Thermal insulation reduces the transfer of heat between objects that are in contact with each other. This type of heat transfer is called conduction and it can also occur between objects that are not necessarily touching but are within close range of each other. The objects between which heat is transferred have different temperatures and inevitably, heat will flow from the object with the higher temperature to the one with the lower temperature. Thermal insulation seeks to reflect the heat away instead of absorbing it.
Thermal insulation is important in many industries such as the clothing industry, construction industry and in the manufacture of automobiles. Certain types of clothing employ thermal insulation technology. A layer of insulating material is added to keep the skin cool or warm as needed. Thermal insulation is particularly important in the construction industry. Building contractors must conduct their projects along municipal recommendations which often prioritise thermal insulation for all new buildings.
Efficient methods of thermal insulation in buildings fit in well with the global community’s vision of saving energy and minimising the carbon footprint. There are many environmentally friendly methods of insulation that are effective in their functions. They save the owners of the building a lot of money on energy supply costs. A well-insulated building has the same temperature throughout the structure and this minimises any transfer of heat. Also, thermal insulation only requires proper installation, thereafter, no maintenance is required.
It is sometimes necessary to insulate pipes such as those in the water supply network. Even spacecraft have a need for thermal insulation; in fact, space travel technology probably has the biggest need for thermal insulation than any other industry. It is vitally important to reinforce the durability of spacecraft and aid their resistance to sudden and extreme changes in temperature.
Motor vehicles make use of so much thermal insulation; they are excellent examples of how insulation can aid the smooth function of the items they protect. The engines in cars capable of high speeds are insulated to further enhance the performance of those cars.