Garage Door Insulation Uses Polyethylene

There's been a lot of talk recently about garage door insulation- after all, you can get a tax credit for these energy saving garage doors that trap heat and prevent leakage, in turn allowing customers to lower their energy bills.

Normally, people just buy a kit or hire a garage door service person to install their insulation and go on- but what is it that makes certain materials bad at keeping heat and some good? For that, we turn to an explanation of polyethylene, the plastecine, waxy material that makes insulation what it is.

Polyethylene was first produced in an industrially practical way by a company in England in 1933, making it one of the oldest industrial non-metals. It is produced by applying very high pressure (an amount equivalent to about three hundred atmospheres' worth) to a blend of benzaldehydea and ethylene. This reaction is prompted by brief exposure to trace oxygen contamination, and the first production was actually something of an accident. Later versions of the substance would be synthesized using different catalysts, which encourage the polymerization of the ethylene molecule.

Through many decades of development and experimentation, a commercially viable polyethylene product became the norm, boosted along by the Hula Hoop- which was essentially a polyethylene ring, and make the stuff in quite high demand.

Plans to use it as an insulator didn't come for several more decades after the fad of the Hula Hoop in the fifties. In fact, insulation didn't come into the forefront of home-design until very recently, with raised awareness of global warming.

Insulation is rated in effectiveness on a scale called the R-Value scale. This rating, however, doesn't take extraneous factors into account, like the quality of the construction of the original building, or the prevailing climate (humidity, temperature, winds) of the area in question. So even though the R-value is perfectly accurate for any material in a laboratory setting, it isn't a true representation of how effective an insulation is going to be.

Polyethylene has a pretty strong R-value, for the price at which it can be produced. It's easily the most cost-effective material for home-construction insulation projects and garage door insulation, and more than worth the price of installation or a Saturday DIY project. The energy efficiency saves money, the insulation makes sure there are uniform temperatures throughout your home, as well as within-room variation, and the price is a one-time shot: no maintenance, adjustments, or upkeep is necessary.

For more information about insulation and garage door installation, or garage door accessories, ask the professionals at

This article was published on 05 Oct 2009 and has been viewed 1430 times
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