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Thursday 13 June 2024

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Thursday 13 June 2024

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    Thermo-acoustic insulation: is rock wool or glass wool better?

    The developments within the European regulatory framework and the increasingly stringent directives in the building sector, added to the growth in energy costs, are turning the spotlight on energy performance of buildings and on the value of thermo-acoustic insulation systems. The latter strongly affect the degree of living comfort and the quality of energy savings; in fact, they guarantee an optimal room temperature and a net reduction of noise coming from outside or from neighboring rooms. 

    Thermo-acoustic insulation allows you to maintain a uniform temperature and prevent problems related to the presence of condensation humidity, such as the formation of harmful molds and unsightly dark spots. 
    Furthermore, the insulation systems reduce heat loss and therefore represent a significant advantage both in terms of costs and emissions, for the protection of the environment and the wallet.

    The choice of materials

    To enjoy these benefits, however, a careful evaluation of the materials must be carried out in order to obtain the most suitable thermo-acoustic insulation system for the type of building, the structure, the location and the climate. 
    Today there is in fact a wide availability of materials for thermo-acoustic insulation: expanded polyurethane foam, cork, sheep's wool, wood fibre, cellulose, glass wool and rock wool; however, we will limit ourselves, in this content, to an analysis of the last two insulation solutions. 

    The similarities

    Rock wool and glass wool are two thermo-acoustic insulators versatile, economical, with high insulating properties and high soundproofing power
    In particular, rock wool is an amorphous silicate, produced by the fusion of stones, such as diabase, basalt and dolomite. Glass wool is instead an amorphous silicate obtained from the fusion of a mixture of recycled glass, sand, limestone, sodium carbonate and boron.
    In both cases, the molten material is centrifuged to obtain the formation of the fibers. They are bound and treated thanks to the addition of thermosetting vegetable resins, which give the product the necessary mechanical resistance. 

    Glass wool and rock wool are therefore materials natural, eco-sustainable, long-lasting, impervious to vapour, characterized by an open cell structure and united by the ability to resist water and fire (in class A, the best for fireproof materials). In addition, the two materials for thermo-acoustic insulation result easy to install and suitable for multiple uses.
    But let us now try to understand the differences.

    The differences

    Rock wool is sold in felts, panels and rolls, while glass wool is also produced in flakes. And what distinguishes them is, above all, the consistency: glass wool is more elastic and malleable, attributes that favor its adoption where there are curved or irregular surfaces and pipes (obstructing the heat dispersion of the water transported, as well as the formation of condensation). 

    Compared to the function of sound insulation it is, however, appropriate to make a distinction between properties soundproofing e soundproofing. The former characterize materials that prevent the transmission of an acoustic signal from one room or space to another. The latter, on the other hand, improve the quality of the sound transmission. This clarification highlights another difference between rock wool and glass wool. Rock wool is more sound insulating than glass wool, which is instead more sound absorbing and therefore a guarantee of good acoustic comfort.

    Now that you know the peculiarities of these two materials for thermo-acoustic insulation, all you have to do is adopt the most suitable solution for your needs to improve the quality of your environments while saving money. 


    You may also be interested in: Furnishing solutions: how to exploit the atmospheres produced by frosted glass?
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