• New Product - Therma-Dome Pull Down Attic Stair Cover

    Pull down attic stairs are great for providing easy access but they are notorious for being terrible at energy efficiency. The temperature in the attic and in the living space below differs wildly in summer and winter. This means more heat transfer, making it a critical place to insulate.

    Although there are several attic stair covers available on the market none of them perform that well. Today’s insulation packages are up to an R-49 depending on your location. Today’s attic stair cover needs to be able to insulate up to these levels.

    We are pleased to now be offering the Therma-Dome Attic Stair Cover. Therma-Dome is the most efficient attic stair cover on the market. It is reflective and on its own achieves an R-13. Capable of achieving an R-40 with the addition of Maximize-R, Therma-Dome is the ultimate in attic stair insulation.

    The unique weather-strip design and attachment ensure a good air seal. Therma-Dome comes as an easy to install kit which takes approximately 15 minutes to assemble. Click here to read more about how Therma-Dome can help you insulate your attic stairs.

    Click the link to see videos on Therma-Dome attic stair insulation. Therma-Dome is proudly made in the United States.

    We are pleased to add Therma-Dome to our reflective insulation line of products. Please contact us with any questions.

  • InfraStop® Bubble Insulation in Costa Rica: Under Metal Roof, Over Metal Purlins with Furring

    What a great project.  Look at InfraStop® insulation in action in this beautiful masonry home in Costa Rica.  We spoke with our customer M.F prior to him building his home.  He told us he wanted to use our insulation and explained the building and roof design.  We developed a good a rapport from there.

    Take a look at the project photos he forwarded to us.  Even though this is a beautiful masonry home, the roof structure and design is very similar to what we do with metal buildings here in the United States.  Notice the addition of wood furring over the purlins.  This creates a solid thermal break and eliminates the need for the recommended ¾” drape for this same installation without furring strips.

    A masonry home with a metal roof located in the tropics is a perfect InfraStop® project.  All of the attributes of the insulation are needed and InfraStop® fills them all.  A low profile, moisture proof insulation that reflects radiant heat, provides a vapor barrier, and provides some decent R-value.  Plus, when looking at the cost of all your building components, the cost of InfraStop® is minimal.

    Thank you very much for the images M.F.  Thank you for sharing.  We wish you well with your beautiful home.  Thank you for being our customer.

  • InfraStop® IR Reflective Pallet Cover

    How do Reflective Pallet Covers Work?

    Reflective pallet covers are usually made up of a few core components all working together to shield the items inside from irregular temperatures. In addition to specially-designed sheets that are usually made of plastic or foam, the covers also include metalized films that act as reflective material.

    To this end, these covers are designed with two goals in mind: minimizing the transfer of heat outside the pallet and preserving the temperature inside. In normal situations, radiant heat from sunlight exposure (for just one example) could be absorbed by a traditional pallet cover or other packaging materials, quickly causing the temperature of the associated items to rise in an unpredictable way. The right pallet cover, however, can stop this from happening no matter what is going on in the environment around it.

    Even in situations where a pallet of goods may be exposed to direct sunlight, reflective pallet covers block radiant heat entirely - allowing the condition of the goods inside the pallet to be unaffected regardless of the temperature in the surrounding environment.

    Extreme temperatures are one of the natural enemies of a wide range of different products. In the case of pharmaceutical goods, for example, allowing the temperature to get too high could alter the chemical composition of something like medicine, causing it to lose effectiveness or possibly to not work at all. In the case of fruits and vegetables, heat could artificially limit their lifespan - leading to a pallet of food that arrives at its destination in such poor condition that it needs to be disposed of right away.

    The Major Benefits of Reflective Pallet Covers

    By far, the number one benefit of using reflective pallet covers comes down to the superior temperature control capabilities they provide. Certain items that are shipped like food, flowers, pharmaceuticals and more could be harmed or totally damaged if they're allowed to heat to beyond a certain temperature. Unfortunately, due to the way that shipping facilities operate, you can't guarantee that a particular pallet will stay out of direct sunlight all day long.

    With a reflective pallet cover, however, these concerns can be eliminated because they're specifically designed to block radiant heat in the first place. This is especially true when you're talking about items that are shipped in steel containers, as the heat absorbed by the metal can cause the temperature to rise to extreme levels very quickly.

    By blocking radiant heat, reflective pallet covers can help preserve a safe temperature for the aforementioned types of perishable items and more, guaranteeing that they arrive at their destination as safely as possible every time.

