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    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2008 edited
     
    James, The Spacetherm Blanket is available in 3mm, 6mm and 9mm sheets and any combination of these can be bonded together to reach whatever U value is required. I was recently given a price of around £17/m2 +VAT @9mm thick.

    Edit: just saw Saint's post and agree. Talk to Proctor, I found the online chat facility very helpful
    • CommentAuthorJackyR
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2008
     
    I really, really hate to bring this up (I'm not trying to ruin your life, Skywalker, honest...), but can I once again ask about ventilating timber floors?

    Last time we bought carpet, we were told the zig-zag or waffle structure under expensive underlay is for ventilation. This sounded mad to me - ventilation under carpets? But I have to admit that, when the old underlay was lifted, areas of the groundfloor boards did indeed show the pattern until they dried out.

    Was I hallucinating, or would aerogel laid over timber need grooves to allow a tiny amount of air flow?
  1.  
    Hi Jacky, Not sure about their argument for aiflow under underlay. The most expensive one [and best] I have seen is completely flat. The ridged variants are cheaper.

    The key here is to stop the timber from reaching a temperature and humidity which can promote rot. The three factors are water, temperature, and airflow.

    Dry rot cannot become active unless it has a water source - so cutting a supply of water will stop the risk
    Dry rot cannot become active unless the timber reaches a specific temperature range - therfore keeping the temperature low will also stop the risk

    The easiest way to control these factors is sub-floor ventilation, which is why the requirement remains in the Building Regulations. Obviously a floor without carpets will promote through airlow meaning the boards would stay in excellent condition. Covering the boards on one side will reduce the airflow through the boards, therfore increase the risk to the timber. Increasing the sub-floor ventilation will compensate, though it is VERY important that this is through-ventilation ie from one side of the floor to the other. This is sometimes difficult as often houses have a combination of suspended and solid floors , the Victorians used vent pipes running under solid floors in my area

    Without sufficient ventilation there is the possibilty of condensation occuring between the underlay and the floor boards - this may explain the staining you mention.
    • CommentAuthorskywalker
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2008
     
    My late Saxe-Coburgian ('30's) house also has vent pipes through the odd solid floored bit. The room we use as an office has 3 air bricks serving the underfloor void and along with the sleeper walls (honeycombed wall in the middle of the underfloor to support it) we also have large access holes made by some very enthusiastic plumbers in the 70's opening up the whole underfloor area. So the void under our house is served by 20 odd air bricks spread around all four sides - floor area of about 60m2.

    S.
    • CommentAuthorskywalker
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2008
     
    Saint posted this link in another thread & I just wanted to have it here too!

    http://www.aerogel.com/markets/c_house.html

    It gives a bit of a clue as to what the stuff is like.

    S.
  2.  
    I wonder how compressive aerogel is and whether it could be used as/or in combination with an underlay for carpet?
    • CommentAuthorskywalker
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2008
     
    The literature says it is good on floors:

    http://www.aerogel.com/Aspen_Aerogels_Spaceloft.pdf
    • CommentAuthorBrianR
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2008
     
    I am not sure aerogel has an advantage for underfloor insulation, if this is the suspended floor variety. PUR when cut to size goes very nicely in between the rafters resting on nails driven into the rafters. It probably also allows a bit of air still to flow.

    I think the aerogel as provided by Proctors may not have much 'trample' resistance. If used under carpets. The aerogel is in a black matrix and could turn to dust if trodden on repeatedly. That said I know they use aerogel inside boots that climb everest. So a carpet underlay should be easy!

    Aerogel is good when you need the insulation to be thin and where you need the insulation to breath. So it is much better for walls IMHO which do not want to be made thicker e.g. to avoid having to replace all the external sills etc.

    Does anyone have further news on the aerogel wallpaper underlay I keep hearing about?
    • CommentAuthorskywalker
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2008 edited
     
    PUR does 'go in nicely' but you need to get a vapour control layer in over the top of your joists (doing this from underneath would in most instances be a non starter) as the air flow is a problem if it connects your inside to the outside. The possible attractions of aerogel are the elimination of cold bridging by joists, no need for a VCL in terms of a suspended wooden floor (vapour movement is still possible but at lower levels than through carpet). Lastly , and importantly, no one has come up with anything like a convincing discussion as to how much insulation you need under a suspended wooden floor. I think we all just go for what feels right but thinking about it sensibly the single most useful thing to do is stop/minimise infiltration (drafts), and as as, for once, the laws of physics are on our side minimise conduction through the wood and thus potential for convection around its lower face with a bit of insulation on top. Aerogel appears to fit this application admirably and all we have to do is a Tony round the edges.

