The UK’s leading product accreditation and certification service, the British Board of Agrément (BBA), is helping bring reflective insulation developed for the 20th century space-race to new frontiers. This highly-reflective material, originally designed with NASA for the US Apollo missions to protect spacecraft, is helping to transform the global construction industry with its extensive use in walls and roofs.
BBA Project Manager Martin Oxley was among a select few industry experts chosen to speak at the Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association (RIMA) conference, a two-day summit in the US featuring some of the world’s leading product manufacturers. They had gathered in Miami, Florida to discuss technological advances in performance and future marketing opportunities for the insulation, which is aluminium-coated and designed to reduce heat transfer.
During his 30-minute presentation Mr Oxley told delegates how the BBA uses its unique hi-tech thermal performance-measuring equipment as part of its rigorous testing and certification service on a number of reflective insulation products, to provide a highly-accurate measurement of the insulation’s thermal performance. This allows manufacturers to claim a declared thermal performance value according to BS EN 16012:2012 +A1:2015 for reflective insulation, making the material ideal for a wide range of construction applications.
This Standard has helped to pave the way for a harmonised European product specification Standard, due to be finalised in 2017, which reflective insulation products will have to meet in order to successfully break into the UK and European markets.
Mr Oxley, who has over 30 years of experience in industry.
It was a fascinating couple of days in Florida. The diversity and technical content of the presentations was excellent, ranging from building field evaluation in Malaysia to the use of space blankets on satellites. My presentation was well received, with the key message that the BBA is your gateway to the UK marketplace. Our test and inspection service is synonymous with quality, integrity and reassurance, and our accreditation is acknowledged throughout the construction industry and will help bring this product to the UK market.
RIMA International is a non-profit industry trade association set up to promote the benefits of reflective insulation, which contains at least one reflective surface and is installed on a variety of backings, such as rigid foam, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles or cardboard.
Speaking of the RIMA conference, Martin Oxley added: “When discussing the properties of reflective insulation, there was a geographical divide as to its potential thermal benefits. Product representatives from Florida wanted something that kept the heat out, while those from Europe were particularly interested in keeping the heat in. It offers great versatility and a dual solution depending on its application.”