Before the Space Program even got underway, engineers were already working with reflective materials to block radiated heat, rather than just limit conduction. Reflective insulators had been added to some building insulation and were used in a few products like thermos bottles and sunshades. NASA eventually perfected this technology, turning it into a versatile, and highly effective insulation known as Radiant Barrier. As the Space Agency began integrating this new type of super-insulation into its projects, NASA and its contractors made huge strides on all fronts, including performance testing, tear-strength, fabrication techniques, and fine-tuning of different materials and applications. This set the foundation for today's Reflective Insulation materials like our family of Polyshield® Reflective Insulations. They are made with the exact technology of Nasa's Radiant barriers and just as effective at blocking heat!
Nasa determined If they attempted to use conventional insulation, they would have to have a seven-foot-thick protective layer on the space suit. Obviously, this was not very practical, so they turned to Reflective Insulation technology. Without this innovative discovery, astronauts would not be able to survive the extreme temperatures of space, ranging from -459 degrees Fahrenheit to +455 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Hubble Telescope has been zooming around Earth's orbit at 17,500 mph for more than 30 years! We rely on it to send us invaluable information about our Universe every day. The shiny material wrapped around it you see pictured here, is the Radiant Barrier insulating it from the extreme temperatures for all this time in orbit. The Hubble Telescope would not be able to do its job without the help from Radiant Barrier.
Picking up where NASA left off, manufacturers began experimenting with different metals on a variety of polymer thin films. The resulting materials came to be utilized in a variety of commercial products including emergency blankets protective clothing, firefighting and camping gear, cryogenic storage, particle colliders, MRI machines, and building insulation, to name a few. It's also widely used in packaging of perishable goods like snack foods and medicine to extend their shelf life. When you stop to think about it, it's hard to imagine our lives without it. It's a safe bet, there's some form of Reflective Insulation technology, in every house in America. Whether it's the insulation around your airducts, or the snack foods and candy packaging in your cupboards, Radiant Barrier has been proven effective over and again.
There are well-documented benefits to applying Radiant Barrier insulation into the attic envelope. These benefits are backed up by quite a bit of research by independent government funded labs including the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The Florida Solar Energy Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Traditional insulations like fiberglass and foam insulation have purely conductive properties. These conductive insulations are given their R-Values determined by ASTM testing. The R-Value formulas describe insulation’s conductive resistance but ignore radiant heat transfer. Studies performed by the Florida Solar Project demonstrate that one thin layer of Radiant Barrier can be more effective blocking heat transfer in a building’s attic envelope than 6″ of fiberglass batting. These studies have become widely known in the reflective insulation industry and since been confirmed many times. A case study in Toronto by a large manufacturer of Radiant Barrier, demonstrated 18–20% savings on energy in the Winter and 46% in the Summer.
Polyshield® is backed by independent studies proving to be 97% effective at blocking heat loss/gain.
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