What is stone cotton wool and is it good insulation? Characteristics and features of application

Stone cotton wool, sometimes referred to as mineral wool or rock wool, is a well-liked option for home insulation because of its superior thermal and acoustic qualities. Stone cotton wool is created from natural minerals like basalt or diabase, as opposed to traditional cotton wool, which is made from natural fibers. Because of its exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, and pests, it is a long-lasting material that can be used in both commercial and residential buildings.

The capacity of stone cotton wool to efficiently control temperature is one of its primary qualities. It reduces the need for heating and cooling systems by acting as a barrier against heat loss in the winter and keeping interiors cool in the summer. Over time, this thermal efficiency lowers utility bills and saves energy in addition to improving comfort.

The ability of stone cotton wool to insulate sound is another noteworthy quality. Because of its dense construction, which absorbs sound waves, noise from outside sources and between rooms is reduced. This makes it perfect for houses in noisy neighborhoods or for areas where people want seclusion and calm.

Stone cotton wool is easy to work with and versatile when it comes to installation. Its versatility in application is enhanced by its ability to be used as rolls, batts, or loose-fill insulation. Stone cotton wool can be tailored to fit different spaces and construction requirements, whether you’re insulating floors, walls, or attics.

All things considered, stone cotton wool is a dependable option for insulation because of its strength, ease of installation, thermal efficiency, and soundproofing qualities. Its organic makeup and resilience to typical home problems make it a viable and efficient option for raising building comfort and energy efficiency.

Stone cotton wool is a type of insulation material made from natural stone fibers. It is known for its excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties.
It is fire-resistant and does not degrade over time. Stone wool is commonly used in buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce noise.

What is stone cotton wool and how it is produced?

As they say, the process used to make basalt wool is taken from nature. Scientists studying the Hawaiian volcano’s eruption noted the formation of thin threads that gathered into structures resembling cotton wool. This material, which went by the amusing moniker "pele hair," attempted to replicate the same procedure in contemporary building.

As a result, plants now mimic volcanic eruptions in special furnaces where temperatures can reach 1,500 °C, melting rock. Subsequently, the breeds are merely drawn into the fibers, and they are linked by joining elements in cotton wool that have the required shape and consistency. And these connections are typically artificial.

Compressed fibers are then inserted into the polymerization chamber. There, fibers harden at 200 °C to form the finished product, which is then sliced into mats, slabs, and rolls. They are then sealed in a unique heat-shrink film:

All of this has made stone cotton wool, which is used today, a material with a chaotic fibrous structure that acts as thermal insulation. A pendulum layer, which places fibers in multiple multidirectional layers, provides such a direction. Subsequently, the material is given to the corrugated man, who presses Vata into a specific carpet with a density that can be measured with clarity.

Consequently, the heat insulator that is produced has the following characteristics:

Wool made from basalt cotton has always been in demand, even during times of extreme crisis. The sales increase by 7-9% every year. Simultaneously, there is fierce competition among manufacturing firms, and many start to grow in order to maintain their product on the market (excellent example-iso).

Technonics still make up the majority, making up roughly 20%, followed by Rockwul, who makes up 20%. There are currently roughly fifty factories in Russia that produce stone wool, which is heated.

Unique properties of basalt insulation

Let’s examine the key characteristics of stone wool that set it apart from other products.

Fire safety and reliability

As previously mentioned, the gabbro-basalt group, which is completely non-combustible, is used to make stone cotton wool nowadays. Ultimately, these fibers have a melting point of less than 1000 °C. The stone melts at this temperature, so even in a fierce fire, finding one is still a challenge. This heat level is limited to a vent. Thus, the areas that are most at risk of fire are isolated using stone cotton wool.

The stone cotton wool shields the internal building structures of the home by not only not burning but also absorbing the heat from the fire. Not only do they not burn out, but they also do not deteriorate, fall, or collapse on people in need of rescue.

All of this frequently provides extra, crucial time for evacuation. If you had heard of fires where a seemingly sturdy house burned like a match and collapsed like a house of cards, it was because the walls lacked these kinds of safeguards.

As you can see, practically all types of stone cotton wool fall into the non-combustible category:

Another crucial point is that stone wool does not release any toxic substances, even at high temperatures. This is important because, in most cases, toxic air that quickly permeates the rooms is what makes a fire dangerous rather than high temperatures. Furthermore, the more easily melted and foul-smelling materials there are in a residential building, the worse.

Because basalt wool doesn’t catch fire, it can even be used for heated floors.

Vapor permeability and "breathing" walls

A crucial question that more and more home owners are posing these days is: how safe and environmentally sound is our own housing? Will the mold be awful, and is the microclimate comfortable there?