    You raise an interesting question if used under carpets, the people from proctors drop in occasionally here, or one of us can ask them when we talk. However under laminate/wood strip flooring (as opposed to structural boards) is suspect it would be less prone to failure.

    No firm views on the wallpaper application. A neighbor has used Sempatap (it has cured the condensation problem), which is different obviously, but I wonder at using something this squishy on the surface of a wall and what happens after a couple of decoration cycles. Is aerogel squishy?.

    I love getting technical.

    S.
  3.  
    I think I am going to look into using aerogel as carpet underlay in my front room. At the moment I have an uninsulated suspended timber floor. Will contact Proctor for a local supplier and let you know how I get on.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2008
     
    Brian R,
    Here's a link to Aerogel going under a floor prior to a battened floor finish http://www.aerogel.com/markets/c_floor.html. I've also seen photos of it being used in the US under UFH with a solid wood floor finish. Neither exeample exactly answering your point but certainly its being used as the insole in many top brand industrial and sporting footwear where I think its covered in a PVA type skin?
    Wallpaper I understand is still under development. It will be an interesting product I'm sure when it finally arrives..... yawn. It would be more rigid than Semapatap and with a thermal performance at least 4 times greater.
    • CommentAuthorjerseyman
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2008
     
    <<I think I am going to look into using aerogel as carpet underlay in my front room. At the moment I have an uninsulated suspended timber floor. Will contact Proctor for a local supplier and let you know how I get on.>>

    Mike did you get any further with this as I would like to do the same?

    Brian
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2008 edited
     
    Posted By: jerseyman<>

    Mike did you get any further with this as I would like to do the same?

    Brian


    Not yet Brian, I am currently discussing with Proctor whether they think this a durable application. Will let you know as soon as I get an answer from them. Pretty sure I will be going for it regardless of what they say though.
    • CommentAuthordave45
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2008
     
    I have a 4mx4m basement with a solid concrete floor, then damp-proof rigid plastic, then wood-boarding, underlay and carpet.... and its still too cold in here. (walls and ceiling have insulated plasterboard too)... how much would 16 m2 of aerogel underlay cost me, and how can I tell whether it would be worth the money?
  4.  
    Ask Proctors.
  5.  
    Hi guys. Thank you all for the useful comments: I arrived here in late October after reading about SpaceTherm at http://www.earth.org.uk/note-on-Spacetherm-aerogel-thermal-insulation.html

    I've some notes which I hope are useful.

    The story so far:
    I was about to get 25m^2 of vinyl floor laid in ground-floor room (Victorian t&g floorboards on joists) but was also interested in insulation:
    * a friend nearby installing underfloor insulation reports v.useful increase in comfort (but it's a nasty job for someone my age, size & shape, AND he had a lot of existing boards up where I have a nearly pristine floor).
    * the draft under the floor is fierce: the bare boards in the unheated room are often only 2C above outside air temperature.

    Proctor Group sell SpaceTherm-C -- SpaceTherm bonded to 18 or 22mm chipboard. Unfortunately my vinyl fitter wanted a ply surface and I wanted to keep total increase in level under 24mm to avoid having to adjust 9+m of skirting radiators.

    I decide to try laying 9mm of SpaceTherm blanket under 9mm WBP ply: hoping that in use the blanket would provide a) enough insulation to be worthwhile and b) a firm enough support for the ply and that the ply would be thick enough to distribute loads so that the blanket doesn't suffer from repeated compression causing uneven wear. I will be comparing this room with the kitchen which has the ply+vinyl but no insulation.

    I ordered 18 of 2.4x1.2m x9mm blankets (enough for a second room) from Travis Perkins. Delivery was 4 days Proctor to TP.

    The blankets came in 3 large polythene bags. What I thought was several litres of milk drifting round in each bag was loose aerogel :-)

    I've since laid the floor and am waiting for the vinyl. Installation for that is now mid-January so I thought I'd write this up while I still remember :-)

    I've:
    - filled some small gaps in the boards
    - fixed two the loose boards
    - laid lining paper to protect the aerogel blanket from splinters and the grooves between boards
    - laid the blanket
    - nailed and screwed the ply (35mm screws and 30mm annular ring nails - I didn't want to use 40mm nails which would have risked going through the boards) Yes the nails+screws will transfer heat through the blanket, at least they're not exposed directly to the underfloor draught.

