Thermal Performance Of Masonry Thermal Performance Of Masonry

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Thermal Performance Of Masonry Thermal Performance Of Masonry

Transcript Of Thermal Performance Of Masonry Thermal Performance Of Masonry

The continuing need to conserve energy has resulted in mandated requirements for the thermal performance of construction. Since it is impractical to measure all buildings or building components and systems for thermal properties, simple and accurate methods to reliably predict thermal performance are necessary. Design professionals must estimate the energy requirements associated with all types of building systems, including masonry, to select appropriate systems and to provide for economical heating and cooling design.
Much of the thermal data available for concrete block construction use the block density as a guide to thermal conductivity. However, actual thermal testing shows it is not possible to accurately predict the conductivity of masonry block from the density of the concrete, because of the diversity of materials used in concrete for block manufacture (aggregates, etc). Thermal conductivity tests of similar density concretes produce considerable variation.2
In the interest of presenting realistic information, Perlite Institute sponsored research to develop an accurate calculation method useful in predicting the thermal performance of concrete block walls insulated with perlite loose fill.
Two calculation techniques, the series—parallel (isothermal planes) and the parallel analyses methods, are given in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals to determine the thermal performance of building assemblies from the properties of the individual components. The series—parallel method has been regarded as mote accurate in representing actual installations.3,4 However, the effects of moisture, mass, air infiltration orientation, construction techniques and other factors influencing total performance, including dynamic effects are not included in this analysis. The thermal resistive components generally dominates in determining thermal performance, and for comparison purposes, is used to provide realistic design information.
PERLITE INSTITUTE SPONSORED TEST PROGRAM TO DEVELOP MODEL OF CONCRETE BLOCK WALL THERMAL PERFORMANCE The program provided a database to assist in developing a mathematical model of the thermal performance of typical perlite insulated two-core concrete block wall constructions.
The measured wall thermal transmittance (U value), in comparison with the calculated data based on the concrete block and perlite insulation components, established the validity of generating thermal transmittance design values based on series-parallel calculations. This model and the verification are presented in following sections. The following information discusses a part of the test program.
Four walls were constructed using four block types of known thermal conductivity from measurements conducted in accordance with ASTM C 177 “Steady- State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Guarded Hot Plate.” The blocks were standard 8-inch two-core concrete blocks. The walls were constructed four blocks long and eight courses high using a dry stack assembly. Two tests were conducted on each wall, one with the cores empty and one with the cores filled with perlite. The thermal transmittance of each wall was tested in accordance with ASTM C 236 “Thermal Conductance and Transmittance of Built-Up Sections by Means of the Guarded Hot Box.”

The last column in Table A shows the percent reduction in U value which is achieved by filling the cores with perlite loose fill insulation. The greater effect of the perlite fill occurs at lower concrete thermal conductivity. This is because at low concrete thermal conductivities a greater percentage of energy is passing through the core section. As the thermal conductivity of the concrete increases, a greater percentage of energy passes through the webs and the effect of filling the cores is lessened.




Providing the thermal

conductivities of the system

components are known, the

thermal transmittance of a

two-core concrete block wall

system can be modeled using

the simple technique of




resistances in series and

parallel by contributing

percent areas.






A schematic of a typical two-core concrete block filled with perlite is show below together with a mathematical analog. For simplication, the block is assumed to have square corners, no radii, and no ears.

For the series-parallel model, the equation for calculating the overall thermal resistance of the block, Rb, can be written as:
This technique was employed for the four current walls measured in the guarded hot box using the measured values of thermal conductivity of the block concrete and perlite insulation. TESTED AND CALCULATED RESULTS/ VERIFICATION OF MODEL Comparison of values resulting from the calculation procedure against perlite insulated and uninsulated wall sections tested in accordance with A5TM C 236 shows the viability of the calculation procedure. The analytical technique will produce calculated values within 15% of actual measurements in most cases. Such values, providing that the concrete thermal conductivity is known, will be very good estimates of the actual resistive thermal transmittance and are considered to be more valid and rigorous than most previous literature values based only on concrete density or the parallel analyses method. Thus for a standard two-core 8-inch block where:

and for perlite loose-fill at 7 lb/ft3 having an apparent thermal conductivity of 0.34 btu in/h-ft2-°F, the series-parallel (iso-thermal planes analysis) can calculate the thermal transmittances for various thermal conductivities of the concrete block material. Table B compares the measured and calculated thermal transmittance for the test walls. The percent deviation was calculated as being where Uc and Um are the calculated and measured thermal transmittance deviation respectively.
Table C shows the results for a seven-fold increase in concrete block conductivity from 2 to 14 Btuin/’h- ft2-°F. This range covers that of all concretes currently in use for block constructions. The results confirm the considerable improvement obtained by using loose-fill insulation. Table D exhibits thermal values of perlite insulated block based on concrete thermal conductivity values published by the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA)6 and the series-parallel (isothermal planes) model.




