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Old 04-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #71
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Been there, done that

I still believe in spray foam insulation....the correct kind.

Its been used, its effective, its light weight, it stays put, etc, etc.

http://avion.gradeless.com/1972Avion/1972_AVION_12.jpg
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:15 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch
I still believe in spray foam insulation....the correct kind.

Its been used, its effective, its light weight, it stays put, etc, etc.

http://avion.gradeless.com/1972Avion/1972_AVION_12.jpg
I agree , now to find that " right kind"
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:24 AM   #73
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Jim... to the best of my knowledge, cross-batten baffling is desirable as long as they are not made water proof "enough" to keep future water leaks from accumulating. It is the lack of air movement helps make the 'fill cavity' fiberglass style very effective.
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:23 AM   #74
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A layman's insulation test

I am just beginning to insulate my walls. Before I got too far I thought I would do some somewhat unscientific tests. I ended up with some confusing results.

In the following picture I have three areas.

#1 - No insulation
#2 - Reflectex over 1/2" foam strip spacers
#3 - Same as #2 but with a sheet of 1/2" foam overlaid

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I borrowed two different handheld infrared thermometers from two of my A/C customers to attempt to test the effectiveness of the different insulations (surface temps). The afternoon west sun was beating down on this side of the Airstream at the time. To the touch it appeared that #3 was somewhat cooler tan #2 and that #2 was definitely cooler than #1 which is what I would have suspected. However with the infrared thermometer it indicated that #1 and #2 were very close in temperature and #3 showed to be the hottest! I am not sure what to make of that. One of the A/C men mentioned that these thermometers are influence some by the color, texture, and etc. of the surface being tested.

Is there a better way to test surface temperatures?
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:54 AM   #75
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After further research I think I know why the infrared thermometer did not show the results that I had anticipated (I have a very limited amount of knowledge in this field!). After reading this I discovered that I would need sensors with different settings to get an accurate reading from the different materials.

I suspect that the handheld thermometer that I was using was going through the insulation and reading the temperature of the outside skin. The bare skin #1 released its heat into the inside where as the insulated #3 was actually holding the temperature against the outside and not letting it enter the interior.

I guess it was doing its job. I just need to figure out how to measure the inside surface temperature. Maybe just holding a thermometer against the different surfaces would give me some idea but not exactly accurate. Whatever I do I will have to wait for the afternoon sun to test it.
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:28 AM   #76
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can you mount a small piece of aluminum on the test surface and measure the temp of the metal? the mounting would have to leave the back of the metal bare.
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:03 PM   #77
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Good idea!

Duh. That sounds like it might work. Is this what you had in mind? Now just to wait for the afternoon sun to heat up.

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Old 09-06-2008, 01:29 PM   #78
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ummmm, maybe a needle and thread? top of the metal up & down so gravity holds it from slipping?

thin piece of duct tape in place of threads?

paper clip with one end hooked into insulation and other end holding clip?
... just hit the reading away from the clip.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:43 PM   #79
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Vernon,

I think to get the most accurrate result you need to have the small piece of aluminum in about the same relationship to the rest of the wall materials as it would have in the actual assembly. For the bare aluminum (#1 case) you could use some foam spacers around the edges to supend it about 1-1/2" from the outer skin. That would simulate the normal air gap with no insulation. For the foil only sample (#2) you could use some more foam spacers around the edges to suspend the small piece about 1" from the foil. Is the foam in case 3 right next to the foil or will it be right next to the inner skin?

At any rate it is important to simulate the air gaps and to keep your test piece of aluminum out of direct contact with the other layers in the same way that it would actually be in the final installation. It is also a good idea for any air gaps to be closed up around the edges so that ambient air can not get in behind and cool the small piece of aluminum from the back side.

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Old 09-08-2008, 10:30 AM   #80
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First I would like to make it clear that I am not at all attempting to improve on Zep's excellent research on this topic. (I wish I could but I am not capable) I just wanted to make some practical application tests to see what I came up with.

Anyway I was not real pleased with my results but I am going to share them with you in case someone else might be able to get something out of them.

I took Malcolm's advise and spaced my test pieces away from the outside skin to simulate the finished product. I sealed the edges with tape. The one in the picture that is peeling away was re-taped. My test pieces were small (4"x4") and that may have hindered any true readings. On samples #1, 2, & 4 I cut a 3-1/2" hole behind the aluminum sample to provide the proper air gap.

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#1 - no insulation
#2 - Reflectex only
#3 - Reflectex and foam board
#4 - Foam board only

To measure the temperatures I used an infared temperature gun and also a temperature pen. Okay, for what they are worth here are the results that I observed at 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon with full sun beating down on the outside wall.

Inside temperature - 89 deg.
#1 - 95 deg.
#2 - 91 deg.
#3 - 92 deg.
#4 - 93 deg.

I was surprised that there was not a larger difference. I also observed that the ribs next to #2 were 113 deg. and the ribs next to no insulation were only 107 deg.

