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Is Elastomeric Closed-Cell Insulation a Good Solution for Ventilation?

Elastomeric Ductwork Insulation

Let’s start from the beginning, namely, why we should insulate ventilation ductwork? Technical insulation of ventilation ductwork affects the durability of the system, its energy efficiency as well as the overall comfort of the building occupants. Duct insulation has three main tasks:

  1. prevent energy losses. Uncontrolled energy losses may lead to increased energy consumption, low installation efficiency, which can cause higher the operating costs of the whole system.
  2. protect against condensation. Condensation on the surface of the ducts causes corrosion (reducing the efficiency of the ductwork and the overall life span of the installation). What’s more, excessive moisture and dampness inside the ducts create a perfect environment for bacterial growth and air quality deterioration.
  3. attenuate the noise generated by the air movement in the ductwork. This is probably the least important of the three functions, since there are many other attenuation solutions for HVAC installations, but still important nevertheless.

Therefore, when selecting an insulation material, we should take into consideration the abovementioned functions as well as the following parameters:

  1. low heat conductivity
  2. inflammability
  3. high fire retardancy - which means low smoke and burning drop emission during a fire situation.

Interested in Duct Insulation Solution comparison? Read our article Ventilation Duct Insulation to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of glass and stone wool.

What is elastomeric insulation?
Elastomeric foam insulation is made of high-quality synthetic rubber, its homogenous and closed-cell structure provides excellent thermal insulation properties, by the reduction of heat transfer. Elastomeric rubber foam has high resistance to water vapour diffusion and excellent which prevents from the formation of condensation and moisture ingress – the main cause of corrosion on the surface of pipes and ducts.  

Elastomeric foam insulation 

Elastomeric foam is sold in rolls or in carton boxes.

High elasticity and plasticity of synthetic rubber make the material suitable for awkward configurations,  it can be easily fitted on almost any duct or fittings – rectangular and circular. Its elastic properties make it exceptionally durable and weather-resistant to ultraviolet (UV). In comparison to mineral wool insulation, synthetic rubber insulation has one huge disadvantage, namely, mineral wool is non-combustible, i.e. it achieves the highest possible Euroclass A1 fire classification rating, while the elastomeric foam is a combustible material, e.g. our elastomeric foam has fire resistance classified as Euroclass B.

Application: Thanks to its anti-condensation, energy-saving properties as well as flexibility, elastomeric insulation is typically used in refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, cooling and plumbing.

Elastomeric foam insulation

Synthetic elastomeric foam - non-adhesive and self-adhesive version.

Elastomeric insulations are available in the form of tubes or continuous sheets (rolls). In our offer, You can find 3 types of elastomeric foam in sheets (rolls): FOAM-B synthetic foam without self-adhesive, FOAM-G synthetic foam with self-adhesive layer and FOAM-AB synthetic foam with self-adhesive layer and additional PVC coating. See technical sheets for more specifications. 

Elastomeric insulation

FOAM System - preinsulated ducts and fittings.

Installation of synthetic rubber foam is quite easy and quick, especially if You're using self-seal tubes or sheets with self-adhesive lining - these products cost more but they're time-saving. An alternative solution to insulating the ductwork on the construction site is choosing preinsulated products from our FOAM System, namely, spiral ducts and fittings (bends, T-pieces, female and male couplings, reducers) equipped with EPDM seals and elastomeric foam insulation already fitted on them. In order to connect the FOAM System components, we also offer self-adhesive rubber foam tape FOAM-TAPE - below it's presented installation method. 

Installation of insulated ductwork

1. Connect preinsulated elements.

Installation of insulated ductwork

2. Remove the release paper and secure the joint connection with an adhesive FOAM-TAPE.

Even though elastomeric insulation seems to be a more expensive solution, and has its limitations, it is worth taking into consideration when choosing insulation solution, due to its significant features, namely:

  1. the closed-cell structure provides excellent condensation control
  2. prevents moisture condensation
  3. low thermal conductivity
  4. high resistance to water vapour diffusion
  5. UV resistant
  6. versatile applications for heating, AC, refrigeration, plumbing and ventilation
  7. quick and easy to install

More about Insulation Solutions - You can find here
And more details about Preinsulated Ductwork Systems -  You can find here.