Impact of moisture on long term performance of insulating products based on stone wool

Abstract: Demands for energy have been increasing in the whole world. According to higher consumption, the price of energy rises yearly too. This evokes usage of insulating products in a wider range. By adding insulation, we lower the amount of energy needed to heat our homes, resulting in fewer associated greenhouse gas emissions and a lower monthly heating bill. Savings depend on insulation thicknesses and on conditions, in which the insulant is kept. Mineral insulation based on stone wool is also a member of building insulants that defends buildings and constructions against temperature changes of the ambient. However, even when we use modern technologies and building techniques to reduce high energy losses, we can never provide unimpeachable protection of stone wool from damage. During a construction process on a building site or at fast climate changes, it often happens that stone wool is exposed to rain precipitaions or other climate effets. This brings water to the insulating structure. Besides the loss of insulating qualities, the stone wool is left permanently wet. Even the fibres of stone wool are inorganic, they still can be attacked by degradation processes due to organic agents fixing fibres together. Analysis of damaged flat-roof constructions using stone wool and verification of material properties is a starting point of this licentiate thesis. The attached paper section can be divided into two parts: In-situ practice that notes troubles with insulating materials based on stone wool with inbuilt moisture on a building site Laboratory measurement that observe material properties of stone wool under varying conditions