Outside skin temperatures
#1 - 113 deg.
#2 - 120 deg.
#3 - 123 deg.
#4 - 120 deg.

I checked the temperatures again at 4:30 p.m. and got about the same results but slightly higher temps.

The Reflectex certainly was reflecting heat but I do not know why it did not make a bigger difference on the inside. I am still going to use the Reflectex but these results made me think that I was mainly baking the outside.

My experiment was sort of a bust. So much for a shade tree engineer. I think that I need to leave that for someone else.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:30 AM   #81
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Vernon,

I have a couple of thoughts regarding your results that might help set things in perspective.

I don't think that there is anything that you could do with your experiment that would make the temperature that you read on the inside skin be less than the ambient temperature of the inside of your trailer. In case number #2 for example the temperature that you measure is only 2 degrees higher than the ambient temperature inside the trailer. The only way that your results could get down to as low as 89 degrees would be if absolutely 0 heat is getting through the insulation to the inner skin. That is not going to be possible. I think your results look good in that respect.

It is not unreasonable for the outer skin to be hotter when you have better insulation. The reason is simple enough. Basically you have removed one means of releasing the heat that hits the outer skin. I think that you will find that this is a natural consequence of insulation of any type. If the heat can not go to the inside of the building then it can only be released back to the outside domain. Since the outside is hotter to begin with less heat can be released in that direction. That amount of extra heat is not too likely to hurt the aluminum and you would certainly prefer it to stop at the outer skin that let it get inside.

I too am a bit suprised that the uninsulated one does not show more heat on the inner skin. Howerver there could be some factors that cause this. Experiment case #1 with no insulation does in fact have some insulation. The air gap does help some as shown in your results. Also I think the fact that the outer skin temperature for the other 3 cases are higher needs to be taken into account somehow in light of my first observation above. Also remember that all of your outer skin pieces are tied together. Notice in your photograph that the uninsulated outer skin test case is surrounded by an area where the outer skin is directly exposed to the inside where the temperature is 89 degrees. Could it be that this is actually cooling off the outer skin in that area some?

For some side by side comparison of some similar test cases that I did take a look at the following thread and especially my posts #59 and #82

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f474...red-13363.html

Malcolm
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:35 AM   #82
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Gold Leaf

Someone said that there is no such thing as a dump question. With that said here is the question. I wonder how an Airstream would react to a covering of Gold Leaf. Many space craft are covered with gold foil to protect them from heat. There must be someone out there with enough money to experiment with this. And how cool would a gold twinkie be. Some practical questions. How much would it cost. How much weight would be added. How long would it take. After all didn't the man have a gold Airstream? I did several experiments with a sandwich insulation on my Bambi restoration. I'm not sure what real affect it had, but we are pleased with our trailer. This question might be fun for those like me who have too much time on their hands.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:16 AM   #83
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The raw solar radiation in space is almost double what punches through the atmosphere and reaches the ground yet in space there is no 'air' to rub against objects and carry that heat away... so gold is used since it reflects solar infrared heat better than a 'silvered' surface.

Did you know gold is self-healing on the molecular level? High energy particle craters in gold film that has any clumps that were not separated from the metal film migrate back into an orderly matrix, kind of a scratch healing thing. Important for things left up there a long time...

The typical thickness of gold leaf is about 100 nanometres or 0.0001 mm.

To give you more ammo for thought...

At a thickness of 100 nm, one square metre of gold leaf corresponds to 0.1 cubic centimetre or just 2 grams of gold. In Imperial measurements, one ounce (28.34 g) of gold corresponds to about 200 square feet (about 20 m2) of gold leaf. (Wikipedia)

(Thanks for the rainy day exercise.... we are 6-1/4 inches short of rain this summer, of course when I have all my carpentry tools and wood outside it decides to rain. I'm back to puddle stomping)
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:19 PM   #84
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Is Foam outgassing a problem?

What about outgassing? A greenhouse person said these foams outgass. I know you can get two large cans of about 10 cubic feet of foam at tap plastics for around 300 bucks but I am worried about gassing my air with volatile compounds. Any ideas?

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If using sprayed-in-place polyurethane foam, be sure the AS is leveled-out well , before spraying. The foam is very rigid, and will not allow the shell to flex very much,(this is a very good thing). As to the effectivness of the foam, it is perhaps a complete order of magnitude better than almost anything else commonly available at reasonable cost. This is based on a good quality foam of around 2-2.5lbs. per cubic ft. density product. The difference between sprayed foam, and air bubbles or fibergass batting is simply amazing. If possible, run wiring inside of plastic conduit, with junction boxes at key locations, to permit later removal, or pulling-thru new wiring. The sprayed foam will also almost completly eliminate the problems of trapped condensation within the shell. Foam such as this is rated with a "K" factor, rather then "R" factors, as fiberglass is. Go for it. The foam is also FAR better as a sound barrier. It is so far ahead of anything else, there is no second place.
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