    Notes:
    - the blanket looks like dark blue felt underlay, it can be walked on without damage, but the surface scuffs easily.
    - it sheds aerogel -- everywhere! Some blankets had a crust of aerogel that I tried not to disturb.
    - aerogel is like light talcum powder: small and light enough to get through overalls, (cheap) leather work gloves, the heavy sheet over the doorway and drift throughout the house -- all the way to the attic rooms I was quickly told :-(
    - it takes very little aerogel to clog a vacuum cleaner! It's v.important to minimise shedding, to sweep up (carefully!) (and keep on cleaning as it settles out of the air).
    - I found cutting with large scissors caused less dust than a sharp knife

    While I'm waiting for the vinyl, things I'm thinking about:
    - I'm tempted to paint the ply with diluted PVA to seal in the aerogel that's settled on which comes out when e.g. hammering but won't brush off or vacuum up.
    - I'm wondering what to do at the exposed edges: doorway and fireplace. Current thought is neat PVA.

    Other misc. thoughts:
    - if I'd know about SpaceTherm when I had double-glazing put in, I'd've put sheets below the (sash) windows which only have 1 layer of brick and thin wood.
    - if I had space and suitable weather I would cut and try to remove loose aerogel outside the house: once it's in the house it's a lost cause. I'm down for a full three-story clean once the vinyl's down.

    I hope this helps people.

    Best wishes
    -- CB
  6.  
    Thanks for that CB. Definitely food for thought as I am about to do something similar in the new year. Will be taking your experience on board
    • CommentAuthorchrisc
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2008
     
    Posted By: cbatjesmond- aerogel is like light talcum powder: small and light enough to get through overalls, (cheap) leather work gloves, the heavy sheet over the doorway and drift throughout the house -- all the way to the attic rooms I was quickly told :-(
    - it takes very little aerogel to clog a vacuum cleaner! It's v.important to minimise shedding, to sweep up (carefully!) (and keep on cleaning as it settles out of the air).


    Cheers for the info, I wonder what it does to lungs...
    • CommentAuthorJackyR
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2008
     
    Yes, big thanks for that. Interesting interesting interesting. Think I'll wait for you guys to report back after 5 years' wear, tho...
  7.  
    Posted By: chriscCheers for the info, I wonder what it does to lungs...

    Well if I don't report back on temperature differences between Kitchen and Sitting Room before the end of January 2009: Fear the worst! :-)

    Aerogel seems pretty inert so I'm much less concerned about it than I am about the soot, sawdust, plaster-dust, lead-paint and all the other crap I'm exposed to in this place. But I was masked.

    Posted By: JackyRThink I'll wait for you guys to report back after 5 years' wear, tho...


    Mmmm not sure I'll remember to come back (or even still be around!) in December 2013. I will report back to this thread if anything crops up soon.

    Best wishes
    -- CB
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
     
    CB, thanks for the information on an actual installation. Look forward to hearing your feedback on the results.
    What sort of price did you pay through TP?
    • CommentAuthorBrianR
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
     
    <Q>
    I think the aerogel as provided by Proctors may not have much 'trample' resistance. If used under carpets. The aerogel is in a black matrix and could turn to dust if trodden on repeatedly.
    </Q>

    It may be best to give some support e.g. screwing in stilts into the plywood so there is no pressure placed on the aerogel itself and all the weight of the floor is taken by the stilts screwed into the plywood.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2008
     
    Hi Brian,
    Its used in footwear as insoles by several top sporting, leisure and industrial brands in the US so it should really be fine.
    • CommentAuthorcbatjesmond
    • CommentTimeDec 25th 2008 edited
     
    Posted By: SaintWhat sort of price did you pay through TP?

    When writing the above I hoped nobody would ask that because I can't lay my hand on the invoice ATM!

    My memory says gbp48/sheet excl.VAT (at 17.5% -- I'd hoped that it would attract the 5% rate but that's only if the supplier installs it). But between my memory, USD/GBP exchange rate changes and VAT rate changes, best get a quote! Give your local TP the Proctor Group sales number and you should get the actual price in a few minutes.

    One other note to add to the above: the blankets are 2400x1200mm which is sort of irritating when the ply comes in "8x4": 2440x1220mm sheets. But this does mean that blankets and ply didn't share common joints, which is good. But I had to make separate templates for the ply and SpaceTherm!

    My attempt at attaching pictures failed, so they should be online at:
    http://www.ccandc.org/misc/spacetherm/index.html
    • CommentAuthorBrianR
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2009
     
    Hi Saint, I know that aerogel is used in footware. However this probably has a completely different mechanical construction from the material we are discussing from Proctors.

    Do you have any of this aerogel as provided by Proctors? I have some of this stuff and have used it to insulate in doors so I am familiar with the properties it has.

    I need to explain a bit more. The aerogel is very fragile probably even more fragile than the most delicate meringue. Just touch it and your fingers are coated with dust. Add to this the black matrix it is included inside (effectively black bristles). When this material is compressed the black bristles will scythe through the aerogel turning it to dust. Vibrations will then shake this dust out of the black matrix. The insulation will then be lost.