  • InfraStop® Concrete Pad used in Wooden Pool Restoration Project

    Many thanks to our customer, B.E in Chicago, Illinois for sharing his unique project with us.  B.E built a wooden pool back in the 1970’s for his house.  After years of use, and then some years of no use he decided to restore the pool by pouring a new slab in the bottom and replacing the liner.

    B.E wanted to keep as much heat in the pool as possible so he decided to insulate under the slab.  Check out this project showing our InfraStop® Concrete Pad used as a thermal break to slow the transfer of heat out of this homemade, wooden pool.

    Typically customers will want to use our standard product for insulation in above ground pools.  B.E’s project is unique because he is using our concrete pad insulation in a pool restoration project.

    Thanks B.E for sharing your project.  We really appreciate it.  This is another great example demonstrating the flexibility of reflective insulation and the many unique areas where it can be used effectively.

  • Vintage Aluminum Insulation for Masonry Wall Applications

    Figuring out how to best insulate your masonry wall can be difficult. This is due partly because masonry walls appear in a variety of instances within structures. For example, in the Southeastern U.S for example an entire home may be built with block. In the Northeastern U.S. basements are typically the only masonry wall.

    Infra Insulation: Type 4 Jr. Infra Insulation: Type 4 Jr.

    Choosing which product and what wall thickness takes some thought and knowledge of your specific project. You want the wall to breathe but not allow moisture transfer. You also want the products used to be impervious to moisture. Even a little moisture in a wall cavity can severely limit many products insulation qualities.

    This picture shows how Infra insulation was installed in masonry and block wall applications.  Infra is accordion style aluminum insulation used in the 1940’s to 1960’s. This particular Infra product, the Type 4 Jr. was ½” thick.

    Type 4 Jr. was installed by attaching the insulation to the face of the studs with an occasional staple with the flat surface facing the room. As you moved to the next stud bay you would lap the insulation over the adjacent piece. Then nail lath strip or small piece of furring spaced evenly over both flanges down the center of the stud. This prevented contact with the lath/plaster that was used at the time and created the necessary air space.

    Here are the specs for Infra Type 4 Jr:

    Aluminum sheets ½” apart, .0007” thick, permanently separated by an accordion partition of flame, mold, and vermin resisting fiber. 4 reflective spaces; 4 reflective surfaces; zero permeability; non-condensation-forming; non-moisture-retaining. Will force out fortuitous vapor. For 16” centers.

    As multiple accordion aluminum, Type 4 Jr. stops radiant heat flow and body discomfort, summer and winter because it is only 3% absorptive, 3% emissive. The human body, and building walls, absorb and radiate, from warm to cold, at a rate of more than 90%. Convection is blocked, conduction is insignificant.


    Cellar wallsBrick and concrete wallsAround Air ducts
    Pre-fab buildingsCement floorsWood floors
    Floor radiant panelsShipsHeated trucks
    Refrigerated trucksAirplanesRailroad trains
     Freight carsTrailersIndustrial purposes

    Infra Insulation products were the pioneers for today’s reflective insulation industry. We insulate today with our Infrastop® insulation the same way it was done 75 years ago. Look here to see how InfraStop® is an excellent block and masonry wall insulation.

  • Understanding Solar Radiation in Buildings - Simplified Physics

    In summer, considerable radiation from the sun is absorbed by buildings, because the outer surfaces of most roofs and walls have high absorptivity.

    Much of this radiant energy absorbed from the outside turns into heat, which flows by conduction through the solid material to the cooler inside surfaces of the roof and wall. The radiation inward from those inside surfaces, across buildings spaces, of invisible infra-red heat rays, is considerable, because these surfaces usually have over 90% emissivity.

    Black, non-metallic surfaces such as asphalt, slate, paint, paper, etc. are poor insulators against heat rays in either case, outside or inside; with 85% to 98% absorptivity for solar radiation, and 90% to 98% in enclosed spaces.

    Aluminum paint or gilt paint as it is formerly known, while it lasts, has a radiant heat absorption and emissivity of 40% to 65% in enclosed spaces. It performs better outdoors, with only 30% to 50% absorption for direct solar radiation. (1955 ASHAE Guide, page 95)

    White paint, whitewash, white tile, white brick and plaster perform well outdoors, with absorptivity for solar radiation of only 30% to 50%. But they perform very poorly in enclosed spaces, no better than black paint, with an absorptivity and emissivity of 85% to 95%. (1955 ASHAE Guide, page 95)

    Brick of any color, and concrete, in enclosed spaces, have an absorptivity and emissivity of 85% to 95%. But for solar radiation outdoors, red brick and concrete have an absorptivity of 65% to 80%; while yellow and buff brick have 50% to 70% absorptivity.

