What is the difference between fibreglass and mineral wool?
- Fibreglass: Fiberglass insulation is made from molten glass spun into fibres. These fibres are then bound together with resins. The result is a flexible and lightweight material.
- Mineral Wool: Mineral wool insulation is made from natural minerals, primarily basalt or rock, which melt and spin into fibres. It can also be made from slag, a byproduct of steel production. Mineral wool is denser and heavier than fibreglass.
**2. Density and Rigidity:
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass insulation is less dense and generally more flexible than mineral wool. It tends to be softer and compressible, making it easier to handle.
- Mineral Wool: Mineral wool is denser and has a more rigid structure compared to fibreglass. It retains its shape and rigidity well, providing good structural support.
**3. Thermal Performance:
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass insulation has good thermal resistance and effectively slows heat transfer. It is commonly used in residential and commercial applications.
- Mineral Wool: Mineral wool also has excellent thermal resistance properties and is known for its high melting point. It can withstand higher temperatures than fibreglass, making it suitable for applications where fire resistance is a consideration.
**4. Fire Resistance:
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass insulation is naturally fire-resistant and does not contribute to the spread of flames. It has a high melting point but can soften and lose its insulation effectiveness at extremely high temperatures.
- Mineral Wool: Mineral wool is inherently fire-resistant and has a higher fire rating than fibreglass. It can withstand much higher temperatures without compromising its structural integrity.
**5. Moisture Resistance:
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is resistant to moisture but may absorb water over time, affecting its insulation properties. Moisture resistance can be improved with the use of vapour barriers.
- Mineral Wool: Mineral wool is less susceptible to moisture absorption than fibreglass. It retains its insulating properties even when exposed to moisture, making it a good choice for damp or humid environments.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass insulation is widely used in residential and commercial construction for walls, attics, and ceilings. It is also commonly used in HVAC systems.
- Mineral Wool: Mineral wool is used in similar applications as fibreglass but is often preferred when fire and high-temperature resistance are critical, such as in industrial settings or around high-heat appliances.
**7. Eco-Friendly Considerations:
- Both fibreglass and mineral wool can be considered environmentally friendly to some extent. They are typically made from abundant and recyclable materials. However, the manufacturing processes and energy consumption associated with production may vary, and this is a crucial aspect to consider when evaluating their environmental impact.