Not all types of insulation are used in residential buildings. Some more expensive and more high tech options are mainly reserved for commercial uses. Companies that have special, hard to insulate equipment, or that want to put in great roof insulation should look into cellular glass insulation. FOAMGLAS Insulation made by Pittsburgh Corning Corporation is one example of what is available. This is the main company that manufactures insulation of this type.
Crushed glass is heated to high temperatures and the melted glass is mixed with a cellulating agent and put into molds. The mixture expands to fill the molds as it cools, forming the cellular glass insulation. The main products that are made are blocks (either flat or tapered) and roof insulation boards (also either flat or tapered, and covered on the outside with a combination of Kraft paper and asphalt). However, since this type of insulation is used on all sorts of oddly shaped pipes and equipment, you can also get it specially made into whatever size and shape you need.
There are a number of advantages to using cellular glass insulation. First of all, it is moisture resistant and it floats. It is also naturally flame resistant, so it can be used in very hot temperatures without catching fire, and it can help to keep fires from spreading. It can also be effective in very cold temperatures, which isn’t true of most types of insulation. You can use this insulation within a temperature range of -450 degrees F to 900 degrees F. The range of temperatures gives it an advantage over other insulation such as calcium silicate, mineral wool, and fiberglass, which can be used in slightly higher temperatures but not in colder temperatures. Finally, it is very strong. When it comes to roofing insulation, gypsum board is the only type with a higher compressive strength. However, cellular glass insulation is a better insulator.
There are many uses for this type of insulation, especially among companies that need a type of insulation with its unique properties. In commercial buildings, it is used for fireproof building panels as well as for green roof insulation. Other uses include insulating specialty piping operations such as chilled water pipes and equipment, cold process pipes and equipment, ethylene plant pipes and equipment, hot oil piping and equipment, LNG piping and tank bases, stainless steel hot water lines, and underground steam distribution.