Furthermore, two current approaches to this problem have already emerged in this regard. The supply ventilation system is used to organize the internal air exchange in a house that is designed to resemble a thermos. The second is that residential buildings should "breathe" in order for the house to "breathe," but this should happen because of the walls’ vapor permeability rather than because of drafts from a leaky structure (mainly this applies to wooden buildings).

Thus, everything from stone to cotton wool is totally vapor permeable. Molecules of water readily flow through mineral thermal insulation without condensing on the fibers. This prevents a stone insulation from ever getting wet. For this reason, a heater of this kind is perfect for setting up wood baths, whose walls must, by all means, "breathe" and not be inert thermos.

Ultimately, the microclimate within a residential building is contingent upon the walls’ ability to allow for airflow. Remember that in our country, a light draft from windows and doors causes the natural flow of air when the window is closed, whereas in other countries, a special supply ventilation is often installed for this purpose.

There won’t be anywhere to go if it turns out that one is insufficient or if the new plastic window is extremely sealed and will obstruct the rare microfoils of air. Consequently, the house will start to smell musty and develop mold.

For this reason, proponents of a residential building’s environmental friendliness refer to its walls as "breathing." Because of this, manufacturers of stone cotton wool are granted a special certificate that enables them to use it to heat any room in the house, including a nursery. Such rooms should have a safe and comfortable microclimate. Additionally, steam can easily pass through the finish without staying in the insulation at the same time:

Durability and confrontation of loads

Stone cotton wool shrinks so little that it has no effect whatsoever on how long thermal insulation lasts. Therefore, there are no cold bridges because the plates’ geometric dimensions are maintained for the duration of their service life.

Furthermore, mineral slabs only retain 0.5% of their volume due to hygroscopicity. In addition, stone wool is now impregnated with unique water-repellent substances called hydrophobizators, just in case. These are silicon compounds or oils.

This is required in order to keep cotton in the proper condition while installing it. After all, significant construction projects are frequently completed inclement weather, including during downpours.

Lastly, stone cotton wool does not cause metal to corrode and has a high chemical resistance.

Disputes about environmental friendliness

With good reason, stone cotton wool is regarded as one of the greenest materials; some manufacturers’ products even bear the ECO Material Green certification.

However, a little tar is added here. Studies have shown that wool made of basalt may be dangerous. A 1995 note in the avenue of some companies mentioned that synthetic resin, made from the condensation of phenol and an aldehyde, is used to glue basalt fibers together. Additionally, the resin’s characteristics are very different from those of the fibers. Thus, they do not melt in the stove at temperatures higher than 1000 degrees, and the resin has already reached 200. Furthermore dangerous is the dust itself.

The producers assert that the phenol-formaldehydic binder they employ to make cotton wool contains a significant amount of this substance and may pose a health risk to people. However, based on the amount of alkaline earth metals and alkaline oxides it contained, mineral wool was deemed potentially hazardous in a 1997 European Union classification of insulating materials.

Regretfully, some producers of cotton wool still use binder like formaldehyde or phenol today. Additionally, these volatile compounds already pose a threat to everything associated with the second class of danger as they are poisonous.

Formaldehyde is highly toxic, allergenic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic—you are undoubtedly aware of this. Additionally, 3 to 6% of the binder’s stone wool is typically contained in stoves. Furthermore, this material is prevalent in the immediate environment, even in the street air, and is particularly prevalent in low-quality furniture, i.e., it accumulates.

According to manufacturers, the binder starts to burn at 250 °C, but the structure of mineral wool remains unchanged and does not oxidize. For this reason, check the documentation for the chosen version of the stone wool to see what kind of binder is used there if you are concerned about the environmental impact of the finishing materials used. Starch or smol?

One more crucial point. The difference between glass and stone wool is that glass wool releases thousands of tiny needles into the air; however, basaltovo should still be handled carefully! Despite the fact that our local artisans enjoy handling glass wool with their hands, take note of the workers who insulate the walls overseas while wearing masks and protective clothes. Ultimately, fine dust is produced by the basalt fiber, particularly when the plates are shaken.

It’s worth noting that Technonikol once carried out an intriguing study on the expectations of buyers. Furthermore, it was discovered that 87% of the primary criteria for selecting building and finishing materials were ecologically friendly.

This led to the development of GreenGuard insulation, which is now referred to as eco-free construction in contemporary building practices. We will discuss him with you in a moment.

Question of density and quality: is there always the more, the better?

These days, a lot of people think that stone cotton wool is more useful the more dense it is. This isn’t the case, actually. The density has its own distinct indicators that can be used in various scenarios.

