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The Beginner's Guide to Pipe Insulation: Mineral Fibre

This latest entry in our "Beginner's Guide" series looks at the two kinds of mineral fibre generally used for heating and ventilation applications; Glass fibre and Stone / Rock fibre.

The two are often viewed as the same material; whilst very similar in some ways they are different in others and thus each is better suited to certain applications.

Both products can generally be used for very high temperatures, with rock wool having the edge in this area. But due to the slightly different characteristics of each material, the thermal conductivity of these two different kinds of mineral fibre are also slightly different.

Glass tends to be more efficient for temperature ranges below 100C whilst rock is better suited to those above 100C. This means for example that glass wool is very slightly more efficient for say heating and plumbing applications, whereas rock would be more suitable for applications such as use on steam pipes.

Both products also lend themselves to noise reduction due to their relatively high densities (the mass of an insulation product has a significant effect on its usefulness in reducing noise). In essence the higher the density, the better the product is for noise reduction; rock wool would have the edge here.

Both products are also most commonly sold with foil facing and a self adhesive overlap for use in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) applications. We are also able to provide these products with additional coatings such as PIB or Ventureclad but these are "made to order" so the price will vary according to the size of the order.

In the words of the manufacturers:

Glass fibre insulation for pipes

Simply better insulation with the new Sager Foil Faced Fibreglass pipe insulation! As leading Swiss producer of fibreglass, SAGER produces innovative pipe insulation by the name of PIPELANE. The new, flexible PIPELANE fibreglass pipe insulation is produced in Switzerland according to Swiss quality standards and distributed throughout Europe. PIPELANE is available in all standard insulation thicknesses and pipe diameters. PIPELANE pipe insulation offers outstanding thermal and sound insulation and is applied wherever pipes have to be optimally insulated.

Application field / properties:

PIPELANE convinces with easy handling thanks to the gridded aluminium lining with overlap and self-adhesive strips.

Technical parameters: 

Thermal conductivity                                0.034 W/mK @ 40°C 
Reaction to fire                                        Not flammable 
Application temperature                           ≤ 300 °C

Processing instructions:

For the application of the insulation on the pipe, do not damage the aluminium lining         
Seal fully pounded longitudinal joints with self-adhesive overlapping tape         
Carefully mask all joints, seams, penetrations and pipe ends

Rock wool insulation for pipes:

RockLap H&V Pipe Sections are strong lengths of pre-formed insulation with a one piece, factory applied foil facing with integral self-adhesive lap. The Sections are designed for thermal and acoustic insulation of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning pipe work operating in the temperature range 0°C to 700°C. Rockwool Rocklap Pipe Insulation is one of the most enduring and well known brand names in the industry. 

Insulating the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with ROCKWOOL®HVAC insulation can improve the energy efficiency, fire safety and acoustic performance of a building.  

In addition to the fire protection benefits, ROCKWOOL® HVAC insulation products offer excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.

ROCKWOOL® insulation products are made from stone wool – a blend of naturally occurring volcanic diabase rock. It’s the special ingredient that ensures ROCKWOOL® insulation protects against unwanted noise, fire, and provides unrivalled durability at no cost to the environment. It’s a 4-in-1 solution.

If you are looking for more information you can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Telephone: 01942 295 926

We will be doing a range of entries on the various kinds of products available as well as jacketing in the coming weeks so watch out for these for more detailed information. If you want to know more about any of the products we offer, we have a handy reference table below as a quick guide.

Internal Use
External Use
Key Benefits
Cheap, Easy to Use, Flexible
Class 0 / Euro Class B, Very Flexible
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for steam pipes
Foil Faced, High Temp, Good for heating pipes
Foil Faced, Very Low thermal conductivity
Can be used up to 150°C, Can be used outside
Protective plastic skin, waterproof, UV resistant


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