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3M - Thinsulate Insulation From 3M Opens The Door To Safer Handling And Improved Aesthetics

A novel use of Thinsulate insulation from 3M, the diversified technology company, is delivering greater handling safety and improved aesthetic performance for one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of partition doors.

Somerset-based Building Additions produces a range of partition and folding doors, with its range of fabric concertina doors supplied to customers including schools, nurseries, hospitals, offices, hotels and leisure centres.

The doors are used to divide larger spaces being used temporarily for different purposes, so their ability to minimise noise transfer is crucial.

Building Additions was previously using mineral wool insulation which, while performing adequately in acoustic terms, was far from the best solution in other areas, as Managing Director Andy Ferris explained: “We have found that mineral wool is not particularly pleasant to work with due to the itchiness and irritation the open fibres can cause to employees, meaning the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). It is difficult to sew through, making the finishing task awkward, and can also cause unsightly bulges in the doors when they are closed.

“Until we were speaking to 3M on a quite separate matter, we were not aware of any potential alternative. However, when trialling Thinsulate insulation, we found that it eliminates these problems while offering comparable acoustic performance.

“The key advantage is that when cut, Thinsulate insulation seals itself automatically, meaning minimal emission of dust. It also does not emit any harmful fumes. It is easier to sew through, while we have found that it folds better once installed, with no bulges created.”

Thinsulate insulation is now being used in all of Building Additions’ fabric concertina doors.

The microfibres of Thinsulate insulation are about ten times smaller than the fibres of other synthetic insulations, making them much more efficient at trapping air. Originally developed to be used in winter clothing, it has also found applications in bedding and in the automotive and marine sectors, clearly demonstrating the transferability of 3M technologies.

Steve Pendegrass of 3M’s Construction Division added: “This is a highly novel use of an existing 3M technology and one which is clearly delivering major benefits to this customer. It’s just one of many examples of how technology originally developed by 3M for one sector finds uses across multiple industries.”

3M and Thinsulate are trademarks of 3M Company


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