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View Poll Results: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling
Polyiso, PIR, ISO 4 5.56%
XPS (Blue/pink 'Styrofoam') 5 6.94%
EPS (White 'Styrofoam') 0 0%
3M Thinsulate SM600L (synthetic fiber) 49 68.06%
Fiberglass rolls or batts 0 0%
Polyurethane foam (white/yellow spray) 3 4.17%
Icynene foam (eco-friendly spray, closed cell) 1 1.39%
Sheep's wool 10 13.89%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll | Withdraw Vote

 
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:11 AM   #111
hein
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

We have soft minicell closed cell polyethylene foam in a .400" thickness for filling the corrugations. No chance for squeaks as there is with XPS or other rigid foams. The bubbles in Reflectix will pop under a floor. You might consider a layer of TAI-1547 5/16" thick Thinsulate(TM) after that and underneath your plywood. Definitely will help reduce noise and vibration coming from underneath. TAI-1547 is relatively inexpensive and easy to roll it out. We placed moist wool in a zip-lock bag about a month ago. If you open it and take a whiff you will instantly decide not to use it anywhere that it might get wet. It has a rank ammonia like smell to it.

All the best,
Hein
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Last edited by hein; 06-03-2019 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:28 PM   #112
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Interesting thread. I’m guessing the poll is really “what insulation did you use” rather than “which insulation is better”, since each respondent likely only has direct experience of their own van.

As an architect, I’m having a hard time with why Thinsulate with an R-value of 5.2 beats 2” closed cell SPF with R-value of 13. What am I missing?
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:02 PM   #113
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

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Originally Posted by dhowardaia View Post
As an architect, I’m having a hard time with why Thinsulate with an R-value of 5.2 beats 2” closed cell SPF with R-value of 13. What am I missing?
As an electrician in New England, I have seen my share of foam insulated homes as well as older homes with failed batt insulation and vapor barriers. I too was questioning why more vans were not using spray foam, since there are two important benefits: high R-value and vapor barrier against the exterior skin. However, there are some issues that overshadow those benefits:

- Installation is very messy, and requires a high level of knowledge and skill to ensure that the chemicals mix and cure properly. Improper installation can cause catastrophic damage.

- There is debate regarding the thermal expansion and contraction of foam and the sheet metal skin of the van. In building construction, deflection of the exterior shell of the structure by maybe an eighth or quarter inch is not an issue visually, and wood can handle the fluctuations very easily. The same deflection in thin sheet metal with a high gloss finish is extremely noticeable and possibly permanent.

- I have yet to come across a situation where a customer wants me to add a switch or outlet in a wall that was originally spray foamed, but when that day comes, a normally $150-$200 task will end up being over $500 simply because of the requirements to remove the foam for installation and replace with new foam afterwards. Most van builds are not “forever” and modifications to those with spray foam will have similar challenges.

For me, the biggest issue is the potential of damaging the van shell. If any installer can guarantee foam installation to not cause damage (or they will replace the vehicle), then I could consider it.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:00 PM   #114
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Just called Impact Products today to get a materials list for a 118. Going with Thinsulate all around.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:10 PM   #115
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There is a low VOC 3M 90 high temp spray adhesive available and we are working with 3M to determine which PSA (peel and stick) tape will work best especially in cooler temps. Many people tend to use too much spray adhesive. The trick is to place the Thinsulate(TM) SM600L in the wall cavities and then pull back the edges and spray adhesive behind and near the top of the pieces in such a way that it gets on both the Thinsulate(TM) fibers and also the metal skin. Then gently press it back in place.
I’ve used gaffer tape to secure my thinsulate scrim to metal ribs after separating the fibre bats along the edges it seems really secure and the tape has held well in other areas in the van over hot summers. Nice to avoid glue. Hein are you aware of failures using the gaffer tape method above? if so it’s not to late for me to go back to using glue. Though I’d sure rather not.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:10 PM   #116
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Quote:
Originally Posted by hein View Post
We have soft minicell closed cell polyethylene foam in a .400" thickness for filling the corrugations. No chance for squeaks as there is with XPS or other rigid foams. The bubbles in Reflectix will pop under a floor. You might consider a layer of TAI-1547 5/16" thick Thinsulate(TM) after that and underneath your plywood. Definitely will help reduce noise and vibration coming from underneath. TAI-1547 is relatively inexpensive and easy to roll it out. We placed moist wool in a zip-lock bag about a month ago. If you open it and take a whiff you will instantly decide not to use it anywhere that it might get wet. It has a rank ammonia like smell to it.

All the best,
Hein
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Did you do a parallel test with thinsulate?
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:20 PM   #117
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

What are folks using as a thermal break for the sundry reinforcement ribs? Is there a 0.1” / 3mm self-adhesive minicell material that would do the trick, for example?
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:56 AM   #118
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

This thread mentions walls and ceiling insulation but didn’t find one for floor insulation.

Did a write up of the installation of minicell foam underneath the stock floor here.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:13 PM   #119
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

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What are folks using as a thermal break for the sundry reinforcement ribs? Is there a 0.1” / 3mm self-adhesive minicell material that would do the trick, for example?
I would suggest the .25" thickness minicell. You can use 3M 90 spray adhesive to attach it. We also have PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) film that would work. We also can use the same stuff to hold Thinsulate for those who don't want to use spray adhesive. How wide would work for you? We have it in a 2" width but can get other sizes.

Another option for thermal break is strips of expanded PVC attached with VHB or a urethane adhesive. HomeDepot has plastic exterior house trim that comes in a variety of thicknesses. We have scrap PVC in 1/2" thickness that folks can come get in Hood River.

VHB tape comes in a .090 thickness so that is yet another option that can even help hold panels in place. VHB is great between cabinets and floor and wall attachments as well. It will keep rattles from developing. All of the cabinets in our van are sitting on a layer of VHB. We use it almost everywhere we have two hard materials or surfaces that are mated together.

Thank you for the minicell floor write up. Very well done.

All the best,
Hein
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Last edited by hein; 06-25-2019 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:21 PM   #120
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

3,031 miles is a little far to drive for some PVC!

I’ve ordered a few different insulating tapes to try.
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