Many insulating materials come with a layer or multiple layers of aluminum foil. In fact, a basic radiant barrier can function properly with a single layer of aluminium foil. Given that metals conduct heat rather well, especially aluminum, it might seem strange to use it as an insulating material. Here’s how it works.
Heat is really a measure of the energy of the atoms in a material. The more energy they have the higher the material’s temperature. This energy is transferred in three ways: by conduction, convection, and radiation (and don’t forget that heat always flows away from its source, from hot to cold.)
Conduction happens when thermal energy is transferred through a material. When atoms are tightly packed, as they are in solid metal, the energy moves easily.
In a gas, the atoms have more space, and the energy moves more slowly. That’s why bubble materials are effective like down in a winter coat, which creates similar micro-air pockets – they slow the rate at which heat moves.
Convection takes place when a liquid or gas expands. This makes it less dense and it rises, letting cooler fluid take its place. That’s why we say that heat rises.
When you combine the versatility of aluminium with the grip of tape, you end up with an easy-to-use tape that can be used in a wide range of applications. Aluminium tape is not only shiny, it's cool and very durable. The tape is so strong that you will be surprised to find that it is one of the few types of tape to enter the aerospace industry.
Aluminium foil tapes are pressure sensitive and offer excellent performance even in sub-zero temperatures, not to mention that they are flame-retardant and crack resistant. These are some common uses for this versatile tape.
With regard to packaging materials, aluminium foil tapes were first used for packaging during the First World War. They are ideal for protecting the contents of a package from moisture, heat or damage by pests. This is why it is one of the preferred tapes for packaging materials used for long-distance transport.
Aluminium foil tapes are polymer-coated and ideal for coating cables. The tape can also be used to wrap instruments, insulated cables and any other electrical material that is temperature-sensitive.
Duct tape is often the tape of choice for sealing ducts, but only if you need a quick fix. Compared to duct tape, aluminium foil tape offers more advantages for HVAC applications and it is the ideal tape to consider in relation to HVAC systems.
In addition to providing excellent results in HVAC systems, aluminium foil tape is also suitable for construction applications such as mineral insulated timber and reinforced fibreglass. It can also be used for repairing roofs and guttering.