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The main objective of this research was to design and develop a Hot Box to test the thermal properties of Eco-quilt multi-foil insulation. This work began by gaining an understanding into how multi-foil works, how it is installed and examining different variations of this insulation. It was clear at an early stage that there were two conflicting opinions on the thermal performance of multi-foils. One set of tests claimed that the insulation had a thermal resistance of approximately 5 m2oC/W. These tests were carried out in real weather conditions, where temperatures were fluctuating, although one laboratory test achieved similar results. The second types of tests were based on standardised EN ISO test methods and the results were in general agreement that the thermal resistance of multi-foils was approximately 1.7 m2oC/W. The results of initial tests conducted on multi-foil with a basic testing facility were in general agreement with the results of the EN ISO test methods. It was noted that this initial testing facility had certain limitations and it was decided to build a more advanced test rig to conduct further tests on Eco-quilt. Research was conducted into three types of Hot Box testing apparatus and a new testing facility, based on a Guarded Hot Box, was designed and constructed. A comparative test method was employed to evaluate Eco-quilt. This involved comparing insulation, with known thermal properties, directly with Eco-quilt while keeping the test conditions, for each test, as similar as possible. The results were in good agreement with the tests that found the thermal resistance equal to 1.7 m2oC/W. Other tests conducted showed that the performance of multi-foil is reduced when manufacturers’ installation procedures are not followed. It was found that the testing facility produced repeatable and meaningful results and could be used in the future to offer a good indication of the thermal performance of new insulations being developed.
Frawley, E. (2011). Thermal testing of innovative building insulations. Masters dissertation. Dublin Institute of Technology. doi:10.21427/D7VS5S