Paint as insulation?

kenny chaos Posted By kenny chaos, Jan 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM

  1. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos
    Minister of Fire

    Apr 10, 2008
    You betcha. I read about this stuff being used by a very progressive/aggressive ship builder.
    He swears by the stuff.
    It's ceramic beads that can be added to any paint to give
    good insulating properties.

    Available here;
  2. benjamin

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW WI
    I'm sure it has some great uses, but I'm afraid I'm skeptical of it's usefulness for houses. I haven't seen any substantiated claims for insulating paints.

    This is too similar to the "bubble foil" type of miracle products which may work fine for improving a hard to cool house, but aren't a substitute for real insulation.

    The website claims 80-95% of heat is transferred by conduction, convection or radiation??? And how is the rest transferred??? Edit: heat is also lost by the latent heat of water vapor, but I seriously doubt that the writers of the website had that distinciton in mind or could even understand the concept.

    And then "5-7% of heat is transferred by conduction" ??? I'm sure there are houses that lose 5-7% of their heat by conduction but that's an awfully drafty house from everything I've ever seen.

    And best of all this marvelous quote:
    "Note: "A lower RATE of transfer", not a reduction in the total amount.", not only have they invented insulating paint, they apparently also invented a time machine!!!
  3. DickRussell

    Burning Hunk

    Mar 1, 2011
    central NH
  4. benjamin

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW WI
    UNBELIEVABLE, I thought only people from Illinois did stuff like that!

    The last sentence was hilarious, “The bottom line is, if somebody could come up with a product that can give you R-19 at 10 cents a square foot, everyone would be doing it.†That's pretty close to the price of cellulose.
  5. mtarbert

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 23, 2006
    This CRAP has been around for years either in the Space Shuttle scam or Nano Technology mode. It does NOT work. Anyone who tries to sell you this product is only doing so because they don't have the nerve to stick a gun in your ribs and rob you face to face.
  6. semipro

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 12, 2009
    SW Virginia
    This all sounds familiar to our "high efficiency electric heater" discussions .
  7. karl

    Minister of Fire

    Apr 9, 2007
    Huntington, West Virginia
    Aren't you getting convection and conduction confused? Virtually all of the heat lost from a house is from conduction. Convective heat losses are when a house is drafty. Also, I have foil insulation in my attic along with fiberglass. I can't say how well it works for heat loss but it's great for heat gain. I don't use central air except for a couple of really hot days, and I hear my neighbors running non stop in the summer. If mine did that, I'd be living in an igloo.
  8. Corey

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 19, 2005
    Reminds me of a story I noted many moons ago. The plan was to mix wax balls in with the paint. The wax would have a melting point of about 74 degrees. As the house warmed, the wax would melt and take on the latent heat of fusion...essentially meaning the walls would absorb excess heat, but stay around 74ºF. As the house cooled, the wax would solidify - giving up the latent heat of fusion and keeping itself warm.
  9. valley ranch

    valley ranch
    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 6, 2011
    Ranches in Sierra Nevada mts,Calif & Nevada
    I read the wax ball article, the wax balls were impregnated in foam walls. It would work you know, it works for animals.
  10. Rhone

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 21, 2005
    I think that's the greatest article I ever read!

    The wax paint idea would work, but a paper thin coating would be a joke. Phase change materials was something I looked into for my solar when trying to find something to buffer, but the material is typically several inches thick. It takes a lot of energy for something to change states (liquid to gas or solid to fluid), materials don't like to change states and stall at the temperature until there's enough to convert. Likewise, they stall going back at the exact temperature until enough is lost. I see it watching a pot boil. At some point the bottom forms bubbles that quickly disappear for a relatively long period. Then, all of a sudden in short order the whole thing is boiling like it just got over a hurdle.

    Real world application is evacuated tube solar. The liquid sits in the sun, resisting turning into a gas until it collects a large amount of energy (enough to phase change) into a gas which rises to the top which is surrounded by cold (relatively speaking) solar fluid where it condenses, going through a phase change back releasing a lot of energy in the process which gets transferred into the solar loop. Then the liquid falls back to start the process again.
  11. benjamin

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW WI
    Sorry for the delay.

    I agree that radiant barriers have a place and hot attics in cooling climates is the biggest one.

    The website said that 5% of heat was lost by conduction. For that to be true 95% would be lost by radiation and convection (drafts), so a house would have to be well insulated but still drafty to lose heat that way. Heat lost from conduction and convection are (very roughly) equal for an average house. In any case limiting the radiant loss (or even eliminating it entirely) is not a substitute for real insulation.

    The error that tripped up the poor guy in the article was his assumption that he could add up the "equivalent R value per coat" for several coats to equal a real R value, which we do all the time for real insulation and occasionally get into trouble because that's only addressing the conduction and not the convection (air leakage). This is getting way too complicated, why don't we just upsize the furnace and be done with it.

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