# Thread: DOW SafeTouch *Fiberglass-FREE*** insulation

1. ## DOW SafeTouch *Fiberglass-FREE*** insulation

Every time I am at Lowes, I walk their insulation aisle to see what's new.

<http://building.dow.com/na/en/safetouch/>

I searched the Forums - haven't seen mention of this yet...?

Safe enough to eat - Seriously! No chemicals. If you go to a Lowes (probably Home Depot too), they have cute little samples and a spec sheet. I rubbed it on my hands & face - no problems. Think: "cottony" / fluffy - So, it compresses. Would need to be encapsulated like down. Haven't found water absorption factors yet.

Thermal R-13 -- Can't find the weight; but, sez "EQUAL TO regular fiberglass.

Price: A compressed "bundle" (like home fiberglass insulation) is \$52 - Comes "loose" or faced with paper.

If you dig around on the above website, you'll find spec sheets, comparisons, etc.

2. ## Is weight an issue?

Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't this stuff be very heavy? If you do the math it comes to 3.8 lbs per square foot. The 3.5" thick comes in 69 square foot bags that weigh 18 lbs. The math comes to 3.8 lbs per square foot.

3. Actually, the math comes to 3.8 square feet per pound (69ft^2/18 lb), or .26 pounds per square foot (18 lb/69ft^2)

For those used to dealing with roll goods, that's 62.95 oz/yd if you could get it on a 60 inch wide roll...

Still pretty heavy... but do you really need the full 3.5" thickness?

A quick Google search gives an R value of approximately 3.3-3.5 for climashield xp, so the simple math (i know the r value will change as you layer multiples, but that's too complicated...) tells me the DOW Safetouch is four times as efficient at insulating as the climashield. So, say you split it in half, you're talking a 1.75" thick full TQ and UQ that will keep you warm down what i would estimate at "pretty to really" cold.

Heavy... yup
Warm... yup

Price- not too shabby (assume you can make both quilts with one roll, and have some left over)

May be worth giving a shot, particularly for some of those pound hawg gear collectors we have here.... oh hey, that's me )

4. hmm interesting, i say try it out. i like the possibilities

5. Looks like a fun project for my car camping with the boys!

6. If you start experimenting with this, you're going to want a vapor barrier on the outside. Loose fill insulation like this stuff drops to about R=0 if there's any air movement through it. Tyvek anyone?

7. Originally Posted by Boris Losdindawoods
If you start experimenting with this, you're going to want a vapor barrier on the outside. Loose fill insulation like this stuff drops to about R=0 if there's any air movement through it. Tyvek anyone?
Would it need a waterproof vapor barrier or just a very wind resistant nylon shell?

8. You'd want something that would stop the wind, but not lock in the moisture. Anything that traps moisture will get the insulation wet and fiberglass loose fill insulation doesn't work too well when it's wet. This stuff is polyester rather than fiberglass, but I didn't notice DOW bragging about how well it works when wet. I'm betting that they'd make a big deal about it if it worked when wet. Not surprising, tyvek would work perfectly.

The 3.5" SAFETOUCH insulation probably isn't actually R-13. If I remember correctly, the R value listed for home insulation is actually the value of a "normal" exterior wall with drywall, wooden studs, siding, etc. which includes that insulation. The studs conduct heat (like quilting points) and the drywall/siding insulates a little bit. That also explains why the 6.25" SAFETOUCH seems to have such a lame R value. When you increase the depth to 6.25" (78%), you only increase the insulation value to R-19 (46%). In theory, doubling the depth of insulation should double the R value, so we don't really know what the true R value is. I think normal "R-13" fiberglass insulation is somewhere around R-11 all by itself, but that's a long ago memory so it could be totally wrong.

When you do the math, this stuff ends up insulating a little bit better than climashield xp per inch of depth if it's really R-13 @ 3.5".
5oz climashield xp (R-3.6) = 1.2" thick
SAFETOUCH (R-3.6) = .97" thick
If it's really R-11, then it's more like 1.15" to be equivalent so pretty much the same as climashield xp.

I'm too lazy to figure out how the weight compares to climashield xp, because the fact that it comes in 15" wide strips makes me not care any more.