Thus, dense stone cotton wool:

  • up to 35 kg/m 3 is ideal for unloaded surfaces, like roofing. It is easily installed between the rafters and is well kept between them due to the fact that its own weight does not pull it down;
  • Plates with a density of 35 to 75 kg/m 3 are used for the floor, ceiling and internal walls of the house;
  • Stone cotton wool with a density of 75 to 125 kg/m 3, is quite heavy, used for facade systems.

For this, each contemporary stone wool producer has a distinct product line with its distinct density:

Generally speaking, the density of the cotton wool determines the material’s thermal conductivity. Additionally, the fiber ordering determines the density. Therefore, the higher the compression strength at the stove and the better the thermal insulation itself, the more vertically oriented fibers you have.

Manufacturers took note of this development and are currently working to make cotton wool that is both heat-insulating and anti-residence while also being less dense and heavy. In other words, there is no linear relationship between the density and strength of stone cotton wool. Therefore, the initial technological process used in the manufacture of the less dense cotton wool with the same strength was of the highest caliber.

Furthermore, there is a wide range of strength in terms of conformance to the task, stretching, and compressing. Thus, under screed floors and flat roofs, roofing heaters are always used for compression. But when it comes to ventilated facade insulation, the same parameter is essentially meaningless. After all, the ability of the cotton wool to keep the layers apart is already crucial in this situation! Furthermore, this is not compressed.

However, thermal insulation such as Rockwool Light Batts Extra should be both lightweight and long-lasting if we are discussing layered brickwork. Their tensile strength is eight kPa, and their density ranges from 40 to 50 kg/m3.

"Mineral wool, or stone cotton wool, is a common insulating material that is prized for its superior acoustic and thermal qualities. Constructed from recycled materials like slag or naturally occurring minerals like basalt, it provides good soundproofing and heat retention. Because of its adaptability, it can be utilized in both industrial and residential settings. This article examines the qualities of stone cotton wool, emphasizing its advantages as insulation, its effect on the environment, and useful advice for using it in building projects."

Market new products: convenient format and high environmental friendliness

Aware of the ongoing competition for market share, producers strive to enhance the quality of their offerings or develop novel products that will inevitably capture the attention of prospective customers.

We highlight the popularity of the Mini Rochelite, a distinct innovation from Rochelite. These slabs of stone wool are only 800 by 600 mm in size, as opposed to the more typical 1200 by 600 mm. With this format, you can deliver plates in your car more conveniently, calculate insulation requirements more precisely, and prevent mistakes.

Using GEOLIFE technology, GreenGuard ecological insulation gains popularity fast. The technology is unique in that it uses only natural materials, namely rocks belonging to the gabbasalt group and organic biopolymer binders instead of synthetic ones. Since this breed is highly refracted, cotton wool will suffice. The material is therefore given the highest fire safety class.

Such insulation acts as a certain fire barrier in addition to being non-combustible and non-changing in form. Furthermore, because there isn’t any resin present at all, there won’t be any toxic materials or poisonous fumes. Here, the binder is made of organic condenser and modified starch. These same materials are still used today in the food, fragrance, and diaper industries.

Stone wool, sometimes known as mineral wool, is a common and useful insulating material in construction. It is created by melting natural rock materials like diabase or basalt at a high temperature and spinning the resulting fibers. Through this process, a fibrous material with excellent thermal insulation properties is created that traps air.

The exceptional fire resistance of stone wool insulation is one of its main advantages. Owing to its elevated melting point and incombustible composition, it can tolerate extreme heat without deteriorating or facilitating the propagation of flames. Because of this, it is a recommended option for structures where fire safety is a top priority.

Not only is stone wool fire resistant, but it also has excellent soundproofing qualities. Sound waves are absorbed by the material’s dense fibers, which lessens noise transfer between rooms and from outside sources. Stone wool’s acoustic insulation makes it perfect for both home and business settings where noise reduction is a priority.

Moreover, stone wool has a high moisture resistance, which inhibits the growth of mildew and mold. This feature guarantees that the insulation will remain intact over time, resulting in durable thermal performance. In addition, it is resilient and does not compress or settle, keeping its insulating value for the duration of the building.

All things considered, stone wool insulation is a preferred option for many building projects because of its combination of thermal efficiency, fire resistance, soundproofing capabilities, and durability. Its capacity to improve comfort and safety levels as well as energy efficiency makes it an excellent investment in building insulation.

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Alexander Sorokin

The owner of the roofing company, an expert in the roofing markets. I'll tell you about the novelties of the roofing industry and help you choose the best option for your home.

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