considered. Fire Protection. Thanks to its flame retardant chemicals, mineral wool is highly fireproof, which makes it a popular choice for commercial buildings where fire performance is the most critical factor.

Building owners and facility managers need insulation that can stand up to the heat without deteriorating over time. Thermal Performance and Weight. Mineral wool is more often found in walls than in roofs because of its weight, and has a relatively low R-value of 3.

Mineral wool insulation is 4. However, that density means that mineral wool boasts better sound control properties than polyiso. Polyiso offers the highest R-value per inch of any rigid foam board insulation. This means it resists the flow of heat and keeps the interior of a building warm or cool, depending on the season, helping to keep energy costs low. Polyiso insulation typically has an R-value ranging from R As gas escapes, however, the R-value of polyiso can drop over time, but foil and plastic facings can help stabilize that number.

Compressive Strength. Here, compressive strength is directly related to durability and is defined as the ability of a rigid foam board to maintain its shape when force is applied. Mineral wool may be thick insulation, but its compressive strength is only 11 pounds per square inch psi.

This means that factors like mechanical fasteners, foot traffic, vibrations, and other external pressures can cause significant damage to the insulation. When mineral wool is stepped on, it does not fully recover back to its original state, which can result in reduced thermal performance.

Rock Wool Insulation Vs. Fiberglass Insulation

Polyiso insulation has significantly higher compressive strength than mineral wool and can range from 16 psi to 25 psi. This ensures it will maintain its shape despite foot traffic and routine maintenance to the roof, making polyiso a durable choice.

Materials and Environmental Impact.

rockwool vs foam insulation

Some sustainability experts have expressed concerns regarding the binder that ties the fibers of mineral wool together. Typically, the binder is a phenol formaldehyde or urea-extended phenol formaldehyde, an element that poses a potential health concern and may be harmful to air quality.

According to the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association PIMAthe energy savings potential of polyiso insulation over a typical year building life span is equal to up to 47 times the initial energy required to produce, transport, and install it. Polyiso is equipped with shorter fasteners as well as thin, light boards.Understanding the physics behind how walls work is the key to designing well-insulated, airtight and durable wall systems.

Method and form : Cellulose consists of shredded newsprint and is non-toxic, recycled and generally local. Stop Press! A new environmentally-friendly rigid foam insulation board made from cellulose nanocrystals is a viable alternative to Styrofoam - according to researchers at WSU Researchers at Washington State University have developed a rigid cellulose foam insulation panel that one day we hope will replace plastics based foam as a standard building insulation. Reasonably low impact in production; raw materials are abundant; it offers good R value and reasonably good soundproofing.

The most common commercial manufacturer is Roxul, so that tends to be its common name on job sites. It is completely permeable to and unharmed by moisture, so there is less risk of damage during installation as well as during its operational life. As it is a newly emerging raw building material, no market for recycled materials has formed, but the materials are recycleable and reusable. Read more about hemp insulation. Pros: Hemp acts as carbon storage, it is renewable and non-toxic.

Hemp batts handle moisture quite well, and can safely absorb moisture contained in framing materials making it a durable form of batt insulation. It works to reduce sound transmission and is resistant to insects and pests. Expect to pay a little more than Rockwool panels.

It can be tough to cut, so when purchasing Hemp insulation it is recommended to purchase a saw at the same time. XPS Extruded polystyrene refers to the coloured solid foam panels you most often see on the outside of buildings under construction.

It offers a higher density and higher R-value per inch than EPS expanded polystyrene but because of its lower cost, EPS offers more R-value per dollar spent. Recycled content : Not very high, though it could and should be, but it isn't commercially viable. Method and form : Comes in panels, 2x8, 4x8 and other dimensions, with variable thicknesses. Notes : EPS is the only commercially available foam insulation panel that is at all vapour permeable, which can be an advantage in some applications, as can those that are vapour impermeable.

