Insulation is a material, which prevents you from facing the extreme temperature that prevails outdoors. For the uninitiated, insulation is a material preventing heat energy from permeating through the walls, floor and ceiling of your home. Like buildings, shipping containers in Dubai also need insulation to keep the interiors safe from the extreme temperature that prevails outdoors. When you are planning to insulate a shopping container, you need to separate the conditioned interiors from the exterior.
Unlike traditional residential constructions, the modern-day shipping container homes face an additional issue when it comes to cooling the interiors. Whatever be the grade of the steel used for the container, it makes maintaining the interior temperature different than the exteriors. So, more insulation is needed for the container homes, unlike traditional construction types. Even climate plays a role in insulating shipping containers effectively.
What to know while insulating shipping containers
When it comes to deciding the best material for shipping containers insulation, there are many aspects you need to select. Some major factors that you ought to know include,
- Performance: This is affected by aspects including material, open or closed cell structure, entrapped gas, etc.
- R-Value: The ability of the material to prevent heat energy transmission.
- Net interior space: The space left in the interior after necessary insulation.
- Air leakage: How insulation prevents air that flows through it and around the edges.
- Cost: Depends on labor, material and equipment cost.
- Vapor permeability: How insulation helps vapor stay in it without migrating.
- Eco-friendliness: The main reason behind insulation is to live in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner.
Major types of shipping containers insulation techniques
There are many forms of shipping containers insulation. These are detailed below.
Non-traditional insulation: This type of insulation is made of unconventional materials. These are often cheap and not much eco-friendly.
Blanket insulation: Blanket insulation is compressible, not self-supporting and fluffy. As its name indicates, this type of insulation is somewhat similar to that of a regular blanket, but it is made up of various materials. In most cases, it uses long fibers into a small space. The varieties of this type of insulation include sheet’s wool, cotton, mineral/rock/slag wool, and fiberglass.
Loose-fill insulation: The loose-fill insulation depends on applying slight macroscopic chunks of insulating materials into a wall cavity. These incubators need complete wall cavity before application. Loose-fill insulation materials aren’t suggested for shipping containers due to their vapor permeability.
Expanded foam insulation: This type of insulation is manufactured offsite into huge panels and boards pre-sized for exact wall heights. It is self-supporting and has holes for windows and doors. These holes are cut onsite. The gas in the closed-cell models escape the cells and result in a reduced R-value over time. This type of insulation is like a DIY type and can be glued or attached to the container. Expanded foam insulation has the highest R-value among all types of insulation.
Spray insulation: This type of insulation is made of various materials by pumping or spraying a liquid mixture that hardens into a solid. It is continuous and is capable of expanding into crannies, nooks, and cracks. It forms a barrier to resist air movement, thereby preventing the transfer of heat. One time spray insulation expands depending on the application. And, it requires trimming as the expansion pushes the foam beyond the face of the studs. Unlike spray foam insulation, this type does not expand based on the application.
Besides these, there are other insulation types for shipping containers. This includes a green roof, radiation or reflective barriers, and passive cooling and heating design.