    One reason for this difference between indoor and outdoor absorptivity and emissivity is that in addition to the infra-red heat ray rays of frequencies or wave lengths corresponding to those found at ordinary building air space temperatures; the sun emits heat rays of frequencies or wave lengths corresponding to a broad range of other temperatures. The sun also emits other rays, visible and invisible. All of these rays, with heat rays predominating, engender a certain amount of heat when they strike a surface and are absorbed, for example by the outer surface of the roof or wall of a building.

    There is also sky or diffuse radiation from the surrounding atmosphere, also from buildings, trees, etc.

    Enclosed building spaces are usually without light. Everything is dark and colorless. Radiation between surfaces in such space is limited largely to invisible, infra-red heat rays.

  • Winterize and Protect Your Summer Investments

    Summer is over, the leaves are falling. Depending on where you live you may even have seen snow recently. For the weekender, now is the time to close out the summer and the related activities that go along with season.

    Whether you are closing up camp, storing your RV, or pulling your boat out, InfraStop® reflective insulation can help with these maintenance tasks. Our customers use our insulation to successfully wrap water and HVAC lines, insulate and winterize the bottom of camps, and use the insulation to block out heat and UV rays from the sun.

    The bubble core of the insulation resists heat flow, providing R-value in many applications. The shiny aluminum surface keeps radiant heat out by reflecting it back to its source. InfraStop® is flexible and cuts easily making it ideal to wrap, twist, and bend.

    infraStop® is non-toxic and does not require any special tools to work with. Plus, the material is recyclable for one time use or temporary applications.

    Should you require a barrier that resists heat flow and blocks radiant heat, look to InfraStop® for your choice in reflective insulation.

  • A Radiant Barrier Hat?

    When our creative writer requested we create a reflective foil hat for him to use we had no idea what to do. Come to find out after a couple of quick google searches, there is plenty of information available showing how to make hats of all types using regular materials such as newspaper, construction paper, and cardboard, and duct tape.

    So without further ado, here is our offering to the annals of history. Maybe the first radiant barrier hat in existence? Maybe we are on to something? We present, the InfraStop® Radiant Barrier Top Hat!

    Inspiration for the how to make the hat came from this post on how to make a top hat. To make a ball cap or flat cap out of cardboard see this video. Here's our image gallery below on making the hat. The foil tape helped cover up any blemishes, which were many compared to the skill of people on the web.

    For any hat makers out there, if you are interested in using radiant barrier to finish your cardboard or duct tape flat cap let us know and we will sent you the insulation and tape at no charge.

  • Man's Early Insulation

    While a burning fire provided warmth, light and the ability to heat food, insulation in the form of animal hides gave Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, and other early humans the continual protection needed to survive freezing weather. Over 1.5 million years ago, humans lost much of their body when they became fully bipedal and lived on the flat African savannahs. After several million years of prolonged walking and running across the savannah, early humans experienced an evolutionary genetic process called natural selection that eventually replaced their hair with sweat glands necessary to regulate body temperature and prevent hyperthermia.

    Does This Coat Make Me Look Fat?

    Oxford University anthropologists Walter Bodmer and Mark Pagel have suggested that hair loss resulted when early humans developed insights into utilizing animal hides and wearing them to protect the body during freezing weather. Since rudimentary stone tools were needed to produce clothing made of tough animal skin (skinning an animal is not easily performed with bare hands), anthropologists think we may have started insulating ourselves with clothing made from animal skins after developing tools, leaving Africa over one million years ago., and encountering much cooler weather.

    Designer Rack Clothing--Who was the First Tommy Hilfiger?

    Because fibrous clothing deteriorates in tropical, humid weather, the oldest evidence found that substantiates early humans' ability to weave clothing from plant or animal fibers was found in Czech Republic and dates back to the Upper Paleolithic period, around 25,000 BCE. Early insulation for the body included animal hide clothing, shoes and accessories such as bone needles, and dye and bleaching technology that may have provided clothes with hierarchical meanings within a tribe.

    When the first anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) left Africa about 100,000 years ago, Neanderthals already inhabited parts of Europe and had developed both genetic and creative adaptations to survive the brutal cold of Earth's last glacial period. Neanderthals tanned hides, colored them with ochre staining and probably wore shoes made of tougher animal skins. Animals hunted by Neanderthals for their meat and hides include wild boar, mammoth, reindeer, elephants (straight-tusked) and an extinct species of wild cattle called aurochs.

