Moisture buffer capacity of different insulation materials

Ruut Hannele Peuhkuri, Carsten Rode, Kurt Kielsgaard Hansen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    There is an increasing focus on the possibilities of utilizing the absorptive ability of porous materials to create passive control of humidity variations in the indoor air. These variations result in peaks in the indoor air humidity due to moisture production, or in the exterior building envelope due to the diurnal variations of outdoor air temperature and humidity. A passive control of the humidity of the indoor air - particularly together with passive thermal control - may lead to smaller energy use for climatization of buildings. For exterior envelopes, the choice of right materials can lead to more durable constructions. In this paper, a large range of very different thermal insulation materials have been tested in specially constructed laboratory facilities to determine their moisture buffer capacity. Both isothermal and nonisothermal experimental set-ups have been used. In the isothermal tests the material samples were exposed to the same change in the relative humidity of the ambient air on both sides, while the samples were exposed to variations in relative humidity only on the cold side in the non-isothermal tests. The results of these rather different measurement principles are discussed, and different ways are presented how to determine the moisture buffer capacity of the materials using partly standard material parameters and partly parameters determined from the actual measurements. The results so far show that the determination of moisture buffer capacity is very sensitive to the used analysis method and therefore great care has to be taken when comparing results of different experiments. This paper discusses this issue and will come with a recommendation of a simple and consistent way to present the moisture buffer capacity of the materials in contact with the indoor air on the basis of experimental results.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings IX : International Conference
    PublisherAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
    Publication date2004
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventPerformance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings IX - Clearwater, FL, United States
    Duration: 5 Dec 200410 Dec 2004
    Conference number: 9


    ConferencePerformance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings IX
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityClearwater, FL


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