uses for Thermoflect and other shiny materials
Awaiting my Thermoflect blankets, which I expect will show up tomorrow or the next day, I'm thinking ahead to tests to determine advantageous uses for them. I've prepared by getting two other shiny sheets to compare them with - aluminized ripstop from DIYgearsupply and aluminized CTF3 (cuben). I've got a space blanket, too, but I'm more interested in these more durable materials.
I tried the sheet of shiny cuben tied under my insulated hammock once, but had considerable condensation forming between it and the hammock - not too surprising, as the temperature was around 30° F. and the humidity was high. I think I pulled it too close, also.
So, questions: how close or far away should radiant reflectors be from the sources of radiation (us)? What materials will radiant heat pass through easily? (Down, I suspect. How about different synthetic insulations?) How strong, how breathable, how light, how easy peasy freezy, and so forth. Bring on your tests and share your data. One application I want to try is making a wind-break/reflector for winter campfires.
First impressions and weights
Received the Thermoflect blankets and made some quick comparisons with 3 other shiny materials.
By weight: Thermoflect and Aluminized Ripstop are in the same ballpark, ~ 1.5 oz./sq. yd.
Aluminized CTF3 aka "cuben" (CT1K.18) is about half that.
Mylar Space Blanket is about 1/3 at .5 oz./sq.yd. (I included the space blanket for quick comparison to something everyone would be familiar with. It is so weak compared to the other three that I won't include it in further tests, though for some it could have use as a temporary emergency layer.)
By strength: Not measured yet, but I'm impressed at the feel of the Thermoflect. I did a little tug-test, and it's stronger than I expected. The CTF3 is very likely far stronger than the other two, but it is expensive and may not even be available any more, so our real interest is the comparison between Thermoflect and Aluminized Ripstop.
Future tests: wind resistance and/or breathability, which may or may not be the same thing. The passage of air and water vapor could be substantially different, and one may be much more important than the other in some applications.
That's what I know so far.