The common blowing agent for EPS is pentane gas, which is ozone safe but has a global warming potential GWP 7 times greater than carbon dioxide. This is significantly lower than other types of foam, so we recommend it as the preferred choice of foam whenever foam insulation is the best option possible for the application. Excellent as a rigid foam insulation board for below grade applications and insulated slab formingboth inside and out.

EPS is unharmed by moisture, and allows a certain amount of moisture to pass through it.

rockwool vs foam insulation

Blowing agents are times worse than carbon dioxide, exponentially worse than EPS. For ecological reasons rather than performance, we recommend limiting its use when possible unless it is genuine Dow Corning styrofoam which uses foam blowing agents that are environmentally better.

XPS is durable and unharmed by moisture, so it works well below grade, but not as well as EPS because of long-term moisture retention. U pdate: new blowing agents for spray foam dramatically reduce their environmental impact.

Read more. Recycled Content : Minimal at best. Method and form : Urethane is sprayed on, and structurally solid to the point that you can walk on it in about 20 minutes. Performance: R6 - 6. Read more here about the potential pitfalls of polyiso insulation.

Polyiso can be a great product in some applications but has some notable limitations. It is moisture sensitive, so it is important that it not be exposed to weather during construction or its service life. Panels come with foil membranes on either side to contain gas, though it will leak out eventually, reducing R values.

The stated performance is R6 - 6. A great product for interior use, but it must be on the warmer side of a wall assembly to do any good at all.SoundProof Idea.

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Whenever you are planning to improve the sound quality of the studio or a room, you have faced problems of the noise and start focusing on soundproofing and you probably heard two terms Acoustic foam vs Mineral Wool. If we talk about soundproofing then our aim is to prevent the noise coming from outside of your area and in case of sound-absorbing we are more focused to find a solution on reducing echos and improving sound quality.

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To achieve both of your key targets the very best materials used in the markets are acoustic foam and Mineral wools, here the acoustic foams can help you achieve sound-absorbing however mineral wool is more focused on soundproofing where I consider that you have already read our detailed guide on soundproofing vs sound-absorbing.

I was in the middle of soundproofing my house and was stuck with the effective use of each one of them and have done a lot of research and the learning was surprising and I have detailed all that learning in this guide. Let first focus on learning, what do both means and how it works in the real scenarios, for what reason both are mainly used and Acoustic foam vs Mineral Wool major differences? There might be the case you are aware of both or maybe not hence I decided to put both separately to understand in detail how both are important in soundproofing and why you should use them.

We have seen many people using sound absorption materials to overcome the noise and improve the sound quality and for that purpose, their primary choice is to search for acoustic foam panel. Acoustic foam is also known as an acoustic foam panel which is different than conventional foams and specially designed for acoustic treatment. Its main job is to reduce the amplitude of the soundwaves and dissipate the energy in the heat form. If you have read our detailed guide on what is noise or sound then you remember that noise waves travel in the air and reflect from every surface which has a low noise reduction coefficient NRC or less absorption capacity.

Which causes multiple reflections from different areas like the wall, floor, ceiling etc and noise gets amplify and generates echo in the house. To overcome this amplification and reduce reflection of sound waves, we need material on top of all these reflective surfaces which absorb the sound waves and reduce the reflection and the best material is Acoustic foam panel.

If you got an idea what is Acoustic foam panel then the next part to learn is how does this actually work and what materials they are made of. Ideally, every acoustic foam is made of Polyurethane foam such as polyether or polyester and extrude melamine foam.

These are available in different sizes, colors, and shapes and cut into different tiles like panels. Few acoustic foam panels are made of fiberglass which is having the ability to friction against the soundwaves and more dissipation of the sound vibration into the heat energy. Acoustic foam panel has a different property to deal with the sound energy as the flat surface has less ability to absorb the sound waves as compared to one which has pyramid or Egg crate shapes.

As the sound energy could be in between low-high frequency range or maybe bass which is unable to trap by any acoustic panels and that is why there are different acoustic panels available in the market. If you are planning to learn more in detail about how all types of acoustic foam panel works and which one is best for your use then I recommend going through a detailed guide on Is soundproof Acoustic Foam really Works? Till this point, I can say you are confident enough with the learning on Acoustic Foam panel and this time to learn about what is Mineral wool insulation, which can give us more idea on Acoustic foam panel vs mineral wool insulation.