    Otzi, the Well-Dressed Ice Man

    Otzi the Ice Man is a mummified Neolithic corpse possibly 5300 years old who was discovered in 1991 buried on a mountainside in the Italian-Austrian Alps. What's fascinating about Otzi is the type and amount of insulative clothing he wore--a goat and deer-hide jacket, a loincloth, leggings, a cape made from bark and Alpine grass, a bearskin hat and shoes composed of goat and bear skin insulated with hardy grass types.

    Home Sweet Home

    Anthropologists speculate that Homo heidelbergensis may have been the first Homo sapiens to construct a simple shelter from natural objects such as plants, rocks and wood. Evidence about 400,000 years old from the Terra Amata site in France suggests that these early homes were large and elongated enough to house extended families. Previously, shelters had consisted of caves, cliff over hangings or simple hearths perhaps protected by large rocks surrounding one or more fires.

    Energy Efficient Inuit Homes

    Descending from the Thule culture who crossed Siberia and emerged in western Alaska around 1000 BCE, the Inuit relied on driftwood, bones and animal hides to create homes called tupiq that were insulated and tough enough to withstand the bitter Artic cold. Temporary shelters made from snow and ice called iglus offered protection from the elements outside a permanent settlement.

    Animal skins also provided the Inuit with footwear, leggings and parkas sewn with bone needles and sinew. Bearded seal skin or caribou boots kept their feet from suffering frostbite when hunting or fishing in subzero weather.

    Could We Survive an Ice Age Today Using Early Forms of Insulation?

    Maybe. However, most of the animals hunted for clothing and shelter thousands of years ago are extinct. In addition, many creatures with the types of skins required to give us the insulation we would need to survive 5000 years of below normal temperatures, raging blizzards and ice sheets have dwindled in numbers so drastically that there wouldn't be enough of them to provide the billions of people living on Earth with enough insulation to live as successfully in the wild as our predecessors.

  • How Aluminum Foil Insulates

    Many insulating materials come with a layer or multiple layers of aluminum foil. In fact a basic radiant barrier can function properly with a single layer of aluminum foil. Given that metals conduct heat rather well, especially aluminum, it might seem strange to use it as an insulating material. Here's how it works.

    Heat Transfer Basics

    Heat is really a measure of the energy of the atoms in a material. The more energy they have the higher the material's temperature. This energy is transferred in three ways: by conduction, convection, and radiation (and don't forget that heat always flows away from its source, from hot to cold.)

    Conduction happens when thermal energy is transferred through a material. When atoms are tightly packed, as they are in a solid metal, the energy moves easily.

    In a gas the atoms have more space, and the energy moves more slowly. That's why bubble materials are effective like down in a winter coat, which creates similar micro-air pockets - they slow the rate at which heat moves.

    Convection takes place when a liquid or gas expands. This makes it less dense and it rises, letting cooler fluid take it's place. That's why we say that heat rises.

    This leaves us with a puzzle: how does heat from the sun reach us through the vacuum of space?

    The answer is as light, both visible and invisible, or infrared. The sun radiates light, some of which passes through the earth's atmosphere to be absorbed by plants, soil, water, and so on.

    Absorbing Radiant Energy

    Some materials absorb light, and hence energy, better than others. A shiny material like aluminum tends to reflect a lot of heat while wood and concrete absorb a much higher proportion. That means aluminum is slow to warm up when exposed to radiant heat.

    Re-radiating, or emitting

    Everything that absorbs heat tends to give it off again. (Stand near a brick wall that's baked in midday sun and you'll feel the heat being radiated.) And just as some materials reflect better than others, some radiate heat better. This property of being a heat radiator is termed emissivity and it's given a value from 0 to 1.

    (Scientifically speaking, emissivity is the ratio between how much heat a material emits and the amount emitted by a 'perfect' emitter, otherwise known as a black body.)

    Iron and steel are quite good emitters and have emissivity numbers in the region of 0.5. (This is why they glow red hot when heated in a furnace or by a welding torch, they are radiating heat.)

    Aluminum has an emissivity of around 0.04. That means it radiates very little heat away from its surface, which is one reason why radiators aren't made from aluminum!

    Insulating with Foil

    Aluminum foil can be an effective insulating material because it doesn't radiate heat out into the environment. That's what makes it effective directly under a roof: although it will warm up through conduction from the shingles, it won't radiate that heat out into the attic space. In HVAC applications for example, the foil blocks heat from entering or escaping keeping the temperature where it is wanted inside the ducts. This same concept is used in many other residential and commercial applications.

    And that's how foil insulates.

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