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Fibre versus foam

Fibreglass in insulation endangers occupant health and safety, says foam advocate

| | Sep 30, 2011 | 2:33 pm
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Fibreglass in insulation endangers occupant health and safety, says foam advocate

Attributing documented evidence of high incidences of asthma and cancer in some countries to the use of fibre in insulation, Jagdeep Singh, Business Head (Africa & Asia) at Armacell said that the use of fibreglass ought to be avoided at all costs.

Singh was speaking at a technical seminar by Leminar on September 21 in Dubai. Leminar has a non-exclusive agreement to distribute Armacell products in the region. Fibre, Singh said during the course of a detailed presentation, would settle in the lungs and fill up lung space, effectively endangering lives. In addition, Singh said, though a good acoustic insulation product, fibre could not be installed without coverings or mastics, which reduced its effectiveness. Additionally, he said, it was difficult to install and required more space. Foam-based insulation, Singh said by way of presenting his company’s Arma Sound product, circumvented these issues and was ideal.

The Arma Sound duct liner, Singh said during his presentation, was fibre free and, owing to Microban – an antimicrobial protection – was microbe resistant. These features, Singh added, helped in improving indoor air quality.

Further elaborating on Arma Sound, Singh said that the liner had good absorption capability, especially in frequencies that mattered. “Lower frequencies are the most difficult to manage,” Singh said. “Arma Sound blocks low frequencies. So there you have it – a non-particulating and non-eroding material, which also has been tested to 10,000 FPM.”

Speaking from a thermal perspective, Singh said that it was important to look at not only thermal conductivity while selecting the insulation material but also at achieving a high Mu value. “Broadly speaking, it is essential to pick up a material that itself is a vapour barrier, free of fibre, emits minimum VOCs and comes with near-zero ODP (ozone depleting potential) and near-zero GWP (global warming potential).

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