The primary material used for sound blocking or soundproofing is an insulating material and in this list, the very best material is mineral wool insulation.

Mineral wool is the acoustic material specially used during construction to fit in-between the verticle studs of the wall or ceiling. As well all know the noise travels by vibrating the air particles however Mineral wool is structured in the form of a mat of fibers which prevent the movement of air and in result reduction of noise. It has a unique ability to combat fire and strong resistant against the fuel fire or flams propagation. If you are struggling with noise from a neighbor or willing to bound your drum playing noise within the room then your concern will be to soundproof a wall.Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose between rockwool and acoustic foam?

The thing is, neither rockwool or acoustic foam is better than the other. It all depends on what you want out of your room treatment. Then you can choose your most useful one. Rockwool is a non-combustible, lightweight product that has some excellent acoustical-dampening proprieties. It also is dimensionally stable, so it makes it ideal for a friction fit in wall, ceiling, and floor applications.

Because of its compounds and weight, it is really easy to cut. The cutting will not require any special tools. You can even use a knife if you are careful enough. However, you will need to cut it because it usually comes in thick pieces when bought.

However, you can solve this problem easily. Just make sure you cover it, so it looks acceptable. It is up to you what cover-up material you are going to choose, but my suggestion is to not look at any fancy material unless your budget is high. Additionally, rockwool has a characteristic that many people find crucial.

If you want to soundproof a room, rockwool can absorb bass or anything in the lower region. If any of your treble is below 1kHz, this product will surprise you in a good way. It comes in different thicknesses, so it will be effective in a lot of scenarios.

Acoustic foam is an open-celled foam used frequently for acoustic treatments. The principle behind it is to accentuate airborne sound waves by increasing air resistance. This procedure will usually reverb and flutter echoes as well. The result is the reduced amplitude of the sound waves. The energy is dissipated as heat. It is a lightweight material made from polyurethane foam from either polyether or polyester. They are easy to recognize as most of them have a special cut. They are cut into tiles, often with pyramid or wedge shapes.

This cut allows them to be effective in terms of soundproofing, while also improving the sound quality of the room. Just like the rockwool, you can pretty much place them anywhere, including walls, the ceiling, or even doors. Some of the acoustic foam products only require you to stick them wherever you planned.

To stick, just unpeel the backing and stick where you want it. They come in little pieces, so you need to do that for each of them: very easy to install. The design is great as well. They come in several different colors, so you can match them with where you want them to be installed. They are sold in different thicknesses as well.I wondering if it would do any good to fill the space between floor joists with insulation to help stop sound transfer to the upstairs.

Comparing Mineral Wool Fiber and Polyiso Insulation Properties

There are many choices on the market, but my budget is tight. So, what would be the best soundproofing insulation for my needs? I put together a list of possible options:. With the list in hand, I took a closer look at the different types and what they do. If you want to know more about any of these options keep reading as I give my insight into every single one.

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In most residential areas there are thousands of noises. They can be airborne, impact or flanking sounds. The type of noise and its frequency range are the factors that bother us. Sound insulation can help improve our comfort and even our health.

Sound travels through the air in different wavelengths. Wavelengths are measured from crest to crest or trough to trough and represent different sounds. The distance between crests or troughs represents different frequencies of sound. The farther apart the crests the lower the frequency and the closer together the higher the frequency. Wavelengths we can hear are between 0. Frequency is measured in Hertz Hz and represents the tone frequency or musical value of a sound. A flute has a high pitch of 2,Hz and a tuba a low pitch of 29Hz.

Can You Compare Spray Foam Insulation To Mineral Wool?

Most of us start out able to hear between 20 and 20,Hz, as we age it becomes less. Pitch is the sound frequency created, and the tone is the frequency we hear. The same frequency can be generated by different objects and produce different tones. When a sound wave encounters a wall or objects it could be absorbed, reflected, refracted, diffused or diffracted, or transmitted.

