Many types of heavy machinery, appliances, and other equipment require thermal and acoustic insulation to prevent excessive heat and noise. These products protect operators and keep machinery working reliably. As a leading provider of quality thermal and acoustic insulation products, RubberMill can help you better understand how these products work and the different types available.
Thermal vs. Acoustic Insulation
Thermal and acoustic insulation serve different functions but are used throughout many similar applications. Let’s explore what exactly these products are, their benefits, and the materials options available.
What is Thermal Insulation?
Thermal insulation is a product used to reduce heat transfer between solid objects, fluids, or gasses. It works by forming a lower temperature barrier between heat-producing components that prevents heat transfer. Thermal insulation is used throughout many industries, including medical, energy, industrial, and more. These applications all involve machinery that requires an optimal thermal environment for efficient performance.
Benefits of Thermal Insulation
Thermal insulation products provide a number of advantages:
- Energy conservation
- Hotspot prevention
- Surface temperature reduction
- Operator protection and comfort
- Electronic component protection
Common Types of Thermal Insulation
There are two primary types of heat-resistant materials: heat reflection and insulation. Insulation keeps heat confined within a space, minimizing convective and conductive heat flow. Radiant materials, on the other hand, reflect heat energy from traveling in a straight line, thereby reducing heat gain.
Thermal insulation products are made using many types of materials:
- Aluminum Foil or Myler
- Nonwoven Fiber Materials
- Polyurethane Foam
- Ceramic Paper Fiber
- Non-Asbestos Gasketing Materials
What is Acoustic Insulation?
Also known as sound insulation, acoustic insulation reduces the transfer of noise. Sound is made up of vibrations and acoustic insulation products reduce noise by either redirecting it, absorbing it, or transmitting it. These products can be designed to target specific noise frequencies.
Benefits of Acoustic Insulation
When acoustic insulation materials are used to line hard objects like engines or heavy machinery, the porous material prevents sound waves from reflecting back at workers and the nearby environment. These materials are utilized in automotive, HVAC, and appliance applications to provide quiet operation of the device.
Common Types of Acoustic Insulation
There are two main types of acoustic insulation: absorbers and barriers.
Absorbers take in and trap sound waves, reducing the amount of noise in an area and improving its acoustic conditions. Absorbers can be applied to walls, ceilings, floors, and even objects. They can be made from several materials:
- Open-cell elastomeric foam
- Nonwoven fiber materials
- Cellulosic fibers
- Dimensional fabrics
- Glass fiber materials
Acoustic barriers block noise from transmitting between locations. In this instance, sound is not absorbed by the material but bounced back to the original location. Common types of acoustic barriers include steel or concrete. While durable, these options can be expensive to manufacture and ship and are not very eco-friendly. This type of insulation is also limited in the sense that it is for larger projects such as construction walls, whereas foam absorbing materials can be used in tight-fitting appliances and automotive parts.
Thermal and Acoustic Insulation Products From RubberMill
Thermal and acoustic insulation products are used throughout numerous industries, including automotive, consumer appliances, heavy machinery, and more. Each of these applications requires reliable, high-quality products to ensure operator and equipment safety. RubberMill has over 30 years of experience meeting OEM needs for quality and precision insulation products. To learn more about our solutions, contact us or request a quote today.