For some years now there has been a growing interest, both on the part of consumers and among builders and architects, for energy efficiency and the insulation of homes. It is mainly due to two closely related reasons. The search for savings in consumption and, therefore, in the electricity bill, and concern for the environment.
There is a wide range of products and / or materials, natural and industrial, that can help us to insulate our home. Among the natural and renewable raw materials, wood stands out, which, as we have already mentioned several times on this site, has insulating properties. Both from a thermal and acoustic point of view.
How are wood fiber panels made?
To obtain the wood fibers, the wood is first crushed. Both residues from silviculture or the timber industry can be used, as well as wood directly, mainly conifers.
The crushed wood is subjected to thermomechanical grinding processes to obtain fine threads. This is known as wood fibers.
The next step is to add a compound that enhances some of its properties. That is, its resistance to fire and also to the attack of fungi and insects. One of the most common compounds are boron salts, which, in addition to presenting very low toxicity, delays the reproductive cycle of some insects, such as termites.
We can buy wood fiber like this, in bulk, but also in panel or sheet format, which facilitates installation. To obtain these panels, it will be necessary to add some adhesive and press the fiber.
Advantages as a wood fiber insulator
Approximately, the raw wood fiber has a thermal conductivity of 0.038 w / mK, being considered a good insulator between 0.03 and 0.04. It is a effective insulation ideal for comfort in summer and winter, thanks to its great thermal inertia. These values are higher in panels, where the wood fibers are pressed in panel format.
It is sold in several formats. This is especially interesting, as it can be purchased in different thicknesses and densities, which has a direct effect on the insulation capacity of the set. Machined or male and female can also be purchased, which simplifies assembly and installation and reduces losses.
Not only does it have thermal insulation properties, it is also a good sound insulator.
It is an ecological product. Not only because it is manufactured with renewable raw material, but also because it is recyclable when its function ends.
Has a very competitive price, especially when compared to other options.
The wood regulates the humidity levels inside the house, maintaining a comfortable situation. That is, it has hygroscopic properties.
No maintenance required.
Disadvantages and Disadvantages
The material has its disadvantages:
- Larger thicknesses may be required than with other materials, such as polyurethane.
- It is an ecological and renewable product as long as its origin is not illegal and uncontrolled extraction. The ideal is to inform us about the origin of the wood used.
- On some occasions, wood fiber can be mixed with unnatural chemical compounds that can have harmful health effects. I would have to consult the manufacturer’s technical sheet.
The wood fiber is sold in several formats, and according to these will be the installation process
- Wood fiber panels. You can buy this type of panel in different thicknesses. The most common are 60, 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160 millimeters. They are also available with straight, grooved or male and female edges.
- Bulk wood fiber:
- Inflated or injected into air chambers. The wood fibers are injected into the air chambers of the walls (mainly on facades, although it can also be used on internal walls) or suspended ceilings. It is a clean and fast process that does not require construction.
- Blown in lofts and uninhabited dormers (under the deck). It consists of introducing wood fiber in attics or unused attics to avoid losses.