100% Made in the U.S.A.
Most radiant barrier companies will claim that their material is made in the United States, when they are only partially made in the U.S. Nearly all companies selling radiant barrier today have their film metalized overseas, which is the most important part of the manufacturing process. The film is then brought to the U.S. and is laminated to a foam, bubble, or scrim of some kind. The “Made in the U.S.A.” label is then attached. Some companies insist their material is completely made in the U.S. when, in fact, it is not.
RadiaSource is proudly made 100% in the United States of America. Even the base materials of the product come from the U.S.A. Sadly, there are few products in any industry today that can still say that factually. We are proud to be supporters of the U.S. industry.
A radiant barrier is defined as a material that has a thermal emittance of 0.10 or less. In other words, it has to reflect at least 90% of radiant heat to qualify as a radiant barrier. RadiaSource is at the cutting edge of radiant barrier technology.
With any metal film radiant barrier, oxidation is a major concern. Oxidation happens when metal is exposed to water. The moisture of the air, even in a dry climate, causes the emittance of metals to rise. When the reflectivity is diminished, the product becomes less effective.
Aluminum oxide, the substance that forms on aluminum when it oxidizes, has a thermal emittance of .40 - .70. When that coating forms on aluminum, the thermal emittance of aluminum can raise to over .30. This happens because the oxide coating becomes the material that is being exposed to the radiant heat, not the aluminum. The oxide absorbs and emits radiant heat because of its higher emissivity, which then transfers into the aluminum through conduction. Again, once the emissivity raises over .10, it no longer qualifies as a radiant barrier.
It is important for the consumer to know that some radiant barriers have measured over .10 before they were ever used, which means the oxidation had already set in during the manufacturing and shipping processes. This is disheartening to the consumer who is unaware of what has taken place.
The oxidation problem is where RadiaSource has the biggest advantage in radiant barrier technology. Our customers can have confidence that they are getting what they paid for!
Amazingly, although it appears to be only one thin layer, RadiaSource radiant barrier is actually made by a highly complex, patented encapsulation technology. The metal is vaporized and bonded to a polymer core. A vaporized polymer coating is then bonded to the outer surface. All of this is done in a vacuum ensuring no exposure to the elements during manufacturing. This process allows RadiaSource to resist oxidation and retain its reflectivity. Finally, the woven design was engineered to ensure maximum strength against tearing.
Radiant Barrier Technology
All forms of insulation are designed to do one thing; stop heat transfer. There are three typesof heat transfer: conduction (the transfer of heat by touch), convection (the transfer of heatby air), and radiation (the transfer of heat by electromagnetic waves). Radiant heat is differentfrom convection and conduction—a person near a raging bonfire feels radiant heating from thefire, even though the person is not touching the fire and the surrounding air is very cold.
Traditional insulation, such as fiberglass or cellulose, is rated with an R-value, which measuresthermal resistance to conductive heat. Increasing the thickness of an insulating layer increasesits resistance. In other words, the higher the R-Value, the better it is at slowing down thetransfer of heat by conduction. This type of insulation is effective in preventing heat transferby conduction and offers some protection against convection, but is largely ineffective inpreventing radiant heat transfer.
It’s important to understand that traditional insulation doesn’t stop the transfer of radiantheat; it only slows it down (like a sponge with water). The heat absorbed eventually transfersinto living spaces.
This is a problem for those trying to regulate their building temperature, as radiant heatis responsible for the majority of heat loss in the winter and nearly all of heat gain in thesummer. In addition, as the temperature and humidity levels increase, the R-Value of fiberglassdecreases, which lessens its effectiveness over time.
There is another way to rate insulation. There is also an “E-value”, whichmeasures the thermal emittance of materials using a scale of 0 to 1. Every material on earthhas an emittance value. A high emittance material is one that absorbs and emits a lot ofradiant heat. A low emittance material absorbs and emits less heat. This scale could also beviewed as 0-100%. For example, a material that has an emittance of 0.04, absorbs and emitsonly 4% of radiant heat and reflects 96%.Fiberglass and cellulose have an emittance of 0.8 - 0.9,which means it absorbs and emits 80 -90% of radiant heat and reflects only 10 - 20%. When itcomes to stopping radiant heat, a low-“E” is the key.
This high absorption rate and low reflectivity of traditional insulation materials offers littleprotection from heat transfer. In the summer, the absorbed heat in fiberglass/cellulosecontinues to pour into living spaces long after outside temperatures have dropped. In thewinter, the high absorption of fiberglass/cellulose soaks up heat that should stay in livingspaces, and emits it into the outside air.
By adding low-emittance RadiaSource™, the heat that seeks to escape from a structure in thewinter is reflected back in. The heat that seeks to enter a structure in the summer is reflectedback out. Buildings, therefore, stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, whichmakes living conditions much more comfortable and causes utility bills to drop.
RadiaSource is most effective with new construction. Wrapping an entire structure with RadiaSource is ideal. However, our product can also be installed in the attics of existingstructures. It is installed in the eaves of an attic, or on the attic floor right over the top oftraditional insulation. Because the attic contributes to nearly half of the heat gain and heat lossin a building, this type of installation is still very effective at reducing heating and cooling costs.
Radiant barrier technology was utilized by NASA in the 1950’s. It “was created to be verylightweight in order to minimize weight impact on vehicle payload while also protectingspacecraft, equipment, and personnel from the extreme temperature fluctuations of space.It has been employed on virtually all manned and unmanned NASA missions.” (//www.sti.nasa.gov) This technology is now being utilized by RadiaSource to protect againstextreme temperature fluctuations in buildings on earth!