    This is only based on my experience of using the Proctors aerogel, and I may be wrong. So we need to have more positive evidence that the Proctors aerogel is suitable for under floor insulation before we can recommend it. Can you share any information about the footware insulation being of identical mechanical construction to the Proctors aerogel or do fancy contacting Proctors direct as I am interested in their answer. The Proctors stuff would be perfect if it had built-in stilts that could support the weight and pressure of a floor so that the aerogel was not compressed.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2009 edited
     
    Hi Brian,
    Proctors do not have their own Aerogel. They are the UK distributor for Aerogel products designed for building applications from Aspen Aerogel the manufacturers based in Boston. There are other partners and distributors for Aspen Aerogel products that go into different applications e.g. industrial, fire protection, military, oil and gas, thin cladding panels and specialist uses where the Aerogel is required to be cut, shaped and encapsulated.
    Proctors, in the UK, have been allowed by Aspen Aerogel to rebrand some of the product as Spacetherm which identifies a family of products adapted for use in the construction industry. These are principally laminates of Aerogel bonded by Proctors to plasterboard, Fermacell and timber sheet as well as the fleece in its original form.
    The fleece is made by diffusing Aerogel in a dissolved form into a variety of different fabrics depending on the fleece's requred end use characteristics.
    It has been used in flooring applications in Europe, Asia and of course the US.
    As part of the testing for footwear it has gone through extraordinary extended flexing cycles a bit like the famous slamming door test as demonstrated by the well known Swedish furniture manufacturer with little degradation in performance.
    As for its use in flooring it has a compressive strength not dissimilar to the EPS commonly used and greater than typical carpet underlays.
    One major benefit would be that as it equates thermally to much thicker sections of common insulation then any deflection, under continuous load and calculated as a percentage of the original thickness, would be minimal in comparison.
  8.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: chrisc</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: cbatjesmond</cite>- aerogel is like light talcum powder: small and light enough to get through overalls, (cheap) leather work gloves, the heavy sheet over the doorway and drift throughout the house -- all the way to the attic rooms I was quickly told :-(
    - it takes very little aerogel to clog a vacuum cleaner! It's v.important to minimise shedding, to sweep up (carefully!) (and keep on cleaning as it settles out of the air).</blockquote>

    Cheers for the info, I wonder what it does to lungs...</blockquote>

    not been on here for a while, so i should probably mention again that i work on product development for proctors. sorry if anything seems like advertising, it's not meant that way

    on the lungs thing, i lined a transit van with two layers of the stuff back in the summer of '06. must have inhaled about a tonne of the stuff, and nothing bad's happened to me :) (although i officially recommend dust masks, goggles, disposable overalls) it's irritant, but plaster dust is far far worse. if it's concerning anyone, you can download MSDS info from ourselves or aspen, or give me a call.

    incidentally, the van lining (2x 9mm layers oversheeted with 6mm ply) worked excellently, it's kept us nice and toasty warm camped out in ski centre car parks at -10C-odd, i can highly recommend it if you have a chilly campervan. also, any exposed edges can be sealed pretty effectively with silicon mastic, we used this to seal up ply joints and edges in the van, and it got a pretty good grab on the aerogel, can't remember what actual product we used though, sorry.

    at the same time out of sheer curiousity, i tried applying some serious bending and twisting to a sheet to try out the aerogel loss that brianr mentioned, it actually takes a pretty phenomenal ammount of effort to shake the aerogel out of the carrier totally. as someone mentioned, the carrier creates a matrix in which the aerogel interlocks, therefore compression tends to lock the structure together more solidly. provided the aerogel mats are fully supported, and preferably have something to distribute the load over the top (like a thin ply/hardboard) then i can't see this being an issue. i would do it in my own place happily enough (if it wasn't rented!) if that helps

    as for the wallpaper, it's almost there (promise!). better to spend the time getting it right eh......
    • CommentAuthorJackyR
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2009
     
    Graeme, that's extremely encouraging. Await further developments with interest...
    • CommentAuthorBowman
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2009
     
    Graeme, what about a curtain lining, 1-2mm thick?
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2009 edited
     
    Graeme,
    You make a very good point about camper van insulation and indeed caravans. It seems incredulous that bearing in mind the cost of some of these vehicles and for a big RV that can be in 6 figures that their insulation levels are no better than those of the 1970s.
    20 - 25mm mineral wool, EPS, XPS or in some cases EPS coloured to look like XPS in the walls and roofs is common and why? there are no standards, public ignorance I guess and of course cost(!!!)
   
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