The properties of different insulation material allow it to absorb sound or reduce its transmission through that material. How loud a sound is, is measured in decibels or dB on a sound pressure scale. A quiet home will be in the 40dB range. There are several different scales used to measure the effectiveness of soundproofing materials. STC Sound Transmission Class is a method of comparing how well windows, doors, floors, walls and ceilings are at reducing sound transmission.


It measures the decibel dB decrease as sound passes through or is absorbed or blocked by material or wall. STC use began in and measures the sound decrease, or transmission loss TLof 16 common frequencies between Hz and 4,Hz through a wall or barrier in your home.

The results are graphed and form a curve. Your curve is compared to a set of standard STC reference curves. The reference curve closest to your curve is your rating.

rockwool vs foam insulation

The higher the STC rating, the better the wall or material is at blocking or reducing the noise transmission of the frequencies tested. To measure the sound transmission of a barrier or room, 16 common frequencies are generated in one room and measured, the sound is also measured on the other side of the wall outside the room.

The difference in sound transmission results is graphed and compared to a standard set of curves. The result is the STC rating. A quiet home has an STC 40 rating.

For residential locations, an STC 52 for bedrooms and STC 56 for bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens, are recommended minimums.Firstly, we will explain the difference in the insulating core of the panel.

Secondly, we will dive into details and explain more carefully the different characteristics of PUR and Rockwool sandwich panels. The difference between a polyurethane and a rock wool insulated panels is in the insulating core of the panel. It is poured between the two metal supports during production.

This foam, upon contact with the air, solidifies and glues the two plates together, creating a monolithic product with a very high insulating value. Its extremely low thermal conductivity and high strength to weight ratio, combined with excellent manufacturing versatility, provides a range of products. As a result, PUR insulation products are the natural choice for most construction insulation applications.

The Rock Wool is glued between the two sheets and forms a monolithic product. Mineral wool is any fibrous material formed by spinning or drawing molten mineral or rock materials such as slag and ceramics. Applications of mineral wool include thermal insulation as both structural insulation and pipe insulation, though it is not as fire-resistant as high-temperature insulation woolfiltration, soundproofing, and hydroponic growth medium.

The insulating value of polyurethane is higher than of the rock wool. What does it mean? This means that at the same insulation thickness and the polyurethane isolates more.

Then a 50 mm thick polyurethane panel insulates like an 80 mm thick rock wool panel.

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Polyurethane is an organic compound that images to a lesser or greater extent tend to fuel the flames. Rock Wool consists of inorganic elements, which therefore do not contribute to the spread of the flames. What does this mean?

This means that where there is a need to have a product that guarantees a fire resistance of an hour or two hours or three hours, it is necessary to resort to a rock wool panel. Here you can find a piece of insightful information about the difference between reaction and resistance to fire.

rockwool vs foam insulation

Toggle navigation. Insulation Value The insulating value of polyurethane is higher than of the rock wool. A 50 mm thick polyurethane panel insulates like a 80 mm thick rock wool panel.AVS Forum articles Contests. OR Remember. OldAM - Thread Starter. Remove Advertisements. OldAM. How do you intend to construct your walls? If you are going to be aggressive about sound isolation foam can be a problem and improperly installed foam products can give of noxious odors.

As for fiber based products tucked in wall cavities becoming airborne how will it get in the room? How is your house insulated now? BIGmouthinDC is offline. I've built 2 houses with open cell foam. Both HTs had have staggered studs. The current one I went with foam and r on the walls to common areas. The last house only r The HT is super quiet to the rest of the house but I have an exterior wall that is foam only and you can hear outside noises easily.

IMO foam is no where near as effective at sound absorption as good ole fluffy. Another way I can tell is my attic is has almost ' floored and is surrounded by spray foam.

Of course shaving the skin off the foam off would probably help. Now about allergies. Fiberglass in your walls is trapped. Keep in mind that all of the ductwork is insualted with fiberglass. Your plenums and every vent box is lined on the inside with ductboard compressed fiberglass like

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