How have insulation products changed over time? -
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How have insulation products changed over time?


How have insulation products changed over time?

Insulation products are a necessity when it comes to protecting your home and retaining energy. However, in the past, insulation was very much made up of makeshift materials and was created with anything available in order to help keep your home warm. But we’ve come a very long way since then with insulation product development. In our blog, we’ll take a brief look at how insulation products have changed over time and the impact this has had on those who utilise them.

In Prehistoric times, people used the same materials that they would have had for clothing as their insulation. This includes fur, wool and even straw, although this material would become more important later on. However, many of these materials were not sustainable and had a short lifespan, which ultimately had an effect on their ability to act as long-term, effective insulation materials. So, there was certainly a need to find other alternatives. Over time, new build materials emerged such as cast-iron steel and concrete but weather conditions meant that a form of insulation was still required.

In time, people turned to natural materials like long-stemmed wheat straw for thatching. The dry, hollow fibre of straw and reed provided an excellent level of thermal resistance, so thatched houses quickly spread especially in the northern parts of Europe and America and it became a popular building design (however this did have implications for fire hazards).

Moving on to the middle of the twentieth century, on the 1940s and 1950s, plastic foams became a revolutionary development in the insulation market. This saw their popularity overtake natural insulation materials and their growth massively accelerated.

After the 1950s, insulation development started to really take off. Polyester foam (PES) and polyethylene foam (PE) were invented in the 1950s. Phenolic foam and formaldehyde

foam appeared in the 1970s and melamine foam arrived in the 1990s as innovative new products. However, countless companies are still working to develop more efficient insulation products for thermal insulation, switchable thermal insulation, nanocellular foams and vacuum insulation panels.

Today, 90-95% of total thermal insulation material production is made up of artificial materials that we initially saw introduced in the 1940s. Aerotherm is one of the products which sits in this category. This is an innovative insulation product that can be applied to internal walls and ceilings in a similar way to plastering and has proved to be a very practical form of insulation, given the fact that it is just 1mm thick. In using this, it can reduce the amount of energy lost and is particularly more beneficial to older, solid brick properties.

Making the right insulation product choice is key to maintaining heat and energy within your property and the development of the insulation industry has been pivotal to comfortable human life. Not only can this mean that warm and cold air can be retained for longer, it also can help reduce your energy bills significantly, saving you money and leaving you feeling more comfortable in your property. If you would like more information on insulation training or installation, get in touch with us today on 01656 662 096 or email us at