The apparent thermal conductivity of perlite is related to density. Tests of the same density perlite at

varying thicknesses were conducted in accordance with ASTM C 518 “Steady State Thermal

Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter” to determine if a “thickness effect’ was

present. For the range of density typically used as masonry insulation there is little or no thickness

effect Results of measurements at test thickness of 1 to 2” are representative of the material in use and

can be used for deriving R values at greater thicknesses.

Table E exhibits this consistency of measured conductivity in several samples of perlite at varying thicknesses.

Any change in the resistance of an insulated block as a function of perlite differing densities is-small, generally less than 5%. For instance, the change in R value on a 12” block manufactured with 80 pcf concrete from insulating the cores with 5 pcf perlite in comparison with 7 pcf is less than 2%. This is because a large proportion of the energy passing through a block is conducted through the webs of the blocks. The isothermal planes model accommodates different perlite conductivities in the insulated cores of the block. For design purposes, the Perlite Institute thermal values published in Sweet’s Catalog 7.14d/Pe can be considered representative of the masonry insulation material. More specific information regarding the thermal conductivity of perlite insulation is contained in other P.I.literature.8
Figures F, G and H exhibit thermal values of perlite insulated single wythe concrete block walls using the series—parallel (isothermal planes) model. Figure F exhibits the percentage increase in thermal resistance, R value, of concrete block walls as a result of using perlite loose fill insulation in the block cores. The curve in Figure F is based on a multiplicity of block samples at varying densities.9
Once the thermal conductivity of the concrete used in block manufacture has been determined, the thermal transmittance (U value) of the completed, perlite insulated wall is shown in Figures G and H. Figure G is for conventional face shell mortar bonded block wall construction. Figure H pertains to dry stacked, surface bonded block wall construction.
PERFORMANCE OF PERLITE LOOSE FILL INSULATION AFTER INSTALLATION IN MASONRY WALLS Once insulation is placed within a structure, its performance is largely dependent on its in-place dimensional stability. In response to this legitimate concern, Perlite, Institute sponsored measurements of insulated masonry to record any ‘sett1ement” or volume change which may take place over a period of time in a functioning insulation. The building selected was a 12-inch concrete block structure in Dundee Industrial park, Andover, Massachusetts. The walls are 20 feet in height, with strategically placed plexiglass blocks to observe any change in the perlite insulation. The building was constructed by the dry stack-surface bond method and core holes were aligned to form unobstructed 20 foot vertical columns for the insulation. An independent inspection and testing laboratory was engaged to witness and record settlement data at 90 day intervals. The results indicate minimal settlement. The inspection report dated 235 days after installation measured net settlement in the 20 foot column of perlite to be 0.41%. Additional measurements show the insulation has ceased to ‘settle’ and no further dimensional changes have occurred.10

1. Spinney and Tye, “A Study of Various Factors Affecting the Thermal Performance of Perlite Insulated Masonry Construction. Dynatech R/D Co.
2. ibid
3. R. C. Valore, “Calculation of U values of Hollow Concrete Masonry”.
4. Shu, Fiorato and Howanski, “Heat Transmission Coefficients of Concrete Block walls and Core Insulation”, ASHRAE/DOE Sumposium
5. ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals
6. National Concrete Masonry Association publication: NCMA - TEK 101
7. Dynatech R/D Co.: report referenced in footnotes 1, 2
8. Perlite Institute publication: Technical Data Sheet No. 2-4
9. Spinney and Tye, “Thermal Conductivity of Concrete: Measurement Problems and Effect of Moisture”. Dynatech R/D Co.
10. The Thompson & Lichtner Co., Inc. report “Inspection of Perlite Wall Fill Settlement, Dundee Park, Andover, Massachusetts”.
ASHRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air—Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials.
insulation, thermal: a material or assembly of materials used primarily to provide resistance to heat flow.
isothermal plane: a surface or plane of uniform temperature.
parallel—path analysis: an approximate method of calculation for determining the thermal performance of building structures where the components of the structures are arranged so that parallel heat flow paths of different thermal resistances result. No lateral heat flow between paths is assumed.
perlite: a naturally occurring volcanic mineral which is expanded under high temperature to product granular loose fill insulation. The expanded particles consist of sealed air cells within a mineral matrix.
series—parallel or isothermal planes analysis: an approximate method of calculation for determining the thermal performance of building structures where components are arranged in layers and the thermal resistance of the structure is the sum of the thermal resistances of the layers. It is assumed that heat can flow laterally in any layer so that transverse isothermal planes result.
settlement: the consolidation of an insulation material over time due to gravity, thermal cycling, vibration or the presence of moisture.
silicone treated perlite: expanded perlite particles coated with a silicone material to produce a highly water repellent loose fill insulation materials. The material is inert, odorless, does not promote fungal or rodent attack, is light in weight and has superior fire resistance properties.